It’s time to ask yourself some very tough questions about your business website.
When it was built, you loved it. The design was of its time, the customer journey was well thought out and it reflected your brand values perfectly. Things change, though; web design trends and best practices evolve, and can outdate websites – fast.
For example, it was only recently that Google switched to a mobile-first index, placing the previous king of the search result jungle (the desktop-optimised website) firmly into second place. As a result, any website that has failed to take small screens seriously is likely to see its rankings drop significantly.
If your website isn’t receiving the volumes of traffic it once enjoyed or if your analytics tell regular tales of people dropping out of the visitor journey at crucial points, there’s a good reason for it – but you’re not going to like it.
People hate your website.
Here’s seven reasons that might be the case:
- It isn’t mobile-friendly
It bears repeating: the mobile-first Google index is now live. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, it’ll disappear without trace.
It’ll also frustrate visitors. If you’ve ever cursed a website’s inability to display correctly on your smartphone, you’ll know exactly what we’re referring to. You have seconds to make a good impression online, and the first one you make will almost certainly be on mobile device these days.
- Google says it isn’t secure
Google is now making its dislike of insecure websites obvious to users. If your website doesn’t have an SSL certificate, it isn’t secure – and Google knows it.
Online security is something that is at the top of everyone’s minds in the digital age – make sure you give the people that browse your website ultimate peace of mind by implementing HTTPS encryption (it isn’t as expensive as you might think).
- It features a laborious slideshow
We’ve all seen and been frustrated by them; the seemingly endless slideshow that sits atop many business websites will make or break the user experience.
Slow load times and acres of text and imagery don’t make for an engaging slideshow. Stick to three slides max and keep both the copy and images punchy and relevant. No one will sit through eighteen slides of War and Peace.
- There’s too much waffle
As previously noted, you have mere seconds to catch someone’s attention online. Spend forever getting to the point, and you’ll lose them after the first paragraph.
Every word, sentence and paragraph on your website should tell an engaging story and have a purpose. Keep it short, concise and focused on the target market.
Which brings us onto our next point…
- You’re saying “we” too much
Customers only care about themselves. They don’t care about your heritage, countless years of service or the cabinet full of awards in the boardroom.
What can you do for them? What questions do your products and services answer? What’s in it for the person visiting your site?
Focus every element of your website on the user and stop staying “we” – naval gazing business websites simply don’t work.
- The calls-to-action are weak (or non-existent)
What do you want the people who visit your website to do once they’ve finished browsing? Without the right calls-to-action (CTAs), they’ll simply leave without making any form of contact, making the whole episode a rather pointless exercise.
Bearing in mind that every visitor will have different needs, you need to offer as many relevant CTAs as possible. Some will want a quote, others will want to download additional content, while many will just want to contact you.
Provide visitors with multiple options for completing their journey and they’ll make a decision that will offer you a vital insight into their position within the buyer’s cycle.
- You’ve used too many tacky stock images
Stock imagery has its place, but use too much of it, or skimp on the low quality stuff, and you’ll quickly turn off website visitors.
Investing in unique imagery that is relevant to your business is smart. A day with a photographer might feel lavish, but it will result in images that will make your website jump off the page and fully reflect your business’s brand values.
Close that Google Images window!
The dawning realisation that people hate your website isn’t particularly pleasant, but it’s a crucial step in building a web presence you can be proud of and rely on to attract quality traffic.
From quality traffic comes pre-qualified leads – so, ask yourself each of the questions above, and make changes where your business website falls short. Now.