Freelancers can quickly create simple websites nowadays. Anyone can use site builders to launch one in a matter of hours, but very few generate leads and traffic. The reality is that personal websites will not automatically get you more freelance projects.
Even though your freelance business needs a website, building it haphazardly makes it look unprofessional. Slow down and reevaluate your content. In this article, we will discuss the most damaging yet common mistakes freelancers make when building their sites.
1. Relying only on generic template website designs
Website builders use templates to simplify site creation. Instead of writing HTML and CSS code to start a site from scratch, you can simply drag and drop page elements into a pre-built layout. The entire design process will take no more than a few hours.
With that being said, we recommend that you do not rely solely on them, especially if you have a background in web design. The templates are convenient and accessible. However, your personal website must accurately represent your freelance business, which cheap, generic templates won’t do.
The best approach is to use constructors wisely. Maximize simple, no-code website builders to launch sites with minimal effort, then customize your overall design by integrating basic HTML and CSS code.
2. Bypassing basic SEO guidelines
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is crucial for Google SERP visibility. Simply put, it’s all about meeting specific criteria for Google’s crawling robots to classify your content as relevant and useful. That way, your site ranks higher on the SERPs.
Becoming an SEO specialist takes time, but you don’t necessarily have to be one to start optimizing your pages. SEO basics like keyword integration are already very useful. For example, your web pages are more likely to rank once you incorporate commonly searched words and phrases into your blog headers and meta descriptions.
3. Writing poor descriptions of the freelance services offered
Contrary to popular belief, an impressive portfolio is not enough to convert prospects. Before you even get a chance to show your work, you must first get them interested in your services. Otherwise, they will immediately leave your site.
In addition to putting together an attractive and navigable design, pique your reader’s curiosity with compelling and persuasive content. A good writing consists of several elements. Each piece needs an attention-grabbing introduction, an empathetic body that addresses pain points, and a compelling conclusion that galvanizes readers to take action.
Also, keep your service descriptions concise. Beating around the bush with marketing fluff and overused buzzwords will be annoying.
4. Heavy use of generic stock photos instead of original photos
Stock photos are high-quality, affordable images licensed for marketing, commercial, publishing, and advertising purposes. Using them will not violate any copyright infringement laws. websites like pexels, pixabayY Shutterstock gives you access to thousands of cheap, if not free, stock images.
Although convenient, you should use stock photos sparingly. Since millions of other users use them on various platforms, they usually appear generic and impersonal. Scrolling them through your site looks like spam. Readers are also less likely to find stock images interesting, especially if they’ve already seen them elsewhere.
We suggest investing in original assets. Give your readers insight into your freelancing business with real images of you and your remote workstation. You could even post candid photos of you working.
5. Using Outdated and Weak Samples for Your Online Portfolio
Freelancers tend to use outdated portfolios for a number of reasons. Others don’t feel confident showing potential customers their latest product, while others just don’t bother curating new samples. Either way, reusing old work yields negligible benefits.
You may not realize it, but your skills evolve every day. Taking on different clients with different project requirements gives you opportunities to grow and improve.
Try to compare your old output and the new one. You will probably notice that most of the old parts are no longer up to the quality standards that you follow today.
We suggest updating your portfolio at least once a month. Get rid of samples you’ve already beaten, or else you’ll continue to give your prospects an inaccurate representation of your ability.
6. Invest all resources to create an aesthetically pleasing website
Maintaining a personal website requires a lot of effort. To ensure top SERP rankings, you need to regularly upload new blog posts, get quality backlinks, and generate enough traffic. Otherwise, you will lose your place against your competitors.
Despite the importance of site maintenance, freelancers shouldn’t spend more than a couple of hours a week on it. Prioritize your projects, not your website. Although a high-traffic, lead-generation site opens up business opportunities, it doesn’t actually run your freelance business.
Treat your website like a tool. Once you have enough projects in the pipeline, relax the marketing and focus more on fulfilling orders. Customer acquisition is only the first step. They will not pay you until you fulfill your duties and promises as a freelancer.
You can’t expect your website to appear on the SERPs of your target markets right away. Google rarely ranks new websites. Prioritize content from established, reputable sites with high domain authority scores, not newly published pages with minimal traffic.
Try pulling visitors from your social media accounts to gain visibility on Google SERPs. Post your URL on your online profiles, share any site updates you make, engage with readers who engage with your posts, and encourage your audience to visit your site. You can even offer incentives like free ebooks or discount codes.
Once your website starts to gain traction, consider learning social media marketing tactics to bolster your campaign. After all, Google’s crawling robots evaluate both paid and organic traffic.
Create a functional, navigable website that converts prospects into customers
There is no single solution for building websites. Although you can take inspiration from other freelancers, your main goal should be to create a unique site customized to your needs. Also, invest in quality creatives. Compelling, persuasive copy paired with eye-catching, original imagery will convert more prospects than AI-generated pieces and stock photos.
If you followed all of the tips above and you’re still not satisfied with the end result, take a step back to assess what you’re working with. Personal websites require routine maintenance and updates. Break down the process of creating a great website and find out how to incorporate it into your daily tasks as a freelancer.