Building an incredible website is the goal of any modern brand. You can have the most beautiful website in the world, a loyal customer base, and a strong social media following. However, a small but subtle mistake can make an incredible difference when it comes to the credibility of your brand website. Some content slips are the hallmark of being outdated and unprofessional.
All businesses need to cultivate high website credibility, both in the eyes of their online audience and for the sake of strong SEO page ranking. But some things can slip too easily into the net when it comes to updating your content, and it’s essential to pay attention.
Let’s take a close look at the most common mistakes that could affect the credibility of your brand website online.
Common website credibility mistakes
Copyright aging year
Every website has a year of copyright in the footer. This marks the last date your website and pages were updated.
Google, and therefore the entire online community, places a great deal of weight on recent publications, which means it’s crucial you both update your website frequently and update your copyright year at the same time.
Of course, this small number is extremely easy to miss when your website team is focused on integrating the latest features, refining templates, and adding new content.
In the worst case, your copyright year may be two or even three years out. Not only does this damage your brand’s reputation for thoroughness, but it can also make your website and content seem more outdated than it is.
Outdated blog content
A well-populated blog is a great source of information and SEO for your business.
The right blog content can cultivate readership and leads long after the content is written, but the more recent your blog is, the more relevant your content will be.
While most businesses commit to blogging, many give up after a few months or a few years and stop making an effort to create new creative and relevant content every month.
However, if your website hasn’t published a new blog in over two months, much less six months, it can feel like your brand is losing energy and focus. This is especially true for new readers and leads who may be excited by the first blog they linked to SEO and are eager to see more of what your brand has to offer.
Never leave outdated information on your website, except in blog articles with clearly posted dates. Leave no references to hot summer blockbusters from three summers ago, or blogs that assume everyone is home during the COVID lockdowns, or analyzes that use outdated statistics. This might be acceptable in an outdated blog from your archives, but not in the content you are presenting as recent, relevant, and competitive.
You have two options when it comes to keeping your content up-to-date; you can repost timely content every year, or you can keep your writing style general and evergreen so that still-relevant tips and guides aren’t artificially dated by references that age poorly.
Embedded social media feeds
It wasn’t long ago that embedding a social media feed into your website was the latest thing. However, like some trends, this feature has come and gone in terms of popularity. Today, the latest trends are infographic animations and floating live chat bubbles in the bottom right corner. Websites that still display outdated trends show that the website itself is not updated regularly in line with the latest designs.
Embedding social media feeds has a hidden downside as well as being a trend of the past; can show when you stopped updating your social media or if you migrated your social media account without updating which feed was embedded. This can make your website look outdated and it can even appear that the business is no longer open.
Lack of organization
A good sitemap is important, as is internal navigation. Having all the features and pages is of no use if your website visitors can’t figure out how to navigate from one page to another.
Having an optimized web page architecture and well-structured content makes it easy for visitors to find the information they’re looking for and deepen their understanding of your business.
An intuitive site design has a positive impact on the overall user experience and builds trust with potential customers.
Stub articles and unfinished pages
When a website is created, each page starts out as a template and/or stub.
Stub articles and unfinished pages have as little content as possible, perhaps just a single paragraph as a placeholder for blogs and service pages. While you no doubt meant to fill out these pages, it’s been months, even years, and your leads are still seeing only placeholder content.
Stub articles seem like a half-hearted initial effort, but unfinished templates come across as indifferent and unprofessional.
It takes less than a day to compile content on each of your service pages, particularly if your subsequent service pages have more content that you can easily match in style. Let your audience know that you care about offering complete information and every stage of their experience on the site by updating the content of your unfinished page.
What happens on your website if a link breaks, a link is moved, or your readers enter an incorrect URL?
Without intentional customization, your online visitors will see a 404 error page. Fortunately, there are some very effective ways to take control of your 404 experience onsite.
First, regularly scan your website for broken links and make sure they are up to date on every page, especially if you change your internal linking structure. From there, however, you can also create a custom 404 page that charmingly redirects your website visitors to the main page or tries to help them find the actual page they’ve been looking for.
Unclear or unconvincing calls to action
Finally, your calls to action (CTA) are important.
These are powerful signals that, when used in a targeted way, can increase conversions and initiate connections with customers.
That said, there are good CTAs and bad CTAs. Some CTAs are clunky and overly promotional. Some CTAs are unclear and don’t let your readers know where to go or what to do next.
Check your CTAs and judge how you would respond if you were a lead considering your brand for the first time.
Do you feel that your curiosity has been satisfied and that the page has delivered what it promised?
Do you trust the brand and are you inspired to take the next step?
If not, rebuild the bottom of each page until the call-to-action naturally guides readers to the next level of the conversion funnel in your brand’s signature style and voice.
Enhance the credibility of your website with LocalBizGuru
If your website falls short of the standards of relevance and quality your brand hopes to exemplify, it’s time for a change.
LocalBizGuru can help you refine your strategy, detect oversights, and ensure that your website’s credibility reflects the incredible brand you’ve worked so hard for.
Contact us for advice and we will take the next step together to improve your website.