In my experience working with local businesses, I’ve found these 6 mistakes to be the most common with building and marketing their website.
These mistakes are so costly and most business don’t even realize that they’re making them!
And have you ever visited a website on a phone and thought ARGH!! The text is so small! I can’t even see what they’re trying to sell!!
Well imagine if the exact same thing is happening on your website.
Give me 5 minutes, and you’ll know exactly what you need to do to fix that.
Fix these mistakes, and you’ll have the best chance of turning your visitors into happy, paying customers.
1. Poorly Written Copy & Navigation Difficulty
Copywriting is a craft. It’s the ability to persuade people to take your view on something, and words on your website is how you communicate with your customer.
Make the copy on your website scannable, and present your key value propositions with well worded headlines and bullet points.
You only need a few basic pages for a customer to find out more about you and get in touch – they should be taking one clear call to action only on each of your pages.
To do this effectively, you can either hire a copywriter, or follow these steps to simplify.
Answer the following customer questions on your site, and write as if you’re speaking to a friend:
- What problem do you solve?
- Who are you and what’s your story?
- Why should I choose you over everyone else?
- How can I contact you?
- Can you answer my questions?
As a guide, use the following pages to place this content:
- About us
- Testimonials or FAQ
More often than not, businesses need little more than this but over-complicate their website and end up confuse their customers in the process.
Attention spans aren’t getting longer – make your website super simple and easy to navigate, and your customers will love you for it.
2. Contact Details Buried In A Lost Page
Why does your business even have a website?
Think about it. Your website only has one real purpose, and that’s to convert your visitors into paying customers.
For local businesses, that transaction is simple – you make money when they get in touch with you!
Don’t put your contact details somewhere on a hidden contact page – they need to be right there ready for the customer to get in touch with you easily.
Front page in the header and footer is my recommendation for your contact details – it’s simple and works best.
3. There’s No Helpful Blog or Videos
Unless you’re giving away something for free off your website, a blog focused on helping your audience should be an absolute priority to start capturing leads. Videos can do this effectively too.
Blogs are great because you get the additional SEO value from each post, and they position you as a leader (and helper) in your industry. Videos give you similar benefits just in a different medium.
Sometimes it can be hard for us to get behind the camera. But the thing is, when customers buy, they want to know exactly what they’re going to get.
If you put it into a nice neat 2 minute audio visual package about what they’ll get for them, who do you think they’ll call?
Make a short video about your business, upload it to YouTube and embed it on your home page. Problem solved!
4. Poor Social Media Integration & Old Updates
Having links to your social media pages should be a given by now, but so many businesses still make the same mistake of integrating it poorly.
Yes, you need to give your customers more opportunities to find out more and get in touch with you, but having updates from 2012 featured on your website looks like you’re as out of date as your posts.
Whatever medium your customers use to get in contact with you, use it back, because if your customers feel more comfortable using that form of communication, then that’s a customer that you would’ve otherwise lost.
Make it easy for customers to get to your social outposts right from your own website (and make sure you try to use them regularly).
5. There’s No Opt-In Bribe
Are you capturing leads off your website? If you’re thinking that old subscribe box for your email newsletter is working wonders, think again.
Chances are that many visitors are hitting your site and leaving with nothing. But you can fix this simply and easily by creating an opt-in bribe (which means that visitors give you their email address in exchange for something you’re offering).
You could give away a free list of tools you use, an ebook, (perhaps a digital marketing guide :)) – anything that’s of value to your audience in exchange for an email.
And if you’ve opted-in to my email list, this post is part of a sequence of emails that will help you bring in more business.
Not only are you building your email list so you can stay in touch with your customers, but it also positions you as the authority in your niche (giving away free advice).
6. No Split Testing
Everything on your website can be tested to see what converts better – headlines, colours, opt-in bribes, copy, layout, images – anything.
Here’s how it works:
- You create two different versions with a small change of your page (a headline or colour of a button may be different)
- Visitors get evenly distributed across them with a specific goal in mind (such as an email sign up or other action)
- The page that converts the highest wins.
Now why would you want to do this? Well, did you know that a simple change of wording on a button can result in a massive increase of opt-ins?
That means more people on your email list, more people clicking buy now, more paying customers and more sales for you.
Here’s a Bonus Tip!
7. Not Mobile Responsive
This should really be number 1 because it’s the most frustrating and common right now.
People are spending billions on mobile devices, and your website hasn’t been designed for them.
Many small business websites are difficult to use on smartphones. And in 2014, the majority of traffic to your website will be on a mobile device, not a desktop computer.
This means you need a site optimized for mobile devices to convert your mobile visitors.
The best thing about a mobile responsive website is that it quickly solves the above problems:
- They provide a great web experience for mobile users
- Easier navigation menu and access to social media outposts
- Automatic re sizing of video content to adapt to all screen sizes
- User friendly functions such as one tap ‘Call Us’ buttons
- No frustrated customers by providing easy access to important information about your business.
If someone goes to your website on a mobile device and it takes too long to load or it has a very poor user experience – where people need to zoom in and out and scroll all over the place – they will go elsewhere.
That means your competitors win and you lose – don’t let that happen.
Is Your Business Making These Mistakes?
If you’re making any of these mistakes with your current website, get your IT department/guy or website manager to check off each of these items for you – it will increase your conversion rates and turn more of your visitors into paying customers.
If you need a revamp or are just starting out, we build custom, easy to navigate, fast loading, mobile responsive websites for our selected customers (you have to apply with us to work with you).
If you do get to work with us, not only will you have all the benefits above, but you’ll also gain access to an easy to use platform so you can update your site independent of me and my team.
I love hearing about new projects though, even if they’re not suitable for our business goals, so click here to drop us a line.
You Can Do It!
I hope you enjoyed this part of our free Digital Marketing Guide.
If you landed here from social media, and you’d like to get more customers, leads and sales, you can get the rest of the guide here:
What are your thoughts about this list? Are there any mistakes that I’ve missed? Or are there any websites that frustrate you as a customer? Let us know in the comments 🙂