Your website can be a powerful tool for marketing you and your business. It gives you a platform to reach your audience, to connect with your ideal clients, and to show them how you can help them. Whether you have a local or an international business, a website can definitely boost your sales!
You can’t just throw up a website and hope for the best, though. There are certain things you need to do to make your website effective, and it’s easy to make website mistakes that cost you sales and income.
Here are 5 costly website mistakes that many entrepreneurs make, with some tips on how to avoid making these mistakes yourself.
Mistake #1. Leaving YOU out of the website
I often come across websites that are all about the business, but there is no mention of WHO is behind the business. No name, no pictures, just a company name and logo. Those sites almost never get my business, because I want a more personal connection when doing business with someone. And I’ll bet I’m not the only one!
Please, don’t hide behind your business name or logo. Your customers want to connect with YOU, not your business. Own it. Stand proud and tall, with your beautiful smile shining out from your website. It’s okay to be seen.
Use your photo, name and a fun bio on your website. Let people know where to connect with you on social media. Use the same language and wording that you use when talking to your friends. Share tidbits about who you are, some of your other interests or things you’re up to, to make it even more personal and friendly.
Connect with your customers. Be you. The world needs you.
Mistake #2. Too much clutter and confusion
We’ve all seen cluttered websites. The page opens up and there is sooo much to see and do, so many options. We have text everywhere to read, flashing images or graphics, a million links to other parts of the website. And if something doesn’t catch our eye right away, we’re gone. Because it’s too confusing and overwhelming to even try to figure out where to start!
There’s a belief that we need to give someone every possible option, just in case they don’t like the first one (or the second, third, etc). But the truth is, this just makes it confusing for website visitors. If there is too much to choose from, it will quickly feel overwhelming and they’ll just click away.
So focus on ONE action that you want them to take when they come to your website. If that visitor were to only do ONE thing while there, what would you want them to do? Do you want them to purchase a product? To sign up for a free consultation? To subscribe to your newsletter?
Then make that ONE thing the focus of your site. Have it front and center, in a prominent place on the page. Make sure it’s easy to see, catches the eye, and makes it clear what they need to do next.
As you add other elements to the page, ask yourself if it REALLY needs to be there? And if it is something you really want on there, make sure it doesn’t detract from that ONE thing you most want them to do.
Mistake #3. Not capturing email addresses
It’s far easier to sell something to people who already hear from you regularly and are familiar with you, than to complete strangers who have just stumbled across your website for the first time. In fact, people typically need to come in contact with you 7 times before they’ll buy from you online.
You need to capture those visitors and keep in touch with them. And in order to be able to keep in touch with them, you need to get their email address.
Another mistake I see with this is when people try to do this by putting a little form on their site and saying, “Sign up for my newsletter”. Tell me, when was the last time you thought, Hey, I’d like to sign up for a newsletter! Nobody wants a “newsletter”.
You need to make it more enticing than that and offer them something of VALUE in exchange for their email address. This can be a simple free gift like an ebook, a video or audio, discount coupon or a product or program. Ideally, your free gift needs to relate to whatever it is that you can help them with. It can give them the first step toward getting the results they want and show them how to take it further with something you offer.
Once you have their email address, it’s important to follow up. Keep in front of them so they have a chance to get to know you. Send out a regular newsletter. You can share tips and articles or other resources, tell them about a sale or special offer you’re doing, or announce new products or offers. The important part is that it be relevant and interesting to your audience.
Mistake #4. Settling for something you don’t LOVE
When you don’t love your website, it affects how confident you are using it as the sales tool it is meant to be. If you don’t like how it looks, or it needs a lot of work and it out of date, you’ll feel embarrassed about people seeing it. And they’ll pick up on that.
You need to feel good about how you look online. Period.
When YOU feel good about it, you’ll be excited to share it and have people see it. You’ll have FUN publishing content on your blog or in your newsletter. You’ll feel proud and confident about how you and your business are being portrayed online.
And people will pick up on THAT too.
Get some help with this piece if you aren’t sure. Find a designer who understands branding AND gets that it needs to resonate with YOU. They’ll be able to help you find that perfect design for your website that makes your heart sing.
Mistake #5. No strategy or clear plan for your website
It’s not enough to just throw up a website and then hope that it makes you some money. If you don’t have a plan and aren’t clear on what exactly you want the site to DO, then you’ll end up with mediocre or poor results.
You need to have a clear picture of what you want your website to do, and what results you want from it. What are the top 3 goals for your website, the top 3 things you want it to do? Do you want to build your email list? Sell your products? Sign people up for a free phone call with you? Get super clear on WHAT you want your website to do and what specific results you want from it.
Make those results measurable so you’ll know when you reach them. For example, instead of just saying you want to build your list, your goal might be to get 500 new subscribers in the next 4 months. Make it specific and measurable.
Action Time: Are you making any of these website mistakes? If so, pick just ONE thing that you can do today to start correcting the mistake and turning your website into an irresistible money-making machine. Share that one step you’re going to take in the comments below.
Thank you – a very clear explanation! I intend to focus on #3 – first I need to consider what I can offer in order to capture their email addresses. But I am thinking away even as I type….
Jess Webb says
You’re welcome, Kate! Glad you enjoyed it and are taking action to start collecting email addresses!