5 Most Common Business Website Mistakes and How to Fix Them
Your website is a crucial part of your sales and marketing activity, so it’s not much help if it fails to convert visitors into customers. So how do you increase that conversion rate and persuade visitors to your site to leave their details, download a document, or purchase a product? The first step is to cut out the mistakes that are common to many business websites. Here are five of them.
No clear value proposition
If you’re already using Google Analytics, take a look at the bounce rate. It tells you the number of visitors who find your website but leave immediately. If the bounce rate is high, your website may not be clear enough.
Can visitors find out what you do within three seconds? That’s typically how long people spend on any given page so the copy can’t be ambiguous. Tell people what you do quickly and succinctly, and give them a reason to stay.
A good example is Insight Sales Monitoring, a website we designed for business owner Rob Moody. On the home page it says: “I help business owners make more sales”. You can’t get much clearer than that!
Popups are those ads that spring up out of nowhere, sometimes filling the whole screen. To carry on reading you have to hunt for the little ‘x’ to close them down. Annoying, right?
If you’re using popups badly on your website, you’re inflicting exactly the same kind of misery on other people that you hate yourself. Far from nudging them to buy, you might well put them off forever.
There is a time and a place for popups, though. Think carefully about the customer journey and you can put them somewhere appropriate. By being relevant at the right time they’re actually helpful, and customers will thank you with their business.
Badly designed popups are nasty for another reason too. They can cause conflicts with other areas of your website, or mess up the mobile experience. It’s best to go bespoke and get a technically sound plugin designed for you.
Slow slow slow
Imagine somebody clicking on a link you’ve posted on social media. It takes them to your website but then… they wait ages for it to load. How long is ages? According to Google, 53 per cent of people will abandon your website within three seconds if they’re viewing on mobile. And once they leave, they’re probably gone forever.
A number of factors affect loading times. They include:
- Large images – they’re slow to load if not properly compressed
- Fancy gimmicks – they can make a website slow and jerky
- Sloppy code – again, they can make a website slow and jerky
Fortunately, it’s not hard to speed things up. First and foremost you need well-written code with everything unnecessary stripped out. Then you need to use suitable formats for images. Use JPEG to keep file sizes small and don’t forget to compress them with tinypng.
Finally, don’t forget that more people browse the web using their phones than desktop computers. Some of those users may well have older, 3G phones so make sure those users don’t have to wait too long for your website to load.
Lack of tracking
Is your social media strategy working? Do you know what kind of content is best for attracting potential customers and sending them to your website? If not, you could be wasting time and money.
The answer is tracking. By tracking visitors to your website, you can improve the success of your digital marketing efforts by doing more of what works.
To do it you need to set up Google Analytics. This will enable you to track KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), including the number of visitors, the most popular pages, and what people are searching for on your website.
UTM links are a good way of tracking your visitors and you can find out which social media platforms traffic is coming from. You embed ‘UTMs’ in custom links, making it a great way to test marketing campaigns. It also works for pay per click (PPC) ad campaigns and offline marketing – anything for which you can create a custom link. It’s straightforward to set up and use Google Analytics, but you can save even more time by automating tracking using inexpensive tools.
Disconnect between marketing and web development
Have you ever paid a lot of money for a new website and found it was out of date within 18 months? Frustrating, isn’t it? Many companies find themselves caught in an expensive upgrade cycle, but it needn’t be that way.
The key to a long-lasting website is where the redesign efforts are led by your marketing team and not your agency. Why? Your marketing team knows your target customers better than anyone and, better still, they’ll have data to help inform design decisions.
Any web designer you work with needs to be able to take this data, and your broader marketing objectives, into account. Those marketing objectives include:
- Who is your business trying to reach?
- How does the site support your marketing objectives?
- What are your customers’ problems?
- Where are you finding your leads right now?
If your website is designed with these objectives in mind, it will deliver results over a much longer period.
To find out how we can help, get in touch.