April_15_2013_driving_away

Is your website driving people away?

Are you doing enough to attract people to your website?

Are you using the right keywords and phrases? Are you active on social media channels? Do you have a blog? Have you tried pay-per-click advertising? Are you sending out an email newsletter? If you answer yes to most of these, then you can pat yourself on the back. But why — when you look at the analytics — do you find that visitors are taking one look at your website and leaving again?

Your website is your online calling card — it is the hub of all of your marketing activity. It is the place that you are driving everyone to in the hopes of converting interested browsers into loyal buyers. But is it up to the job?

Here are eight ways that your website could be putting people off:

It’s all about you and not about them

Do a “we” and “you” count on your website. Is your copy all about you? It’s time to change the focus — tell your audience what you can do for them. Show that you understand their needs and can solve their problems. And make sure this is crystal clear on your home page.

Living in the past

Many businesses use the About Us pages to write a potted history of the company. Stop living in the past and refocus your content on what you do in the here and now. Describe what you offer clearly, show how you can help and make it relevant to your audience today.

Jumping through hoops

If you run an ecommerce website, work out how many stages someone has to go through to buy from you — and then try and reduce them. Do they have to register first? Is that really necessary? Make sure you offer automatic address look-up options — they speed things up and improve accuracy.

The waiting game

Slow-loading website pages are a massive turn-off. All the research shows that faster speeds lead to more business, it’s as simple as that.

Outdated content

If you’ve got a news or blog page, you must keep it up to date and fresh. If someone arrives on a page and the most recent post is several months old, it looks unprofessional and it could even suggest that you may have gone out of business.

What’s the answer?

The great thing about a website is that it can provide all the information that your customers need in one place. So when they make contact, they’ve done their research and are often ready to buy. I was researching hotels online recently and one website was asking customers to email them if they wanted a copy of the latest menu! That is absolutely daft. Give your customers the answer without them having to ask.

The proof of the pudding

It’s tempting to brag about your achievements on your website. But instead of blowing your own trumpet too much, let your customers do the talking. Testimonials and case studies are a great way of demonstrating your credentials and proving that you are the right people to do business with. Without that third-party endorsement, you’re expecting new customers to take you on trust.

Not so smart

More and more of us are doing our searching online via our smart phones. If your site doesn’t look good on a mobile phone — and especially if it’s hard to use — you are alienating a growing number of potential customers.


Written by Rachel Miller.

Rachel Miller is the editor of Marketing Donut. The Donut websites (Law DonutIT DonutTax DonutStart Up Donut and Marketing Donut) are packed with blogs, advice, news, offers and resources for small businesses.

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