If your business website is lost somewhere in the search engine wilderness – struggling to attract visitors and failing to meet your goals and expectations – it’s high time to ask: “What’s Wrong With My Website?”
The Design Myth
First up, let’s dispense with the myth that in order to succeed online, you need a flashy and expensive website. Some of the most successful business websites are no more than one simple (but perfectly executed) page.
But while you don’t necessarily need to splash the cash on design, your site most certainly does need to tick a few essential boxes:
* Design is clean and user-friendly. Your visitors should be able to see what your site is about the moment they arrive. Don’t confuse them with clutter.
* Loading time is no longer than a few seconds. Anything more and your visitors will click off.
* Technical Compatibility – Your site should look the same on all internet browsers and fit neatly on the screen without the need to scroll to the right. Mobile/Tablet optimization is also becoming a must-have.
* Navigation is clear and easy to use.
* Links are working.
* Contact Info is prominently displayed at the top of your site (above the fold).
Assuming these basic elements are in place, let’s move onto the nitty-gritty of why most business websites underperform. It begins and ends with the single most important thing…
What Every Visitor to Your Site Is Looking For
Web users quickly scan for vital statistics the way singles eye one another up in a nightclub. They know precisely what they’re looking for:
* Who You Are
* What You Do
* What’s In It For Them
If these three things aren’t immediately apparent, then nothing else really matters. Because your prospects will click off within six seconds.
So how can you convey this vital information quickly and compellingly?
The Internet may have revolutionized the way we do business, but it still adheres to the tried-and-tested principles of advertising. Your website needs a strong headline that grabs your readers’ attention and lets them know what’s in it for them.
Once you’ve got their attention, you next need to…
Make It As Easy As Possible
Your visitors should be able to undertake desired tasks in just a few clicks.
Web users get frustrated and click off if they can’t quickly find what they’re looking for. Your site needs a logical and efficient structure and persuasive calls-of-action.
The problem with a lot of business websites, however, is they focus too much on themselves, and not enough on their customers…
Give ‘Em What They Want
Knowing exactly what your visitors are looking for can help you better understand how to meet their needs.
So how can you read their virtual minds?
* Find out more about your target market through analytics.
* Provide a questionnaire.
* Once you learn what your customers are looking for, cater to them.
* Adjust and improve.
Spying on your competition is another way to better understand your market. It can also help you stand out from the crowd…
How to Out-Maneuver Your Competition
How can you persuade your prospective customers to choose you and not your competitors?
The most effective way to pummel your online competition is to ensure your web message is hard-hitting, persuasive and – most of all – customer-centric.
Your website is only as effective as the message it conveys. If the words fail to persuade your visitors to act, no amount of fancy design or search-engine optimization can fix your website.
Learn more insider tips and tricks to ensure your web content is doing its job. This article was written by UK web content consultant and small business proofreader/copyeditor Marianne Gonne, who has been writing, editing, publishing, marketing, selling and helping clients online in various guises since 1997.