If you own a business (or are in charge of marketing for one,) your website should be the center of your online strategy. It should be attracting prospects, and effectively persuade them to become actual customers.
The problem is, many businesses don’t hold their websites up to such a high standard. When I ask what they need a website to accomplish for them, they respond with something wishy-washy like: “so people can check us out online.”
Not good enough, and a huge missed opportunity, when you think about it. Your website has the potential to actually get you more leads, customers and sales, so settling for a digital “brochure” is a waste of time and money.
If this sounds familiar, your website might be passively negligent in getting you customers at best, or actively losing you customers at worst.
But I’m here to help. Check out the following info-graphic by web strategy agency, The Deep End to see five of the most common ways your website might be losing you customers, as well as an actionable solution for each. For even more information, stick around for a more detailed explanation on each point afterwards. Enjoy!
If you’ve designed your website to be mostly informational, chances are you never defined your call-to-action (CTA.) A CTA is simply some kind of task that you want visitors to complete, and that you can define as a goal.
For instance, you might want them to pick up the phone and call you. In that case, you might have a very large text box that says “Call us Today”, followed by your phone number. The simple step of telling them to call you has been shown to increase calls drastically, as opposed to simply displaying your phone number.
Or maybe you actually want to make a sale on your website. If that’s the case, don’t be shy about it. Make the “Buy Now” button large, and make sure it stands out against its surroundings for maximum click-through.
ou’ve Made it All About You
When most businesses write the copy that goes on their website, they think their customers want to know the story of the business. They assume that carries some kind of intrinsic value that will translate into more sales.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work this way.
People are selfish at heart, and they only want to know how your product, service or offering will help them. So rather than talking your business up, phrase it in such a way that spells out very clearly what your customer will get, and what that will do for them.
Don’t Forget About the “Window Shoppers”
Did you know that most people coming to your website are “just looking”, and not actually ready to buy? Amazon figured this out long ago, and it’s why they always show you things you were looking at last time when you return. They know that re-engaging you with what you were interested in will increase the chances of you buying it this time around.
So by going in for the kill, and only trying to make a sale, you are squandering those long-game opportunities. In addition to your main CTA, you should also have something for your future customers — offer them an incentive in exchange for their email address.
And “sign up for our newsletter” doesn’t count. Nobody is interested in a newsletter, but they may be into a coupon, a freebie, or even the promise of deals coming to their inbox. So they get something that makes them more likely to become a customer, and you get something very valuable as well — a hot lead that you can continue to market to throughout their decision-making process.
A website in dire need of a redesign not only looks bad, it makes you look bad as well. A poorly designed site will wreak havoc on your credibility as a business, scaring would-be customers right into the arms of your competition.
Find a web designer or agency that not only has a great eye for design, but who knows a lot about what makes a good user experience. After all, a site that looks great, but isn’t designed in a way that is easy to navigate, and funnels people toward your CTA isn’t going to help very much.
Your Website Doesn’t Inspire Trust
When is the last time you bought something online, ate at a restaurant or chose a dentist without reading a few reviews first?
We are spoiled in 2016 with a wealth of this kind of information, and we have grown accustomed to it. Human beings have always hated the idea of risk, and the internet has made it easier than ever to sidestep it wherever we can. Your website should take advantage of this.
It doesn’t matter how amazing your offering is if you’re the only one who’s saying so. Obtain a few testimonials from past or current customers who can make your prospects feel more comfortable doing business with you. Ideally, you should choose your testimonial subjects based on your most common types of customers for maximum efficacy.
For instance, if your target demo is 24-40 year old male sports fans, make sure your testimonials aren’t from women over 60. It just won’t connect.
If you can include a photo of the customer alongside the testimonial, that will be even more convincing. And for the most compelling, convincing testimonial ever, use video.
In the end, just make sure you have a goal for your website that helps your overall business objectives. Then design everything around that goal. Make it as easy as possible for your site visitors to say yes to what you’re offering. If you can do that, you can take your website from a glorified brochure, to a fully functional lead-generating, customer-getting machine.