How Your Website Is Costing You Money
Every business needs a website. If for nothing else, a website gives your business legitimacy in the eyes of your potential customers.
But, what if your business website does the opposite?
How do you know if your website is actually chasing your customers straight into the arms of your competitors?
It can happen faster than you realize. Let us explain more.
Your Website Isn’t For You
Good website design begins with a great mock-up.
It only makes sense. Whether your web designer sends you something called a “wireframe” which is a fancy way of showing you what the design will look like, or they do what we do which is design the home page in WordPress, every business website begins as a mock-up.
Once that design is approved, we move to build out the rest of the site.
But, the feedback we get from our customers tells us if that business owner is used to building his site for himself or not.
This is a crucial mistake.
You see, your business website is not for you, the business owner, at all. Your site is for your paying customers. It only makes sense that if they hate your site, they’ll be less likely to do business with you.
Clearly, the site needs to be attractive, easy to navigate, provide what the visitors are looking for and more, but great design begins with understanding the target market and working to build something that works for them.
This is just one way that websites can cost you cash.
What Is Your Website, Really?
Your website is more than just an online brochure; it’s your 24/7 salesperson, your customer service representative, and your brand ambassador. It’s the first impression you make on potential customers, and it can either make or break your business.
A poorly designed website can hurt your bottom line in several ways.
Here are a few of the most common ways your website could be costing you cash:
Chasing Away Customers
Like having a grumpy old man in a rocking chair screaming at kids to get off his lawn, there are a lot of ways your website can chase customers away. Here are some great ways your website might be failing your business:
- There are a lot of poorly designed, straight-up ugly websites out there. If your salespeople are embarrassed to send prospects to the website because of how dated or ugly it is, you can bet your customers are going elsewhere. But, do you have a culture where that level of honesty is allowed?
- If your website is difficult to navigate or doesn’t have an obvious, prominent call to action, you’re likely losing potential customers.
- If you want phone calls, and your phone number isn’t in a prominent place, you’re losing calls.
- People are impatient and they want to find the information they’re looking for quickly and easily. If they can’t find what they’re looking for on your website, they’ll go somewhere else.
- To the previous point, if your website loads slower than 3 seconds, you can count on losing customers.
- Having too much content can chase prospects away. No one reads giant walls of content. We’ve all become skimmers, so it’s important to break your content down into easy-to-read formats like short paragraphs, bullet points, diagrams, and videos to help engage, entertain, and inform your visitors.
- Images that don’t match the content. Not long ago, we saw a medical website with a beautiful picture of a lake and woods in the hero. The text discussed what the practice did to help visitors stay healthy and absolutely nothing had anything to do with the woods or a nice lake. It was a confusing image, and one rule of thumb in web design is that if you confuse your visitors, you’ll lose them.
- Font size matters. If your target audience includes people 40 years old and above, don’t use small font sizes. At that age, people are beginning to wear bifocals and if your visitor has to squint to read your text, well, they simply won’t. You’ll lose them for good.
- Pop-ups suck. Few things are more irritating than landing on a website only to have a pop-up spring from nowhere that asks you to sign up for a newsletter or a discount when you don’t even know what the site’s about yet. Even worse is when it isn’t clear how to make it go away. Use this technology very
- Trust is always an issue with any business and any website. There are subtle things you can put on your site that help visitors feel more confident in your business. Any awards, credentials, etc. can help. Make sure there are multiple ways the prospect can get in touch with someone in your business in case something goes wrong or if that’s how they choose to deal with you.
- Not having Google Analytics on your site won’t change whether your site is chasing business away or not, but it will help you measure how your website is performing. There’s a business principle here that what’s measured improves, and Google Analytics gives you all the information you need to see how well things are going on your website.
Where Is My Website Again?
When we first started building websites for small to mid-sized businesses nearly 20 years ago, we saw that a lot of business owners had what we called a “Field of Dreams” mindset about their website.
The mindset was, “If I have a website, visitors will just naturally find it and do business with me!”
Even back then, that kind of thinking was largely not correct.
Now, it’s not even a possibility. There are millions of websites launched each day around the world. Google struggles to find them and index them in their search results, so you can bet that there’s some work to be done to make your site more “findable.”
Despite this fact, many business owners never bother with things like search engine optimization, Google Adwords campaigns, developing a Google Business Profile, or any type of social media marketing much less all of the above.
Without any of these, your website will sit comfortably on page 427 and wait for the lonely visitor or two. It’s a simple fact, that having the best website on the internet doesn’t do much good if no one ever sees it.
That’s why it’s important to develop a strategy to put your website, which is the digital front door of your business, in front of as many potential customers as possible. Having no strategy to accomplish this is costing you customers.
A bad website does nothing but chase your best customers straight into the arms of your competition.
Your website is your digital storefront, your 24/7 sales representative, and your opportunity to make a lasting impression. Don’t let a poorly designed or outdated website be the Achilles’ heel of your business success. Take action today and invest in a website that converts visitors into customers and helps you achieve your business goals.
Make It Loud understands the power of a well-designed website. We offer a comprehensive suite of digital marketing services, including website design & development, SEO, PPC campaigns, and social media marketing. We can help you create a website that is not only beautiful but also effective in driving results.
More importantly, we’ll tell you honestly if your website is chasing away customers. It’s not about your feelings. It’s about your livelihood.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Let’s work together to turn your website into a powerful tool for growth.
Cliff Tillery, MBA is the Chief Operating Officer and SEO Director at Make It Loud which is a digital marketing firm located outside of Atlanta Georgia. More than 14 years ago, he started search engine optimization at this award-winning agency and has taught digital marketing skills to business owners at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, the Gwinnett Entrepreneur Center, and other groups.