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5 Common Website Mistakes

Today your website is the cornerstone of your marketing collateral – selling your business 24 hours a day.

When I come across a business that doesn’t have a website or who has a really basic website, I’m amazed.

Having a good website, in my opinion, is no longer an option but an absolute necessity.

When I start working with a new client, virtually the first thing I do is to review the website and almost invariably they’re not doing the job they should.

There are often lots to things wrong with them but the following are probably the five most common website mistakes and they’re guaranteed to ruin your website’s success.

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Too Salesy

Now of course the purpose of your website is to sell. But with most of us, if we’re going to buy something we need enough information so that we can make sensible decisions.

Your website must educate and inform your visitors and provide powerful reasons why prospects should choose you, instead of screaming “buy me, buy me” continuously.

The other point you need to consider is how realistic is it to expect visitors to buy from you the first time that they come into contact with your business.

Statistics say that 99% of website visitors leave a website without taking any action.

This is an appalling wasted opportunity.

These people have sought out your business so at the very least you need to get their contact details. This will allow you to communicate with them over time and build a relationship so that they can buy when they’re ready.

You need therefore to have a data collection facility where you offer a free report or video in exchange for their contact details.

Lack of social proof

If you want visitors to engage with you in any meaningful way, you’re going to have to build trust. The best way to build trust is by including social proof and by that I mean testimonials from happy customers.

Prospects are far more likely to be persuaded by your customers singing your praises than by you doing it yourself. The more specific they are – saying exactly what benefit you’ve delivered, the more effective they will be.

As well as having a dedicated testimonials page, you should consider putting some on the home page as this is the number 1 landing page.

Too much design

The most successful websites are the ones where visitors are very clear exactly what they’re being offered, what they have to do and how to navigate to the pages they need to get to. The other point which is almost a bit counter intuitive is that the most successful websites are seldom the prettiest.

Make sure that your key information is clearly displayed and that the visitor pathway is equally apparent. Only when this is clear should you start worrying about the aesthetics.

What would you prefer – a pretty website or an effective one.

Rubbish content

A very common fault of a lot of small business websites is the quality of the content.  The words on your website have got to persuade visitors to do business with you. Poorly written content will not persuade anyone.

Remember your website is a reflection of your business. If your website text is badly  written with spelling or grammatical mistakes, this will send a message that your business is equally slipshod.

Investing in well written, persuasive copy is a wise investment.

Lack of traffic

Even if you’ve managed to get all the points above right and have a top quality site, if you don’t have any traffic going to the site or traffic that’s not interested in what you’re selling, you’re still not going to generate any business.

To drive traffic to your site, you need to have an effective traffic strategy. This can focus on either SEO(search engine optimisation) or Google Adwords or preferably both.

SEO will ensure that your website ranks well on the organic listings within Google and Adwords is Google’s online advertising platform.

To make both of these work and to ensure that your traffic is well targeted and looking for what you sell, you must ensure that you select the right keywords. These are the words searchers type into Google in the process of your search so you must ensure that these are contained in your website text and your Adwords ads.

These are five common website mistakes but there are lots more. If your website isn’t delivering the leads and enquiries that you need, get in touch with me today.

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Why The Content Of Your Website Is So Important

Recently I was checking out the website of an SEO guy I’d met at a networking event. As websites are at the very heart of this guy’s business, I was expecting the website to be technically perfect, maybe not very inspiring but put together with the ultimate care and attention to detail.

Well was I ever disappointed.

It was a mess.

It was littered with typos and grammatical errors. Now you could argue that this isn’t important and the only important thing is whether he can get my website to a prominent position on the first page of Google. My impression wasn’t helped by the fact that his website wasn’t ranking highly for what I thought were his most obvious keywords.

Moving away from the example of this one company, the question is whatever business you’re in, how important is the spelling, grammar and over all presentation of your website?

Coming back to my SEO scenario, I immediately started to form an opinion about him and his business standards and that led to my conclusion of shoddy website content = shoddy workmanship. I could be completely wrong, of course but if I’d come across that site purely via a Google search I would immediately move on to other sites that look more professional and show that they care about how they present themselves to the world.

I believe that words really do count when it comes to websites. After all, for the most part, it’s the written word that is doing the hard work on any website small businesses have to rely on their website content to get across their key messages and find a compelling way to engage with customers in order to keep visitors on their site for more than the 8 seconds that you have to persuade them to stay. Your website content is your business voice, so if you want to build trust and credibility, the words, grammar, punctuation and layout on each page of your website are vital.

The Internet has presented us with so much choice that we have to find ways of making decisions, applying various filters to get down to the final two or three businesses that we might purchase from. If the spelling and presentation let the site down, you’ve found a reason to discard that prospect.

We’re all concerned about our search engine rankings and now Google is focusing on the visitor experience and penalising sites that are written for search engines, we all should concentrate on the quality of the content and making sure that the site makes the best possible impression.

A little attention to detail, ensuring your site has no spelling mistakes, grammatical errors or layout glitches, could make a huge difference to your visitor response.

 

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Your Website And The Questions You Must Ask Yourself

Is your website the primary marketing channel in your small business marketing?

If so ask yourself this question “Is it delivering new leads and enquiries on a regular basis?

There are two key elements involved here.

  1. Is your website being found by customers looking for what you sell.
  2. Is your website converting those visitors into enquiries?

If your website is generating traffic but not converting, whoever created your website may not have thought sufficiently about the content.

Before you start writing your website you should ask the following questions:

  1. Who is your website aimed at – who are they, what are they like and what style of website will they react best to?
  2. What are your objectives – do you want your visitors to pick up the phone or email  you, or do you want them to leave their contact details. Perhaps  your website is primarily there to give your business credibility.
  3. Having visited your site what action do you want visitors to take – because whatever it is you will need to tell them.
  4. What is your strategy – what is your strategy for turning visitors into database contacts or sales leads? Are you using testimonials effectively? What about video?

Having asked these basic questions , you must now look at the proposition you are making to your visitors.

Remember you have about 8 seconds to grab your visitors’ attention otherwise they’ll click away.

They’re not interested in you

Also remember they’re not interested in you or your business.

The only thing they are interested in is what you can do for them. Can you solve their problem?

So your first line of text had better tell them what you do and not just from your point of view but more importantly from theirs.

For example if you were a servicing garage, your first line might say:

“ We service, repair and provide MOTs for all makes of car”.

But what the customer really wants you to provide is the security and peace of mind that their car is roadworthy and won’t break down on them.

So your second sentence had better tell them that.

It’s all about taking action

You must also ask yourself whether  the proposition your website makes is compelling enough to  make your visitors take action.

  • What makes you stand out from your competitors – what is there that makes you the right choice for me?
  • Do you offer a guarantee and so remove the risk for me to trade with you?
  • Do you offer a free taster so that I can trial what you offer without it costing me anything?
  • What benefits do you offer me that your competitors don’t?

Only when you’ve answered all these questions and have a genuinely compelling proposition should you  start planning what pages your website should have and how the navigation should work.

After that you will at last be ready to put pen to paper and start writing the words.

Business Development Advisors can help you grow  your business and take it on to the next level. If you’d like to find out more please get in touch