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When you view as many websites as a professional does throughout the course of the day, you start to see the same mistakes over and over again.

And it’s heartbreaking to go through because they amount to relatively simple and inexpensive changes that generate a ROI many times greater than their cost to implement.

What do we see happening?  A few of the most common mistakes:

1.     Hiding Your Contact Information

Users shouldn’t have to click anywhere to find your contact info if you own a small, local business.  Your phone number (and maybe an e-mail too) should be right in the upper right-hand corner of every page on your website.  If more detailed contact information is required, a separate contact page does the job.  But, better to have your customers contact you than not at all.

2.      Creating a Social Account, but Not Using It

If it’s not in use, don’t put it on your home page.  When you are prepared to use your social media accounts, then prominently display them throughout your website.  And when you do use them, make sure they all have your branding consistently displayed throughout so people always know they are interacting with your company.

3.      Not Owning the Domain Name

You should always have your domain registered in your name.  If it’s not, you can totally lose control and there’s not much you can do about it.

How does it happen?  When you have a graphic design or SEO company build you a new website, they might register it in their own name.  Rather than having them do that, register it yourself (it’s cheap and easy), and then let them do their work.

4.     Not Claiming Your Google+/Google Places Listing

Few small businesses actually do this, but when Google returns search results these days, it offers links to both of these places.  Now if people go and visit those links and everything looks like a ghost town, they have a tendency to believe you’re not in business anymore or that you don’t care.  Better to claim these and update them and give searchers a good impression.

5.     Forgetting to Use Headlines on All Pages

Some business owners are afraid headlines are too “salesy.”  If you make them too aggressive and pushy, they certainly can be.  But if you make things a bit softer and say something like, “Need a New Water Heater?  Signs Yours is Too Old…” that’s perfect for getting interest, while not sounding too “salesy.”

The Eyetrack III study that tracks how people view web pages found headlines get viewed more so than anything else – even images and video.

So if you’re making those mistakes – clean’em up!  They’re easy to fix and increase your conversions dramatically.



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