Have you looked at your website objectively lately? When you’re head down running a company, it’s easy to forget that people are forming impressions every day based solely on your website. If your website is badly designed, hard to use or poorly maintained, it could be losing you business.
Bad first impressions
Looks aren’t everything, but on the internet they count for an awful lot. People make first impressions incredibly fast online, typically in just two tenths of a second. Your website needs to look instantly credible or people will leave. If your design or content is poor, outdated or doesn’t accurately represent the nature of your business, you could be losing prospective customers.
How to fix a website that makes a bad first impression
Ask friends, family or acquaintances who have never used your website before for their first thoughts. Alternatively, give us a call and we’ll happily give you an honest assessment of the impression your website is giving your visitors.
It doesn’t work on all devices
As the devices people use to browse the internet change, your website needs to keep up. If your website isn’t responsive (functional on all devices including mobiles and tablets) visitors could be leaving in frustration. Although it is possible to use some non-mobile enabled sites on smartphones, it’s not an ideal experience and could be costing you in lost sales and enquiries.
How to make your website responsive
Although there are many providers offering quick fixes, these are really only a temporary fudge. There is really no substitute for a website built to be responsive from the start. And as the number of people browsing the web on mobiles and tablets is only going to increase, it’s worth taking a long term view and investing in a website that will work on any device.
It doesn’t load quickly enough
There’s plenty of evidence to support the case for ensuring your website meets user expectations when it comes to speed. Put simply, the quicker your site loads, the more chance you have of converting the visitor to a sale or enquiry.
How to fix a slow website
You can find out how fast your website is by testing it either with Google PageSpeed test or Pingdom Website Speed Test. It’s worth testing your site on a few separate occasions as a single result can be misleading. If the test results show your site to be particularly slow (Pingdom provides a helpful benchmark), then you should go back to your web developer and ask them what can be done to make it faster. Code and image optimisation, Content Distribution Networks (CDNs) and caching are all ways to speed up your website at relatively low cost. Changing your web host or redeveloping your site are more drastic solutions.
It’s difficult to use
Good usability is crucial for keeping prospective customers on your website. If it is hard to use or they can’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll go somewhere else. As a quick test, how easy is it to get in touch with you via your website? Are contact details immediately available and easily identifiable, or do you have to hunt for them?
How to fix website usability
Ask a trusted client to review your website objectively – you might be surprised what you find out. If you are having a new website built, make sure the key tasks – for example getting in touch, purchasing a product or signing up to a newsletter – are as easy to achieve as possible. Identifying the type of visitors to your website and the tasks you want them to perform before you build your site will save you a lot of time and money later.
Not optimised to be found for what you do
There are many ways that visitors can come across your website but being found in search engine results for what you do is still without doubt the most important method.
How to optimise your website for search engines
We could write an essay on this subject alone. In simple terms you need to have good quality content that your audience will find, and then find useful. There are no ‘black hat’ methods or secrets that are guaranteed to work. To find out more about how SEO works, read our search marketing page.
Not enough information
Does your website contain enough information to give people confidence in your business, products and services? Seemingly small things – such as including your physical business address and information on staff members – have been shown to have a big impact on how credible you appear.
How to fix a lack of information
Review the Stanford Web Credibility checklist to assess your website’s credibility. It’s likely you know what all the common queries and concerns are around your products and services, so make sure you address these and allay any concerns potential customers may have.
Your website is not convincing enough
What is more credible to someone visiting your website: what you say about your business or what other people say? Increasingly people are turning to social proof as evidence that you are a trustworthy supplier.
How to fix: add social proof to your website
Social proof comes in many forms online. These include:
- Onsite product or service reviews
- TrustPilot and TripAdvisor ratings
- Twitter and Facebook feeds
- Customer testimonials and case studies
- Link to LinkedIn company page or profiles
- Industry membership or affiliations
It doesn’t provoke action
So you have a nice new shiny website and lots of visitors but what action are they taking when they visit?
How to fix: analyse and add a call to action to your website
It’s important that your website persuades and provoke visitors to take action, be it signing up for your email newsletter, buying online or completing an enquiry form. If you have Google Analytics on your website you can analyse your visitors and the actions they take on your website. Adding goals in Google Analytics will allow you to track actions such as form submissions. Adding e-commerce tracking will also allow you to easily measure the levels of sales versus visitors, giving you useful insights and benchmarks before you undertake any conversion rate optimisation.
Curious to know more? Our comprehensive free website audit report covers over 40 aspects of your website including search ranking, social media, technology, content, accessibility and much more.