When it's working as it should, your website showcases the value your business provides to potential customers and leads visitors to work with your business. When it's not doing its job, your website sends visitors directly into the arms of your competitors.
My focus as a Website Adviser is to help small businesses grow by working with them to improve their website. Over the past two years, I've looked through thousands of websites. While your business is likely doing many things right, a couple small mistakes could be costing your business thousands in lost sales.
Seven ways your website is sending business to your competitors and how to stop:
It's not goal-driven
A goal-driven website is designed around your goals as a business and what you want your customers to do once they reach your website. If you own an HVAC company, one of the goals of your website is to give visitors enough information in order to contact you when they need repairs to their heater or want to know what options they have when looking for a new air conditioner.
Think of your goals as you would a destination you’re driving to. The designer or company you work with to develop your website is your GPS and will outline the steps you need to take to get to your goals. Created with your goals in mind, your website will guide visitors from the first time they land on your website to your end goal.
If your website isn't goal-driven, visitors likely don’t have the information and guidance they need to make a decision and will go to the competition. Have your website redesigned around your goals.
Your contact information is missing, incorrect, or poorly placed
If someone is visiting your website to contact you, you have to make your contact information clearly visible and interactive. The above image is the before and after of a homepage, we redesigned for a client. The different shading around “Contact Us” helps it stand out. Visitors can now contact the company by clicking directly on the phone number, which will call the company if they are using a smartphone, or send an email by clicking on "Contact Us."
Have you ever read something that was clearly written for someone else? If a visitor comes to your website and immediately feels like you aren't talking to them, they will leave and never come back.
Read over your website to make sure it will appeal to the people you are trying to sell products or services to. After making changes, have a couple of people who are in your target market read it over.
Cluttered or unattractive design
A well-organized website shows attention to detail and that this business cares about their brand and the services they provide. If your website is cluttered, unorganized, and has an outdated design, visitors may worry that the products or services you offer will be the same.
After working for more than a year in any job, we start to pick up industry-specific words and acronyms. But these words may not make any sense at all to our customers who don't care about our industry; they just want a solution to their current problem. A fifth-grader should be able to read your website and understand exactly what it is that you do and what you offer to your customers. Take out any industry-specific words or complicated words.
When researching small businesses that I may be able to help, I end up having to research half of them to make sure they are still in business. If your website is outdated, your customers may wonder the same thing. And if they have a water leak they want to be fixed, they won't take the time to research if you're still in business, they will just call someone else.
To show them you're still in business, update your copyright statement at the bottom of your website, include social media links if you're active on social media, and consider adding a blog with posts that are no less than two months old. This will give them the confidence that you're open for business.
As of 2017, more than half of all website visits are coming from mobile devices. If your website doesn't load quickly and isn't easily navigated from a cell phone, you could lose up to half of all of your prospective customers to a competitor whose website is mobile friendly. If you have trouble seeing, reading, or navigating your site from a cellphone, it's time for a redesign.
Whether in need of a brand new website or just a few updates, let's talk and we can discuss how to get started.