It’s not easy running any type of business, and especially one that operates exclusively online. There, consumers are bamboozled with more options than they know what to do with, and that means that if your website isn’t up to standard, then you’re going to struggle to win customers. The good news is that it’s usually possible to identify why you’re not attracting as much business as you’d like. Below, we take a look at some of the most common issues that websites face. 

Outdated Design

It doesn’t take long for people to decide whether they like your website or not. We are, after all, a pretty judgemental species, and that judgment extends to our instant impressions of a website. You’ll know this yourself from your own internet use. If you visited a website that had an outdated or awkward design, would you think that it was the website you should be on, or would you look for another site? The design really is important. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to your design, but it should be modern and attractive, and so on. 

Overly Complicated

People want simplicity. They don’t want loads of complications when they’re just trying to get what they need. Some website owners take a ‘more is more’ approach, and fill their site with pages that are only dimly related to their core offering. This is not necessary. Instead, take a ‘less is more’ approach. Your website ultimately exists to serve customers with just a handful of services; put those things front and center, and forget the rest. It’s all about giving your visitors what they came for (and promoting what you can do for them), rather than having dozens of different pages that make navigating your site more complicated. 

Hard to Find

It’ll be impossible to impress internet users if they can’t find you! Many business owners put a lot of effort into making sure that their site looks good and has quality content, but then don’t put enough effort into marketing their site so that people can find it. Ultimately, even if you have the best website and products in the world, it’ll be impossible to find success without visitors. Because getting the attention of internet users can be tough, it’s best to outsource the task to a digital marketing agency. They’ll have the knowledge, experience, and tools you need to get as many people to your website as possible. 

All About You

It’s tempting to think that your website is all about you, but this isn’t the case. It’s actually about your visitors. Some companies fall into the trap of just promoting themselves on their website. While there’s space to share your achievements and what you’re doing as a company, ultimately everything that you’re adding to your website should be viewed through the lens of ‘how does this benefit my customers?’ With that mindset, you’ll be more inclined to post hints and tips that benefit your users, rather than going down the line of self-promotion. People won’t stick around if there’s nothing on their site for them. 

Lack of Evolution

Your website will have begun its life in one shape and form, but it shouldn’t stay there. Things move quickly in the digital world, and what was new and convenient two years ago may seem pretty outdated these days. While you don’t need to rebrand your entire website all the time, you should subtly guide it in the right direction. One of the best ways to do this is to take a look at what new websites are doing. For example, what features and design elements have they incorporated into their site? It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on where the internet is moving to in general, rather than just focusing on your own site.

Typos and Other Errors

Your website should be all about credibility. You don’t want there to be any doubts in the minds of your consumers. When they’re on your site, they should have faith that you’re the real deal. One way that some companies accidentally hurt themselves is by failing to check their website copy. Your website will be hurt if it’s full of typos and other grammatical errors. If you’re not great with words, then keep the text simple, or hire a copywriter to do the job for you. It’s also important to look at the photos that you’re using. There are some pretty corny stock images out there. Don’t use a low-quality image that you’re presenting, as, say, your staff or your happy customers. It’s also always worth buying the photos that you use. There are free stock image websites, but you’ll find that all the best ones are used on many other websites, and your aim is to make your site unique. 

Silver Laptop Computer Beside White Smartphone on Brown Wooden Table

Annoying Aspects

A lot of people like using the internet, but there are some annoying aspects that they would prefer to live without. Indeed, some things are so annoying that they can cause people to click the ‘x’ button pretty quickly.  For example, while it’s fine to have one or two popups spread throughout your site (providing they’re useful for the user), if you’re going overboard, then it won’t be long before they leave. Perhaps top of the list of consumer complaints are websites that autoplay videos with sound. That choice should be up to the user. Dark patterns also score highly on the list of complaints that internet users have. 

No Updates

It’s always strange to go to a website that looks like it hasn’t been updated in a while. It’s like going to a Twitter page, and noticing that the last tweet was from a couple of years ago: it just doesn’t look good. Some companies just let their websites sit there, and it’s easy to see the logic: they’ve said everything they want to say. Still, it’s best to show that the site is alive and kicking. You can do this by doing things like having a blog; a weekly blog can bring a lot of benefits, including helping with your SEO. 

It’s Too Slow

People are impatient, that much we all know. We all take for granted that a website will pop up pretty quickly when we click a link. If it’s loading too slow, and it’s not the fault of their internet, then it’ll have to be a pretty special website to keep people on the page. So it’s important to check the speed of your website, on a variety of devices and in various locations. How fast your website loads for you won’t indicate how fast your site loads for someone in a different country, for example.

How to Get In Touch

You’ll have tried to cover as much as possible on your site, but there’ll be times when people want to get in touch. One of the best ways to build trust with your client base and to show that it’s an actively managed website is to include as many contact methods as possible. At a bare minimum, you should have an email address clearly listed, but if you want to go the extra mile, you should also include live chat support, phone number, and links to your social media pages. And of course, it’s important that you reply promptly.

If you take the above tips, then you’ll find that your website visitors have a generally positive impression of your site. And once they’re sufficiently impressed, they’ll be one step closer to becoming a customer! 

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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