As a small business owner, your website is just about the most powerful marketing tool you have. Time and time again, when I meet with clients needing a new website, they simply want something they can point people to. You know, so they can “check us out online.” This is extremely common for businesses that don’t really sell anything on their websites, and just want to get people to pick up the phone, or come into their brick and mortar store.
But I’m here to tell you that your website can be a huge tool for you to use to get more leads, and more customers. Regardless of if you sell anything online or not. But only if you do it right.
Let’s talk about the biggest mistakes small businesses make with their websites that end up losing them valuable customers, and how you can easily overcome them.
Your Website is Losing Customers if …
1. There’s No Call-to-Action
Every website needs a goal. Maybe it’s to make a sale. Maybe it’s to convince someone to come to your physical location. Or maybe it’s just to get an email address. In any case, the goal should be crafted as a “call-to-action” (CTA) that you want every visitor to take on your site. So make sure you design with this ultimate goal in mind, funneling people to that specific goal.
2. Your Website is All About You
When businesses come up with the copy that will go on their websites, they usually default to talking about themselves as a business. “We’re a hair salon that has been in business since 1989, and we love what we do.” We’ve all seen this a million times.
Unfortunately, your customers don’t really care about you, or even what you do. They only care how you can help them. So be specific, and speak succinctly about how what you do or sell will impact their lives for the better. Tell them what they will get, and more importantly, what that will do for them.
3. You’re Forgetting the People Who are “Just Looking”
As many as 96 percent of the people coming to your website aren’t ready to buy yet. They may be researching options with the intent to come back later. Unfortunately, they will probably forget once they decide to pull the trigger. So, by just pushing for a quick sale in the short-term, you may be missing out on the long-term benefits.
In order to fix this, and stay in the minds of your prospects throughout their decision-making process, you’ll want to get as many email addresses as you can. This way, you can continue to market to them through email and Facebook re-targeting until they are ready. But before you simply add a form inviting customers to “sign up for your newsletter,” you should come up with some sort of incentive you can offer in exchange for the email addresses. This will dramatically increase the number of emails you capture, increasing your marketing reach.
4. You Have a Tired, Out-of-Shape Design
If your current website looks dated, or is just plain ugly, you’re going to turn off a large chunk of your audience. Not just because it’s an eyesore, but because it makes you look much less credible as a business.
If it’s time for a redesign, find a web designer or agency that not only has a great eye, but knows all about what makes for an excellent user experience. This will ensure more prospects find your site easy to use, thus increasing your click-through rates and conversions.
5. Where’s the Trust?
It’s pretty simple: If your site visitors don’t trust your business, they will keep looking.
We’re all intrinsically wired to avoid risk, so we often go for the option that we deem to be the safest. Think about when you browse products on Amazon. If there are multiple options of the same product, you look at the star ratings, don’t you? When you choose a restaurant or car mechanic, you probably turn to Yelp. You want to see that others have used and vetted these services already, minimizing your perceived risk.
Well you can use the same principles, and let prospects know that you are tested and approved by your current customer roster by adding testimonials to your site. Simple text will do, but try to add a photo of the real person who left the testimonial when possible, and if you can include a few video testimonials, even better.
Online Shopper Photo via Shutterstock