If your business website is guilty of any of these deadly sins you are losing money...
How many websites do you visit during the course of an average week?
I have no idea myself, BUT I reckon at least 95% of those that I do visit have got it so far wrong it's untrue.
Do you remember a few years back when web designers were hell bent on showing how clever they were and added those ridiculous slow loading flash graphics on everything they produced? You still get them on car manufacturers sites (but I guess you're there for a reason and are happy(ish) to wait) but I'm pleased to say most other people have seen the error of their ways.
We are all far to busy and impatient to wait for things to load or work out what the site is all about.
Instant gratification and understanding is what we seek.
Most businesses simply don't really understand what their website is for or indeed why they actually have one. They use it as a kind of online business card and we all know what happens to most of them!
Cardinal Sin Number 1 - No real idea what it's for
What is the aim of your website? I want you to really think about that.
Are you trying to sell a product or service? Are you just giving out information and hoping people will ask you for more? Is it designed as a lead generation tool?
The stats speak for themselves. For most websites a massive percentage of visitors, 97-99%, will leave very quickly never to be seen again. You have to give your visitors a reason to stay on your site and VITALLY, you have to capture the contact information of as many visitors as possible because most of them will never return.
And if you've paid for those visits (adverts, pay-per-click etc) that can work out costly.
Whether you are selling a service or a product or just publishing information you have to provide your visitors with information they want to read.
And that information MUST take your visitor on the journey you want for them - to a sign-up form to download a report; to sign up for your newsletter; to a sales page; to an enquiry form; to a phone or SKYPE number - whatever it is you want them to do.
Contrary to the teachings of many online "gurus" a few years back it is NOT about churning out as much content as possible. Posting loads of articles packed with "keywords" just doesn't hack it anymore. People never read that stuff anyway and the search engines just ignore it now.
You have to engage your visitors. Your aim is to build a relationship that ultimately leads to you doing business together.
And that can only happen when you 'connect"
Cardinal Sin Number 2 - Failing to connect
This is the "Big One" for me.
Firstly, you have to use everyday language. Most people hate jargon, especially corporate speak or technical stuff that really means nothing.
Phrases like this...
"Only if you have the core competencies will you be able to action the key deliverables"
...for pity's sake, would you say that if you were talking to a friend? (If you would you're in the wrong place here!) Please say what you mean!
So firstly, you need to talk on the same wavelength as your visitors and potential customers. But, and this is equally if not more important...
You have to engage your visitors.
They have to feel as though you are talking directly to them and if you achieve that you'll be able to do the one thing that most businesses don't and will make ALL the difference to your business...
Cardinal Sin Number 3 - No way to keep in touch
If you don't collect details of who has visited your site you have no way of ever contacting them.
If you take nothing away from this post apart from this you will improve your business...
SIDENOTE: It amazes me how many "real world" shops fail with this too. People wander in, browse a while and walk out. No contact, no conversation, no question as to how the shop might help, no offer of a discount voucher in exchange for contact details.
And surprisingly, nothing is ever sold to that person - and nobody knows if they ever return because they remain anonymous.
And it's even worse online. Most businesses have no idea whatsoever who's visited and they leave with nothing because nothing was offered!
You must immediately start to use a lead capture with lead magnets
I'm sure most of you know this but let me clarify...
You have to offer something of value and relevance (a lead magnet) to your visitors in exchange for their contact details. And to do that you need to link the offer to an Opt-In form (a lead capture) and ultimately an auto responder so you can follow up later.
I tried something different on this post - you would have seen the Red box towards the top of the page offering a pdf version of this post. I didn't ask for anything in return at that stage but if you downloaded the pdf you'll see why.
I'm now going to attempt the unheard of.
I'm going to ask you to give me your email address for exactly the same information as you can get at the top of the page without doing so!
If you're intrigued as to why or perhaps think I might have something else up my sleeve that will be of benefit you might want to click the button below...
Putting it all in place is simple - but only when you know how and have the right tools. What I did above took me just a few minutes to put in place - but I have been doing this for a few years and now have absolutely the best tools for the job.
However you decide to implement this, to be effective you need to be using using a highly polished professional looking page - it's what makes all the difference.
Cardinal Sin Number 4 - Being a mess!
A website with links that don't work, spelling mistakes or misaligned sections doesn't make a good impression.
It's not that you can't be human, we all make mistakes. And your grammar doesn't have to be perfect - but you do need to be professional. After all this is a business and not some blog about a computer game.
You need to gain your visitors trust and you do that by being polished
Cardinal Sin Number 5 - Not having a funnel
It is highly unlikely anyone will buy your product or service the first time they visit your site. There, I've said it!
So your job is to focus on getting them back there, while educating them in the process. After they have made their first commitment - your focus should move to their second purchase and so on. (Watch out for my future post where all is revealed)
And for most impact, you should automate the whole process as far as possible.
Think of it as taking your visitor on a journey from prospect, to subscriber, to customer, to serial customer to raging fan.
We're nearly through so I'll give you one last chance to get a PDF copy of this post but with one difference...
Along with the article you'll also get full details of the exact tools I've used on this page to entice you to click the button!
If you're itching to find out then I must have convinced you of the changes you need to make on your site.
Go ahead, scroll down just a little more.