Freelancers can quickly make simple websites nowadays. Anyone can use site builders to launch one within hours, but very few actually generate leads and traffic. The reality is that personal websites won’t automatically give you more freelance projects.
Although your freelance business needs a website, haphazardly building it makes you look unprofessional. Slow down and reassess your content. In this article, we’ll discuss the most damaging yet common mistakes that freelancers commit when building their sites.
1. Solely Relying on Generic Template Website Designs
Website builders use templates to make site building simpler. Instead of writing HTML and CSS codes to start a site from scratch, you can just drag and drop page elements into a pre-designed layout. The entire design process won’t take more than a few hours.
With that said, we advise against solely relying on them—especially if you have web design experience. Templates are convenient and accessible. However, your personal website should accurately represent your freelancing business, which you won’t achieve with cheap, generic templates.
The best approach is to use builders wisely. Maximize simple, no-code website builders to start sites with minimal effort, then personalize your overall layout by integrating basic HTML and CSS codes.
2. Overlooking Basic SEO Guidelines
Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial to Google SERP visibility. In a nutshell, it involves meeting specific criteria so that Google crawl bots classify your content as relevant and helpful. That way, your site ranks higher on 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 already go a long way. For instance, your web pages are more likely to rank once you incorporate commonly searched words and phrases into your blogs, headers, and meta descriptions.
3. Writing Subpar Descriptions About the Freelancing Services Offered
Contrary to popular belief, an impressive portfolio isn’t enough to convert prospects. Before you even get the chance to showcase your work, you must make them interested in your services first. Otherwise, they’ll immediately exit your site.
Apart from putting together a gorgeous, navigable layout, pique your reader’s curiosity with engaging, persuasive content. Good copywriting consists of several elements. Every piece needs an attention-grabbing introduction, an empathetic body that addresses pain points, and a convincing conclusion pushing readers to take action.
Also, keep your service descriptions concise. Beating around the bush with marketing fluff and overused buzzwords will just come off as annoying.
4. Heavily Using Generic Stock Photos in Place of Original Photos
Stock photos are high-quality, affordable images licensed for marketing, commercial, editing, and advertising purposes. Using them won’t violate any copyright infringement laws. Websites like Pexels, Pixabay, and Shutterstock give you access to thousands of cheap, if not free, stock images.
Albeit convenient, you should use stock photos sparingly. Since millions of other users use them across various platforms, they typically appear generic and impersonal. Parading them across your site looks spammy. 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 insights into your freelancing business with real images of yourself and your remote workstation. You could even post candid photos of you working.
5. Using Outdated, Weak Samples for Your Online Portfolio
Freelancers tend to use outdated portfolios for various reasons. Others don’t feel confident showing prospects their latest output, while some just can’t be bothered to select new samples. Either way, reusing old work yields negligible advantages.
You might not realize it, but your skills evolve every day. Taking on different clients with varying project requirements gives you opportunities to grow and improve.
Try comparing your old and new output. You’ll likely notice that most old pieces are no longer up to par with the quality standards you currently follow.
We suggest updating your portfolio at least once a month. Get rid of samples that you’ve already outgrown, or else you’ll keep giving your prospects an inaccurate representation of your skill.
6. Investing All Resources Into Making an Aesthetically-Pleasing Website
Maintaining a personal website requires much effort. To secure top SERP rankings, you should regularly upload new blog posts, land quality backlinks, and generate enough traffic. Otherwise, you’ll lose your spot to your competitors.
Despite the importance of site maintenance, freelancers shouldn’t spend more than a couple of hours per week on it. Prioritize your projects, not your website. Although a high-traffic, lead-generating site opens business opportunities, it doesn’t actually run your freelance business.
Treat your website like a tool. Once you have enough projects in your pipeline, ease up on marketing and focus more on completing orders. Client acquisition is just the first step. You won’t get paid until you fulfill your duties and promises as a freelancer.
You can’t expect your website to appear on your target markets’ SERPs right away. Google rarely ranks new websites. It prioritizes 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 all site updates you make, engage with readers who interact with your posts, and encourage your audience to check out your site. You can even offer incentives like free e-books or discount codes.
Once your website starts gaining traction, consider learning social media marketing tactics to bolster your campaign. Google crawl bots assess both paid and organic traffic, after all.
Build a Navigable, Functional Website That Converts Prospects Into Clients
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to website building. Although you can draw inspiration from other freelancers, your primary goal should be to build a unique site customized to your needs. Also, invest in quality creatives. Persuasive, engaging copy paired with eye-catching, original images will convert more prospects than AI-generated pieces and stock photos.
If you followed all the tips we mentioned yet still feel dissatisfied with the final result, take a step back to assess what you’re working with. Personal websites require routine maintenance and updates. Break down the process of building a great website and figure out how to incorporate it into your daily freelancing duties.