6 common website mistakes that could be holding your business back (and how to fix them)

Hannah Brice Written by
Hannah Brice

Your website is your “shop window”, your “sales engine” and your customer loyalty tool. Or is it? So many start ups think a cheap simple website build and an off-the-shelf template are all they need to achieve business success. They’re SO wrong. Sorry. Here’s 6 common website mistakes that could be seriously holding your business back (and how to fix them).

1. People can’t find it.

It’s so disheartening after launching your site to search for your brand or certain related keywords and find you don’t feature….for several pages. But that’s the reality for new sites. Unless people have your exact web address, they’re not going to find you.

You need to spend a lot of time or a bit of cash on SEO. This will transform your site with keywords, tags and other clever bits that mean that search engine ‘robots’ can find relevant info on your site and improve your ranking.

For a web audit and quick quote for SEO help, you can email me by clicking on the envelope button next to my mugshot above.

Build a website without considering SEO and you may as well have built your only store in quicksand.

2. Your homepage puts people off.

In an attempt to be “modern”, you’ve chosen a style which is so hard to read that people leave the page before learning anything about you.

Or you’ve bored them to tears with too much text.

Think about your audience. Would they appreciate lots of bright colours, video and motion or would they not? Are they time-poor and comparing you to a milllion others, and therefore need to know your USP, ASAP?

Look at your google analytics and see what your bounce rate is. If people aren’t progressing from your homepage, you have a problem.

3. Your website isn’t mobile responsive.

It’s not complicated for a decent web developer to build a responsive site but it’s a step that’s very often overlooked. Another one of the most common website mistakes.

Think about how you’re audience may reach your site. If they receive an email from you while browsing on their mobile on the train, and then click through and find it impossible to see anything, you’ve annoyed a potential customer!

Also, consider the different internet browsers that people could be using to visit your site. If you have tools or content that won’t work on certain browsers, you could put them off and send them running to your nearest competitor for what they need.

4. You’ve made your site about you, not about what your audience needs.

If your website is filled with information about your company – when you started, where your based, how many staff you have etc – your website visitors are going to leave your site more informed about you. Fine but do they know if you can help them? Probably not. If you think that your website traffic is mostly people looking for a solution to their problem, then you need to make it clear to them, within seconds of them arriving on your site, HOW you solve that problem. So simple and yet so effective.

Leave all that info on why you’re so wonderful to a later stage.

5. Your website takes waaaaaaaay too long to load.

Even if you’ve built a beautiful site and your content is clear and impactful, if your page speed is slow, people won’t hang around. Don’t believe me?

According to research by Aberdeen Group, a one second delay in page load time will mean:

  • 11% fewer page views
  • 16% decrease in customer satisfaction
  • 7% loss in conversions

Scary right?

A way to test your site’s performance is to enter your web address here and Google will suggest some ways to improve it.

The most likely culprits are likely to be image size, number of components that need to load on the page, not deferring larger files from loading until after smaller elements have, and a lengthy server response time.

There are a million articles on this, but a great guide for this stuff is this one from Crazy Egg.

6. You haven’t planned your customer journey.

This is one of the most common website mistakes of all and probably because getting your customer journey right is a bit of a fine art.

It’s all very well attracting lots of traffic to your site but the goal you’re really aiming for is to convert that traffic into sales (or clients). Therefore, you need to think about the steps you make your website visitors take to go from joining the site to purchasing from you. This is the customer journey.

Ideally, there’s an option to buy straight away (for those who know what they want) but then for those who need more information, you lead them on a (short) journey through your site, teaching them new things and convincing them to buy. This is where informative blog posts, customer testimonials and product info pages really help.

To illustrate how this could work:

Step 1: They want to see that you have a product that is effective in solving the problem they have. Where? Homepage. How? Place copy talking about how you help people.

Step 2: They want to see proof it works. Where? Customer testimonial page.

Step 3: They want to see how it works in practice. Where? Info or product tutorial page.

Step 4: They want to buy. Where? Purchase page.

Alternatively, in scenarios where they’re not even sure they want your product, you could get them to your site by running a marketing campaign on an issue related to your product and target audience. You would then build a landing page, and create social content and email marketing campaigns to get them there. Then craft a new journey for them consisting of a series of blog posts and other informative content or tutorials that will show that your option is the best way of solving their problem.

One of Upmarketry’s specialities is building customer journeys like this. And building the campaigns to attract people to you in the first place. So get in touch if you’d like some advice on doing this.

How many of these is your website guilty of?

Don’t worry, these are all very straightforward to fix. And Upmarketry can do it fairly quickly and affordably. As part of the package, we’d also test your new and improved site with members of your target audience to make sure it’s performing as well as possible.  It is your “shop window”, your “sales engine” and your customer loyalty tool after all.

Hannah is the Managing Director of Upmarketry.