5 Mistakes That Small Business Websites Make
We love passionate small businesses and entrepreneurs. So it breaks our hearts when we see awesome businesses with lackluster websites that are holding them back from the success they deserve. People who are awesome at what they do should have awesome websites that effectively communicate what they do and whom they do it for. Your website should always be working for you by building a relationship with your audience, enhancing your credibility and reinforcing your brand. If your site isn't doing those things for your business, it's usually because of one of the problems below. In this article, we'll break down some of the top website mistakes that drive customers away and talk about how to fix them.
1. It's Hard to Tell What You Do
Some websites leave you scratching your head about a very basic question: What does this business even do, and who exactly do they do it for? Businesses that have this website problem start with good intentions. They want to stand out by being original in how they describe their work. And we're definitely all for that! But you have to remember that the prospects checking out your website are busy and distracted. If they can't quickly determine that your business can address their specific need, they're not going to stay very long on your website.
The solution: Stamp out confusion by striking a balance between creativity and clarity. Feel free to use unique language to talk about your business on your website. But make sure you also include the keywords that your audience (not to mention search engines) will be looking for.
2. It Doesn't Speak to a Specific Audience
Some business owners make the mistake of assuming that their website needs to appeal to everyone. They don't want to rule out anyone as a client or customer. But instead of driving sales, a website that aims for universal appeal ends up hampering your business. There are a couple of reasons why this is true. First, people want to do business with experts. Wouldn't you rather work with a specialist than a generalist? Second, if you try to get everyone to like you and buy from you, you end up erasing the very qualities that will attract the customers or clients you want most.
The solution: Make sure you are clear about the niche your business fills and the people you really want to work with. Instead of trying to be everything to everyone, focus on doing the work you most want to be doing for the people who will most value it. When you use your website to speak directly to the people you want to work with, they will show up. Trust us!
3. The Results or Outcomes of Your Work Aren't Clear
Hiring you is a big decision, and your prospective customers have a lot of options. How can they be sure that you are the right fit to meet their specific needs ? Visitors to your site are looking for proof that you can create the results or outcomes that they need. If all they can find are vague statements like "We have great customer service!" that aren’t backed by any evidence, then your website has a problem.
The solution: Provide proof on your website that you can deliver what your prospects need. Potential clients should be able to picture what is like to speak to you and work with you just from visiting your site. For many small businesses and entrepreneurs, showcasing testimonials from happy clients or customers is one of the best ways to provide proof of results and build credibility through your website. But it's not the only way. You could also use case studies or facts and figures about your experience and the results you create. If your business is visual, a portfolio on your website can demonstrate your expertise.
4. It Looks and Sounds Dated
One of the most common problems we see is websites that don't feel fresh and modern. If your website looks and sounds dated, your audience is going to assume the same about you. Maybe you still have a cookie-cutter template site that doesn't feel custom or reflect the sophisticated level your business is at now. To your audience, a dated website is a direct reflection of your business. It signals that you lack professionalism and attention to detail. (Even if that isn't true in the rest of your business!)
The solution: Take a moment to look at your website as if you are visiting it for the first time. Does it reflect what's currently going on in your business? Is all the information still accurate and relevant? Does it feel memorable? If not, it's time for a design update.
5. It's Just TOO MUCH
If your website feels like just too much work to deal with, your prospects aren't going to stick around. This can happen if your navigation is overly complex: You have too many pages, and it's hard for a site visitor to find the information they're looking for. It can also happen when you cram too much information onto the pages of your site. Research consistently shows that people don't like reading text online. So if your website has lots of long blocks of text, chances are you are alienating your site visitors.
The solution: If your website is feeling a bit bloated, think about what you can eliminate while still giving prospects the information they need about your business. On text-heavy pages, look for alternate ways to convey information. For example, is there information you could convey through an infographic or a video so that your site visitors have less to read?
Want more info about revamping your website? Check out our free guide "How to Create and Write a Great Website." You'll learn more about how to plan your website content, how to organize it and how to make sure your site connects with your dream audience and inspires them to buy from you. Ready for an experienced guide to take your website to the next level? Let's chat. Just fill out our Get Started form to schedule a call with me.