7 website mistakes that will kill your sales
Your company website is one of the most important pieces of marketing your business has.
It’s critical to have an effective website because when someone hears about your company for the first time and they’re intrigued, you can pretty much guarantee their next stop is your website to see if what you have to offer can help them.
Unfortunately for many businesses, their websites stink.
Like a steaming pile of…..well, you know. That’s a problem because it’s costing a lot of great businesses sales. And that’s just wrong.
Many owners and leaders push off fixing their website because understandably, they have a lot of other things to worry about with their business.
Maybe that’s ok right now while the flood gates are open and you have too much business to deal with, but what will happen if things slow down?
When your prospects visit your website and then your competitor’s website, will they choose you or them?
But knowing trying to develop a great website can be overwhelming.
What should I say? What sections do I need to have? What type of imagery should I use?
I’ve found one of the best ways to create a great website for your business is to start with knowing what should you avoid doing wrong.
Knowing what not to do is one of the best ways to ensure you create a great website.
If you want to attract more customers, grow your business, and stop worrying about one of the most important pieces of your marketing collateral, there are 7 website mistakes you need to avoid:
Talking Too Much About Your Company
“Your customer is the hero of the story, not your brand.” –Donald Miller, CEO of StoryBrand
Many companies think their websites should be all about them. Their website should, “tell their story.”
Breaking News: Your customer doesn’t care about your business. They only care about how your business can help them solve the problem or need they have.
To illustrate my point, when you go to a business’s website, say a high-end car dealer, do you go to learn about how their grandfather started their dealership, their company history, how big their team is, and how their employees love working at their dealership?
No, of course not! You want to see their amazing collection of high-end cars.
The same thing goes for your company’s website.
Your website and the message you communicate should be entirely devoted to your customer.
It’s all about what your customer wants, not you. So design a website that demonstrates how you help your customer.
Saying Too Much
Many companies make the easy mistake of trying to tell their customers everything they do on their websites. Their website turns into the Encyclopedia Britannica.
They think, the more they show what they know, the more their customers will be impressed.
At best, your customers will glaze over your website, think TLDR, and be out of there. At worst, you’ll sound like Frasier Crane: stuffy, pompous, and like a boring know-it-all. (I know…Frasier is a timely reference, yes?!?)
Your customers want relevant information fast.
And here’s a sad, but true statement. Many of us think we have steel vaults for memory but in reality, research shows we can remember around three things max.
The more things you tell your customers beyond those three things, the more likely they are to forget. But they don’t just forget one or two of things, they forget everything you’ve told them.
Here’s a quick tip: The company that communicates how their product or service solves their customer’s problem in the simplest way, wins.
The faster you can tell your customers how you solve their problem, the faster they’ll buy.
If you want to attract more customers your website should only include the vital pieces of information that a customer needs to know to do business with you.
This doesn’t mean you should skimp out of information.
You just need to determine what’s absolutely critical for your customers to know based on where they are in their journey. Here’s a good resource that can help you out.
Using Vague Language
Figuring out what to say that compels a customer to purchase your product or service is hard.
So when it comes time to write a brand message, or a company tagline, or a headline for a website, many companies resort to cliched messaging that ends up being a distraction. And in your marketing, words count.
You’ve probably heard, or maybe even used them before. Phrases like:
- We’ll treat you like family
- Your business is our business
- Your journey starts here
- Passion moves us forward
- We believe in innovation
- Honesty, integrity, reliability
- Or basically any phrase with the word synergy in it
What do these statements tell your customers about your business and how you help them? Nothing!
With messaging like that, you’ve effectively given your customers a homework assignment: figure out what I do.
Don’t leave it up to them to figure out what you do, tell them what you do and what they’ll get as a result.
Not Talking About Your Customer’s Problem
If you want your customers to listen and pay attention to you, then you need to give them a reason to continue engaging with you.
So how do you do that?
You talk about your customer’s problems as it relates to your product or service.
Your customer’s problem is your why. If you don’t solve a problem they have, they don’t need you.
Talking about your customer’s problem is your hook to keep them engaged.
Once you’ve hooked them, reel them in by making them feel the problem they have so they finally address their issue. This is what master copywriter Ray Edwards calls amplifying. You must amplify your customer’s pain to get them to pay attention.
Once you’ve done that, that’s when you present your product or service as the solution to their woes.
If you’ve properly amplified the problem they’re experiencing, it will be impossible for them to not find the solution and fortunately for them, your company has the solution.
With your help and your product, you show your customer a glimpse of what the future looks
like…and it’s glorious!
Take a look at your marketing material and your website. Are you talking about a compelling problem?
Does your customer immediately understand what problem you solve for them?
What will their lives be like after they use your product?
Tell a clear story, make your customer the center of that story, talk about the problem they have, and show them the way to overcome it…hint: it’s with your product.
Not Having A Clear Call To Action
Not having a clear call to action button on your website is the equivalent of a retail store hiding its cash register. How the heck do you buy something if you can’t find the cash register?!?
Strong calls to action are not:
- Learn more
Those are weak and confusing. Not having a strong call to action makes you sound like you don’t believe in your business.
A strong call to action can be:
- Sign up
- Buy now
- Schedule a call
- Get a quote
Make sure your website has a strong call to action in a contrasting color button that is clearly visible in the center of your homepage. Place it in multiple sections of your homepage as you scroll down.
That’s a website that says, “we’re open for business and we can help you.” Make it easy for your customer to do business with you and they’ll take action.
Using photos and visuals that don’t show your product or service in use
The right words + the right visuals = more business
Not being clear and obvious in the messaging you use on your website is just as bad as not using photos and visuals that show your product or service in use solving your customer’s problems.
Your website needs to tell and show your customers what you do, how you help, and how their life will be better after buying from you.
Unfortunately, many websites use photos and imagery that have absolutely nothing to do with their business, product, or service.
They choose beautiful, picturesque scenic photos because they look awesome. But that only works if you’re a tour guide or travel blogger.
If you’re a financial advisor, have photos of happy clients meeting with your team as they develop a financial plan.
If you have a residential pressure washing business, don’t just have a photo of a nice house. Show your team transforming a dirty house into a sparkling clean house and make sure to have great before and after photos.
Use graphic icons that complement your website messaging to make it easy to scroll your site and gain bits of useful information fast.
Your photos should make it clear and obvious what you do. Even better, they should tell a story.
Your customers should be able to look at the photos on your website and picture themselves having an incredible life.
Assuming if you build it, they will come
This is probably the most common mistake businesses make.
They assume if I have a website that looks great, sounds great, and does all the right things, then their customers will flock to them.
You have to give people a reason to come to your website.
You have to develop a strategy to get people to your website.
Side note: the fallacy of “if you build it, they will come” is also true if you’re developing a new product or service, or you’re a startup.
LeanMastery, a startup incubator, sees this problem all the time. Many people believe if they create an amazing product, people will just naturally flock to it. The same principle applies here. You have to get people to your product and your website or else they’ll never know about it.
Depending on your business and the stage you’re at, getting people to your website, is most likely a combination of paid ads and unpaid strategies to get people to you.
The point is, your website is only as good as the work you put in place to get people to you.
If your customers don’t see your website, they won’t know about it.
Creating an effective website can be overwhelming.
What should you say?
What should it look like?
What sections do I need to have on my homepage?
I’ve found oftentimes the best place to start is not with what should your website have, but rather what should you avoid. What mistakes should you steer clear of to make sure your website is a success.
Often knowing what not to do is the best place to start.
Avoid the 7 mistakes listed above, and you’ll be leaps ahead of your competition.
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