Technology has evolved at a massive rate over the last decade. Both the internet and smart phones are now an integral part of everyday life. Smart phones are now the primary way that prospects search for information. Website optimisation is therefore essential if you want your business to stand any chance of succeeding. Your business’s marketing, information, and services need to be easy to find and easy to consume.
Irrespective of the size of your business – you need a website. And if you want your business to flourish, website optimisation is essential to ensure that your site is more than just an electronic brochure. Your website is a key element is delivering marketing success. It needs to attract leads, help convert leads into customers, and ensure that current customers return for repeat sales.
If your website is outdated, neglected, or just simply poorly designed – it’s costing you thousands in lost monthly revenue.
Is your business under-performing? Maybe your website is to blame?
Here are 5 ways in which your website could be costing you new and repeat business.
No, Or Ineffective Call To Action
Exactly what you require your visitors to do will of course depend on what your business is all about.
- Do you want them to sign up for a free trial?
If so, a simple hyperlink linking to the “free trial” page, with the text ‘Click here for your free trial” is all that you need to do.
- Do you want them to browse your service or products?
If so, ‘Click here to browse our full range of products/services’ etc.
Place these clickable links strategically throughout your website’s content, ensuring you don’t overwhelm the customers with too much text or content.
A few carefully placed links with a call to action will lead your customers to click them, view your products, maybe see something they like, and purchase it.
A Site Layout That Sucks … 🙁
On average, a new site visitor only spends six seconds evaluating whether to stay on the site, or to click the back button and go visit somewhere else.
If your website’s most important information is buried ‘under the fold’ – i.e. off the screen, then there’s a very good chance it’s not being seen. The layout of your website is one of the most important factors to consider when designing a website. Although there are a number of “create your own” website tools out there – it’s advisable to hire a professional web designer to create your website.
You need to think about what each page should say, and then strive to say it with the least amount of text. Most of your website visitor want to browse your products and services – not to read long walls of text. They want to find what they’re looking for as quickly and easily as possible. Make sure you keep the text to a minimum. Also – don’t try to include too many images, and make sure each page is well balanced.
A Design That Is Outdated
A great website design can validate to consumers that your business is a legit, professional business. Done properly – it can either boost your reputation. On the other hand. a poor website can turn prospects away.
Trying to save money by doing it yourself is a case of penny wise, pound foolish. You’ll lose many potential customers – losing far more money than you’ll save by your DIY efforts.
So do it right the first time. Hire a professional web design service and make sure your website looks contemporary, attractive, and allows customers to easily engage with your business.
No Social Networking Links
Social networking is now also an integral part of everyday life. Whether you like it or not, it looks set to stay that way for the foreseeable future.
If you don’t have a social networking presence for your business, you need to getting that set up ASAP. Social networking can provide free, or very cheap marketing and advertising. Well over a billion people visit social networks every day, and it’s an ideal way of potentially drumming up more business.
Once you’ve created Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Pinterest pages, you’ll need to ensure that you provide links to each of these social sites on your website. These links provide a way of keeping in touch with potential customers, and keeping them up to date with what’s going on within in your business and market.
Let’s say you are having a sale. By promoting this sale through the social networking sites, you’ll have a direct line of communication to people who are already interested in what you’re selling.
Your friends, fans and followers will see the amazing deal you’re offering, and will likely take advantage of it because you’re speaking directly to your target audience. If your post is lucky enough to go viral, your sales could explode.
We mentioned calls to action earlier. Social networking links are prime examples of how effective a call to action can be. Simple text such as “Stay Informed by liking us on Facebook” with a direct link to your Facebook page is all that is required, and it’s proven to be extremely effective.
A Site That Isn’t Mobile-Friendly
These days, at least 50% of search engine traffic is via mobile devices. As smart phones have matured, and especially due to the larger, better quality screens, more and more people are using mobile devices to browse the web, rather than using laptops or desktop computers. A website that isn’t mobile friendly will be excluding an ever-increasing segment of prospects. Even worse, you could be driving away your current customers.
Websites that aren’t mobile-responsive appear incredibly small on smart phones screens. This forces the visitor to try to enlarge the text and scroll left, right, up, and down to navigate through the page.
Clickable tabs on the page are often accidently clicked on – taking the reader onto another page of the website. The overall experience is one of extreme frustration.
Your website visitors are not going to waste time struggling to read your website content if navigation is difficult. They’ll search for simpler alternatives – your competitors with mobile friendly websites.
Mobile friendly (responsive) websites recognize when a user is browsing the site with a smart phone. They display the page text in the perfect size for the mobile device’s screen. There’s no need to enlarge the text, and they’re less likely to accidently click through to another page.
A responsive design typically arranges the layout for vertical scrolling. In some instances, less relevant content is not displayed to reduce the amount of scrolling – thereby reducing page abandonment before the end of the article is reached – often where there’s a summary, and a final call to action.
Contact Information That’s Hard To Find
Studies have found that providing your contact details on every page of your website is the most effective way of maximizing your potential to increase your sales.
Many businesses make the mistake of placing their contact information only on their ‘Contact Us’ page. In some cases, it’s impossible to find their details anywhere. Your website visitors don’t want to struggle finding a telephone number or email address. They want to find what they’re looking for as quickly as possible.
You can easily eliminate any visitor frustration by listing your business phone number, your operating hours and business email address at the top and bottom of every page. Better still – include links to your social networking pages with your contact information.
The easier you are to get hold of, the more likely you will be to land yourself extra leads and sales. You get the results you want, as does the customer as they easily get to find exactly what they’re looking for without wasting time by navigating through page after page.
A final point on your contact information is that you must ensure that it is always 100% accurate. If your telephone number, email address, or physical address details change – make sure that you update your site immediately. Providing a map of how to get to your business is often used by local businesses – but this is only useful if it’s accurate. Sending people to the wrong location is worse than not providing a location.