Your website attracts visitors (hopefully), but why do the visitors not turn into leads or customers?
One of the most common mistakes many companies make is nickel and diming their website design. Surprisingly, this isn’t just an issue for small companies, but even large international conglomerates. A business website is by far one of the most important aspects of any company today. It is the major brand element of your company online, your virtual office and ideally, it should very well be the best piece of marketing material you put forth to your target audiences.
Think about it – would you let potential clients come to your office if you were working out of a basement? Would you wear overalls to a sales meeting? How about letting your 4 year old pitch your value proposition? So, if a website is the one place where prospective customers will come in contact with your business more than anywhere else, why does it not look, function, read and respond to target markets the way a CEO would? A website should always be the top salesperson on your team.
Why do so many companies have a lacklustre website – even if they just bought a brand new state-of-the-art HTML 5 development?
Because it was probably created by a programmer! Developers/programmers are great at writing code. Most of them don’t specialize in design – mind you some do – but they surely don’t know how to attract and convert your target audiences. What you need is a marketing website. A site coded by programmers, designed by advertising gurus, written and developed by marketing professionals.
Makes sense right. A great marketer will know how to configure your site in the same fashion they would when developing a marketing and sales funnel – leading the visitor through valuable content and compelling call-to-actions that encourage customer behaviour and drive transactional experiences.
Here are a few reasons why your business website might suck….
The aesthetic look and feel of your site is very important. Do the graphics, fonts and interface look like a professional created them, or an amateur on paint? Websites should be delivered from an advertising perspective. Make them attractive, stand out and memorable.
Lack of Professional Appeal
There are many solutions today enabling people to build their own sites without programming knowledge. These sites clearly do not look professional and most certainly do not convey that your business is capable of satisfying customers. The look, feel and content of a website should mirror the brand and capacity of the team behind the business.
Does your website look like many other sites in your industry? It is a cookie-cutter or generic template? Your company is unique and so should your website. Using stock images and graphics also diminishes the appearance of your site. Be sure to fine tune every detail, the same way you would your living arrangements.
Internet Browser Compatibility
You’d think this issue wouldn’t be a problem these days, but in many cases it still is. The most popular browser is Google Chrome, second Internet Explorer and then Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc. Ensuring that your website is compatible and looks good across all browsers is key.
Mobile Device Responsive
When a website is responsive, it means the site is capable of conforming to the screen size of the device being used to view it. Prior to responsive technology, many companies would develop mobile websites to appease their audiences. Responsive technology is fairly new and is far from perfect, but it’s a great way to ensure your website can be properly seen on cell phones, tablets and other devices.
Site Architecture and Navigation
Are all areas of your website easily discoverable – by web visitors and search engine spiders? Your business site should be user-friendly and easily accessible. There should be search options and multiple avenues of navigation to ensure visitors can easily find what they are looking for. Just don’t over do it – too many links will hurt search rankings.
Make sure business contact information (address, phone, e-mail, etc.) is easily accessible. The main phone number should be static at the top of every page. If you are a local business, it is worth your weight in silver having your NAP (business name, address, phone) at the bottom of every page. Ideally in the footer as a widget. This will improve local search results and trust with search engines. It’s always a good idea to make a contact form easily accessible from every page.
Content is king. You’ve probably heard that before. Is your content too long or too short? More than likely, it is not as valuable to your visitors as you may think it is. Developing unique and valuable content is not easy. Understanding how visitors view and digest content online is the key to success. When content is unique and valuable, it leads to increased search rankings, social shares and most importantly, conversions.
Too Many Choices
This issue is most apparent on home pages. Your website should lead visitors through a virtual marketing and sales funnel – at each step, encouraging conversion. Too many options, leads to confusion, uncertainty and less conversions.
This one is a given. Provide visitors will clear instructions on what you want them to do and what they get in return. A simple call us button will rarely be clicked. Put yourself in the shoes of your visitor and determine what would convince you to act.
Lack of Multimedia
Multimedia leads to interaction, longer visits, more page views and returning visitors. Developing strategic and valuable multimedia for your website is the key to future success on the net.
Trust and Reputation
Does your website build trust and reputation? Consumers love reviews. They want to know your business is successful and that if they become your customer, they will be satisfied. One of the best methods for achieving this is with Google+ Local!
There are many issues for why websites perform poorly when converting visitors into leads and customers. Stay tuned for a future post that details these issues in further depth!
Having a business website built on advertising, marketing and sales best practices is the key to Internet marketing success. Ombrella delivers website design services developed on these best practices.