iStock_000002116286SmallWeb content writers have a big task at hand, especially when creating websites for today’s businesses. Content writers not only have to create a website from scratch, they have to do it in a way that is easy to browse through and which attracts people to come back time and time again. However, a couple of issues can occur during this creation process. These problems can be clustered into several different groups.

1. General Problems:

In their blog Common Website Problems WeThinkSolutions {} highlights some of the general problems one faces with respect to their website:

Poor Quality Design

Unattractive websites abound on the Internet. This is because Web Design is primarily an artistic talent that most programmers and techies simply do not possess (it’s the left-brain/right-brain thing). Far too many site owners engage the services of their favorite “techie hobbyist” to design and build their websites, and the results speak for themselves – these sites look ugly.

On the other hand, some graphic artists are so intent on creating a graphic masterpiece that they lose touch with the fact that the purpose of the website is to generate business for the client, not win a Web Design award.

E-mail Address Exposed

Many businesses publish their e-mail addresses directly on their website. Unfortunately, this often leads to a flurry of unsolicited e-mails from spammers who harvest these e-mail addresses using automated web crawlers.

Fails W3C Markup Validation

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium whose sole purpose is to develop standards for the Web. W3C offers a Markup Validation Service that allows website owners to determine if their website is compliant with the current standards. Web content writers should make sure that their content is W3C compliant.

Broken Links

If your site has non-functioning links this causes two main problems:

  • Google will penalize you for not keeping your site content current
  • Users will be frustrated and will assume that you do not perform regular maintenance on your website

Check your websites to ensure that any broken links are identified and removed.

2. Mistaken concepts you may have about your viewers

Many web content writers think that people are interested in their website or the company. The only reason my website exists is to solve your customers’ problems. Web content writers must address what problems does each page address?

Web content writers must remember what visitors want/need:

  • information
  • to make a purchase/donation
  • to be entertained
  • to be part of a community

3. Small Business Websites

Small business websites have their own specific problems. This is presented in the following infographic by MyCase.


4. Non-profit Web Problems

In the blog The 5 Biggest Branding Problems with Nonprofit Websites, the following non-profit specific problems are highlighted:

Your website looks homegrown. If you are actually trying to look homegrown, ignore this one. Chances are, you’d rather look professional and attract professionals to donate so anything that is contrary to that image you want to portray needs to go – including all cheesy graphics, anything animated and those little calendars where no one can see what events you actually have going on.

You have no cohesive look between your main site and your microsites or other marketing materials. This usually means there are too many cooks in the kitchen and no cookbook to guide anyone. If you can’t communicate your brand internally how in the world can you do it externally?

Your unique value isn’t showing. This usually means that your board members just aren’t wearing their marketing hats or you don’t have enough successful business people on your board – because you can’t build a successful business on “we are the only ones doing exactly what we are doing”

Your colors don’t reflect your brand. I always refer to a cancer support group site that was done in the most depressing black and red you could possibly imagine. Shouldn’t you be trying to cheer people up in those support groups?

Only your staff knows the real meaning behind your logo. This usually means that the Executive Director or founder came up with the logo on their own and no one else had any input. The only meaning the logo should have is one directly related to your mission AND something the public will recognize. Because their opinion counts a lot more than yours.


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