Long gone are the days when you could just throw up any old Website and expect it to drive leads, bring in clients, make sales or grow your list. It’s simply become way too competitive out there. If your site isn’t designed specifically to get your ideal client or customer to take notice—and take action—they probably won’t.
This is even more important if you’re using social media and other kinds of marketing to drive traffic to your Website or blog (and you should be!). Because if it isn’t designed strategically your site is going to keep costing you far more than it makes you. Not a good thing.
Unfortunately, too few Web designers and developers know enough about sales and marketing to do effective Website planning. And too few entrepreneurs know enough to realize they aren’t getting a site designed to make sales and grow their business.
To help you get a business-building, money-making site, below are six common yet costly mistakes and how to fix them. Resolving even one of these can dramatically increase your results!
Your Banner is Too Big
If your banner (i.e. the graphics at the top of your Web page) takes up more than four inches, shrink it. You’re wasting some of your most valuable marketing space. And chances are visitors won’t scroll because they won’t realize there is anything worth seeing below.
Your Navigation is Confusing
When someone lands on your site, they typically spend maybe four seconds figuring out if you have what they want. So navigation that’s clear and consistent is key. That means having no more than nine main navigation options… Making them easy to find… And choosing names that make what you’ll find when you click crystal clear. Because few people have time to search around or randomly click links just to see what’s there.
No Call to Action
Every page of your site should ask the visitor to do something: go here for more info, buy now, register, call, watch a video, whatever. You must tell people what to do next, and make doing it simple and obvious, or there’s no telling what they might do. But it probably won’t be what you’re hoping for.
Not Enough Information
You can’t make anyone take action until and unless they’re ready. So you always have to consider exactly what information they need in order to confidently take that action. At a minimum that means answering all their questions and dealing with all their objections. Typically the lower the cost of the action, the less info you need to share. Keep in mind, however, that even clicking to a new page means the visitor is paying you in their valuable, irreplaceable time. Ditto asking for space in their already overcrowded Inbox—even if your offer itself is free.
Too Much Information
Every page of your site—even your home page—should be focused on one topic only. The goal of the info on your home page is to let visitors know they’ve landed in the right place, tell them what you offer and to whom, and get them interested in learning more. Then help them find the specific info they want in two clicks or less. If you sell three services and five products, don’t list them all on the home page. You’re only going to confuse people. Instead make your home page an overview and/or use it to promote your free offer. Then, use navigation links, content links or buttons to help people find what they’re after quickly.
Your Site Is Egocentric
Is your site all about you, your services or products, your company, your history, your experience, etc? If so, then you’re like the guy at the party who only talks about themselves—repellant. Instead focus your site on your ideal client or customer. Talk about their wants, needs, problems or goals, and how you can help. Show how they’re going to benefit by choosing your products or services over the competitions’. Then there’s a good chance they actually will.
Source: Stacy Karacostas
Practical marketing expert and business lifestyle architect