As a business owner you need to have your own website under your control so that you can add content and manage it as required. This is the place where all of your social media accounts and other online activities will direct people towards so that they can learn about you and what you are offering them. As you can imagine there are ways to do this right and ways to do it wrong, let’s work on making your website work so that your visitors return again and again.
We’ve all visited hundreds of websites before, what sets one apart from another? Some it seems go out of their way to tell you, you are in the wrong place, others frustrate you because even though they look appealing after ten minutes you have still not found the information you were wanting to find and you leave in frustration and yet others seem to just get it right.
The Myth about Websites
We’ve all seen the adverts that anyone can set up a website in five or ten minutes using one particular platform or another. But that’s not the full story, think about baking a cake, you know what the finished product is supposed to look like, but it’s also supposed to taste great and smell wonderfully. Now imagine baking this cake, just because you have the same ingredients as a top chef, it doesn’t guarantee that you will put them together in the right way to come up with a scrumptious cake, in fact it could turn out a complete flop.
It’s the same with your website, just because you throw some parts that an automated website building tool allows you to throw together, it doesn’t mean that the combination you choose will yield a favourable result. It takes skill, expertise and a great deal of thought to create a website that will attract your target visitors and work for you, on a business level.
Website Faux Pas that Drive People Away
What exactly are you doing or not doing to hinder your website business? Here are a few examples.
Your Website is Not User Friendly
There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to find the information you are looking for on a website. If you click on the link in the search results you expect to be brought to that article, not the home page where you have to click around to find it, if indeed you can. Your website should also be mobile friendly (responsive) this is becoming more and more important as more and more people use mobile devices to access the Internet.
Links that don’t work
Test all of your menu items, buttons and links on your website, when people click these and hit 404 error pages they will leave your website to find one that works.
Poor color scheme
There is no point spending lots of time putting together the right information and images if people cannot easily read it. Bright backgrounds make it hard to read, the same goes for lettering in yellow on a white background. This is why so many commercial websites choose black text on a white background, however even here people make mistakes by capitalizing headlines to try and make them stand out, when in practice people read by skimming website content and they cannot do this with if titles are all capitalized and as such they leave.
Now pop ups are and always will be a hot topic, to those that don’t know what they are doing they should be avoided, because who wants to keep closing pop-ups that keep opening every few minutes. Pop-ups distract the reader and are annoying, however in the hands of a marketeer they outperform almost anything with regard to subscription generation.
These are the websites that use hard-sell tactics, if a link says “5 Ways to Get Rid of Pests” you don’t want to reach the website and instead be bombarded with reasons why you should buy a specific product. This is bait and switch, and people don’t respond well to it.
Are you guilty of any of these? Don’t worry, they can be fixed and here are a few additional reasons why websites fail.
Lack of Focus
Almost all websites fail because the focus of the website is wrong, most website designers and almost all businesses think that websites should be about businesses and what they do, what they have done, how great the business is, awards the business has won and so on. Do you notice a trend here, the website is all about the business when really it should be all about the customers of the business and what the business does to solve the problems of these customers.
Old and Boring
Its 2015 so why am I looking at a company website that has a blog post that was last update in 2013? Websites need to be regularly updated with new content, images and blog posts and yes, I do believe every single website should have a blog. Let me explain why, most websites are almost static in nature and are rarely updated, a blog on the other hand should be regularly updated with new posts. By doing so you gain a higher search engine position, attract more visitors and these visitors will come regularly to your blog and those you engage with will also read your company pages.
As you can imagine after twenty years of building websites, I could continue to list things out, the real secret however to online success is knowing your audience, and you know yours don’t you?