So, you got a business website, great! You went through the entire process, finally launched it after countless revisions, emailed all your friends and clients about it but few months later still nothing happens. You don’t see much traffic coming to the site, no prospects approach you through it and you begin to wonder if your contact form is actually working.
You become more and more frustrated with the whole thing and hearing stories how great business other people get from their sites certainly doesn’t help.
So, what’s wrong?
Fair chance is that your site has become a dry land, a place no one even dares to visit and it may be due to some of the most common web mistakes many businesses make.
1. Cheap or unattractive designNo matter what your company does, your prospects and clients buy with their eyes. And the way your site looks makes them to either buy or go somewhere else quick. Your website should be designed to visually communicate with your target audience and build a professional image of your company. Unfortunately good design is often sacrificed to reduce production cost without considering the impact it will have on your sites reception.
2. Not telling the visitor what to expect from the siteA visitor comes to your site with one goal in mind, to find out if you can help him solve his problem. This may be anything related to what you do and your job is to convince him that you provide all services and expertise required to do so. Instead many website owners start their content with the company’s history or other useless information your prospect doesn’t really care about.
3. No call to actionWhen you create your website you should you should have an objective you want your visitor to complete in mind. It may be viewing your recent work or contacting you for a quotation. The key is to communicate it to your visitor and lead him through your site to complete it. Many websites ignore this step hoping that the visitor will figure out the objective himself. Unfortunately this rarely happens.
(To find out more about creating calls to action for your site, read my post about them here.)
4. Content that doesn’t fill the promiseEvery prospect lands on your site because of the promise it made. It may have been an ad you placed somewhere, or simply the name or your company or your sites URL. He will expect that promise to be fulfilled and if your content does so, the website becomes the first step in building trust in you and your company. Otherwise it may only show that you care more about yourself than your client, which never helps with building client relations.
5. Confusing sites structureThe last thing you want from your user is to go in circles to find the information he is looking for. He should be able to find out if your company can help him almost instantly. If he has to search for that information, most likely he will go to your competition. Instead of focusing on you and your company, think of the user and have your website designed for him, not you.
A great resource to learn about usability and how to make your site as much user friendly as possible is a book by Steve Krug called Don’t Make Me Think.
6. Lack of any promotionBuild it and they will come. I bet you heard that old saying. Unfortunately web doesn’t work like that. In order to get visitors in you need to promote your site. That means making it search engines friendly, maybe advertising it online if you can afford it and sticking it’s URL on your marketing collateral. Unfortunately many website owners think that once they got their site, the traffic will come by itself. In reality, getting people to your site requires hard work and unless you are willing to put it, your site may never take off.
Websites are great marketing tools. These days, in most industries prospects search for vendors and products online making having a business site even more appealing. However, unless you do all it’s elements right and create it to sell, you may only waste time and resources on it.