Money Siphoning Website Mistakes That Can Kill Your Business
During my career as an online marketing and eCommerce expert, I’ve seen both some amazing websites, and some really terrible ones. Today, I’m drawing on that knowledge to put together a list of the major mistakes that you need to avoid to keep your online ship from sinking! Read on and find out how to stop the leaks and get more visitors to your website while increasing conversions and sales.
Mistake #1: Failing To Establish Goals And Baselines
This is an area that can kill your business if you have no idea what it takes to produce a sale or convert a visitor. You need to know the answers to questions such as:
“How many unique visitors do I need to reach X revenue?”
“What kind of click through rate do I need on my sales/lead pages?”
Many times I will speak to business owners and upper level managers and they don’t have a clue. They just say, “we want to get more traffic to our website.” But the truth is that it doesn’t matter how much traffic you get if your site isn’t converting. Use Google Analytics and create baselines that can be measured for data such as visitors and conversion rates.
Mistake #2: Having a Poor or Nonexistent Unique Selling Proposition
Many businesses fail because they don’t stand out from the crowd. They are in a competitive sector and do nothing to convince would-be clients and customers WHY they should do business with them. Don’t follow them into this trap. Develop a solid USP and market it on your site and in your advertising. This post from About.com shares some great USPs from well-known brands, and it should help you see how you should structure your own.
Mistake #3: Not Monitoring Bounce Rates
Many business owners and managers don’t even know what a bounce rate, is much less how to reduce it. In a nutshell, a bounce is when a visitor comes to a page on your website and then “bounces” off without clicking anything. Most websites have bounce rates approaching 60% or more but the goal should be less than 30 percent.
A quick fix for this is to put your USP in concise terms at the very top of your website, and to also cover your products and services, who you serve, and how your solution solves the customers problem or needs. Also, get rid of any unnecessary imagery that may distract visitors, and make sure that you have clearly defined calls to action for the visitor to take.
Mistake #4: Failing To Implement Proper Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
In this day and age even entry-level employees are being expected to have some knowledge of SEO. It is crucial that you provide optimized content in the form of website copy, blog posts, and videos, and that you utilize the keywords your ideal customer is looking for. At the same time you also want the content to be “visitor friendly” – in other words, don’t write the content solely for the search engine algorithms, because they are always changing anyways.
Mistake #5: Not Knowing Who Your Customers Are
I am continually amazed by managers and business owners who have no idea who they are marketing to, and who therefore fail to present themselves in the best way to those visitors. For example, it should be obvious that the presentation one uses to market to Baby Boomers is going to be very different than marketing to Gen Xers. So do demographic research and determine your optimal visitor, then create your content primarily for them.
Mistake #6: Not Making Your Website User Friendly
Too many businesses create websites that suit them, but that are not necessarily optimized for their customers. Remember that just because the navigation of your site makes sense to you, this doesn’t mean it will make sense to your visitors. So spend time ensuring that everything smoothly, and that your site includes easy to follow instructions as to what actions your visitor should be doing. Also, utilize contact and comment forms and lose your ego. Take constructive criticism from visitors and use it to fine tune your sales processes.
Mistake #7: Being Overly Technical
Unless your website is specifically targeting a tech minded audience, stay away from “propeller head” speech with highly technical industry specific jargon. Write your content in normal everyday language that anyone can understand. The majority of the population comprehends on around a 6th grade level so writing at a Doctorate level will lose them.
Mistake #8: Not Including a Clear Call To Action Or CTA For Each Page
Every page of your website should have a purpose and a CTA that motivates the visitor to take action. Whether you are asking them to buy something, become a subscriber to your email list, or download an e-book, there should be a measurable CTA for each page. In fact, a CTA is one of the only ways you can really monitor effectiveness of your site because if they’re clicking, your marketing is working. And if they aren’t clicking, you know it’s time to go back to the drawing board.