7 Biggest Website Mistakes That Are Costing You Readers

Aside from producing high-quality content, you need to make sure all your great content is seen by your target audience. Unfortunately, many novice bloggers often make mistakes that are costing them readers.

Starting a website is not as hard as it once was. Thanks to WordPress, anyone can start a beautiful website in a matter of hours. Once your website is up and running, that’s when the hardest work begins.

Aside from producing high-quality content, you need to make sure all your great content is seen by your target audience. Unfortunately, many novice bloggers often make mistakes that are costing them readers.

If you’re wondering why your blog isn’t getting any traction, you could be making those mistakes without even realizing it. In this post, we’ll discuss the seven biggest website mistakes and show you how to avoid them so you can attract and keep your readers on your site.


1. You’re talking to everyone

Choosing a niche for your website or a blog is a great first step that will help you keep on top of topics and identify with your audience. But if you don’t spend some time making the posts specific to your ideal reader, you will sound like you’re talking to everyone and that will produce the opposite effect.

When it comes to identifying your target audience it’s not enough to say you are a food blogger who shares recipes for busy moms. You need to identify their biggest struggle. Then you need to solve that struggle.

What do busy moms struggle with? How many children do they have? Are they a working mom or a stay at home mom? Are they big spenders or do they struggle with their budget? Having an analytics tool such as MonsterInsights that helps you know these details will help you come up with super-specific posts that will make your target audience feel like you really understand them.

It will also help you refine your design and the images that you share on your post and the rest of your website. Evaluate everything from their point of view and ask yourself what would make your website more appealing to them.


2. No clear call to action

Adding social sharing buttons, enabling comments, and using an option form such as an exit-intent popup makes it obvious what you want your readers to do, right? Well, not exactly. Just because you have them, it doesn’t mean your readers know what you want them to do. Most of your loyal readers will want to help you in the way that’s most beneficial for your website but if you don’t tell them what the most beneficial thing is, they won’t waste their time trying to guess it.

Use each post as an opportunity to tell your readers what you want them to do – invite them to share your post or to leave a comment. Tell them you will appreciate if they sign up for your email list. Close your articles with a clear call to action and give your readers a push they need to help you out.


3. Too many distractions

Another big mistake that many beginners make is having too many distractions on their blog. It’s certainly tempting to make use of all your sidebar widgets and add a few ads here and there along with your Twitter or Instagram feed, Pinterest board or your Facebook wall.

But at the same time, all those widgets are nothing but a distraction. It’s all too easy for your readers to glance over at your sidebar, see an eye-catching Pin and click over to Pinterest. Chances are your reader will forget about you and never come back.

If you have social media follow icons on your blog, ask yourself do you really need to add different social media feeds of your profiles as well? Likewise, are those ads justifying their role? Can you make enough of an income to not have to worry about losing your reader to a third-party ad? If you’re having second thoughts about it, then remove those widgets and instead focus on growing your email list and showcasing your best content in the sidebar to ensure your readers stick around on your website.

A bad color scheme on a website can also cause unnecessary distractions for site visitors. This article from Top10WebsiteBuilders has tips for choosing a a great color scheme which will help you reduce your site’s bounce rate.


4. Not asking for feedback

Many bloggers are afraid to ask for feedback from their readers. But in doing so, they risk not knowing what really makes their audience tick and how they can provide more useful content.

Don’t be afraid to create a simple poll and invite your readers to share their honest opinion. While the possibility of negative feedback might hurt at first, it pays off in the long run to push through it and find out what type of content will be the most beneficial for your readers.


5. Not giving anything in return

Blogger – reader relationship works on the same principle as anything else in life. If you want something, you better be prepared to give something in return. In other words, if you want people to trust you with their most prized possession – their email, you have to provide something valuable in return. Your blog posts are not enough. Focus on creating an insanely useful piece of content that your readers will get when they subscribe to your list or share your post.


6. Using a weak headline

According to Copyblogger, 8 out of 10 people will read your headline but only two people will actually read the rest of the article as well. That’s why you have to make sure your headlines are compelling enough to peek curiosity and make people click through and read your amazing post. Try adding numbers and using strong emotional words in the headline. You can also use a tool like CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer to come up with a more compelling headline.


7. Not Using Images

Images speak louder than words, so it pays off to spend some time sourcing high-quality images that go along with your post. If you can’t afford to buy professional stock, there are plenty of sites that have images you can download and use for free, usually requiring you to link back to the website. Alternatively, you can take photos with your smartphone, without the need to invest in high-end photography equipment.

Images will help add visual interest as well as help you tell a better story, and it will help your blog posts get shared more often.


Final Thoughts

Now that you know what the biggest mistakes are that are causing you to lose readers, you can implement the tips in the article to make your blog more appealing to your target audience. Use them to your advantage and start growing your readership.

Author: Michael Hourigan

Often referred to as "the longest standing intern at Shoeboxed," Michael is a native North Carolinian who graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill. He is an avid golfer, skier and novice bird watcher. When he is not developing marketing campaigns, Michael enjoys binge watching WWII documentaries on Netflix.