Been a website designer, trainer and consultant, we often get complains from clients and students that their website is not generating enough revenue to even offset their hosting fee. Others say; customers don’t buy their physical products/downloadble products after visit, people don’t subscribe to their membership, google is not ranking them high in their industry among others.
Infact, over the years, we discover many SME websites habitually expire without renewal – the factor is usually attributed to little revenue. When we discuss with the Managers, what they usually sasy is that at least if you can’t add to my bottomline, it should’nt be an extra expense that will be annual loss.
Professionally, your website should be an extension of your sales staff: It should help generate and nurture leads by educating prospects (a role traditionally played by salespeople). Like a good salesperson, it shouldn’t just sit around the office and wait for the phone to ring.
So what about your website? Is it all about you, or does it talk about your customers-and in a language they can relate to? Are you using your website as an opportunity to solve problems for would-be buyers? Are you demonstrating in an honest, empathetic way how your company and its products or services can lessen their pain? If your website is not helping you generate and nurture leads, consider these possible causes and find unique ways to resolve it. Our team have come up with some issues been complained about and proffered possible solutions:
You haven’t defined goals.
The overarching goal of your website is to attract people and invite them to get more involved with your business, whether or not you sell directly to them online, phone or invite them to your store. You want visitors to stick around a while and get interested in you and what you sell, right? Have you identified the primary goal of your site? Or secondary goals? What action do you want site visitors to take when they land on your site? Being clear on that informs everything else: design, navigation, content, search engine strategy and so on.
Content is the heart of a website. Having useful, informative, seo-friendly, share worthy content updated regularly is key to boost your traffic, improve your visibility online and promote conversions. Outdated content not only increases bounce rates and negatively affects search rankings, among other things, but also gives visitors a wrong impression that positions you as a lazy company nobody wants to do business with.
The more the contents, the more the leads. You need to publish fresh contents constantly – to draw people and search engines to visit your site over and over. If your site isn’t continually evolving and updating, it becomes a static brochure for your business. If you don’t have regularly updated content, such as a blog, you aren’t creating new pages for Google to index. Remember, the more content you create, the more traffic and leads your business will get.
Ecommerce have a peculiar need, it requires alot of time and energy to get the site updated contstantly as required. If you are a very busy person, please hire somebody to handle this for you 100% – both interms of snapping professional pictures for the site, drafting product description (not just copying text from one site and pasting to avoid google penalising you) and publishing. Such person should be giving you daily report of all activities to ensure they are working and progressing.
You aren’t creating momentum.
You can change this by creating a path for your customers to get more involved with you. To move them along, include relevant calls to action or “triggers” on each page of your site, not just on your homepage. That means on every blog post or any other piece of content you produce. It may sound obvious, but many companies don’t embrace the opportunity to create a path to deeper involvement and (ultimately) conversion.
You don’t have customer interaction.
Incorporating a blog or other social content into your online presence gives your customers a sense of who you are. Use these tools to speak to your customers directly, honestly and in your own (human) voice. This is an enormous opportunity both to educate them on how you can help and why they should rely on you–and to hear what they have to say to each other in the forum you’ve created. Regularly updated content that has a sense of personality and purpose builds trust with your would-be customers, and that’s a beautiful place to begin a relationship.
You can’t update your site without the tech guy.
Can you update at least some elements without calling IT? This is where blogs and other social platforms come in handy, because you can update them yourself. Why is that important? Because you need to update at least some parts of your site frequently and easily, both to save budget and to create a more immediate flow of content–for potential customers and for search engines.
In addition, when people comment on your blog, always respond promptly and professionally – it will add fresh contents to your website , increase google ranking, improved customer engagement and ultimately profitabilility.
You sound like everyone else.
Review your website; as a customer is it full of corporate jargon/nonsense? Most companies spend more time worrying about site design than about the words on the page. But the most memorable sites convey personality and perspective in their homepage content, which immediately sets thems apart. Try this test: If you mask your logo and site design, can you still tell-by the voice of the text-that it’s your site, or do you sound like one of your competitors?
You didn’t optimize.
Can search engines find your site? Does your regularly refreshed, updated, readable content contain search terms that relate to your proficiency? How well are they attracting customers to you? One easy way to boost your search rankings is to continually link descriptive keywords back to related pages on your own site. Doing so helps search engines understand what your site is about. This area can be done personally if you have the proficiency or you can engage a digital marketing professional to handle it for you.
You aren’t measuring anything.
Do you know how your website is converting browsers into buyers? Have you identified what paths they typically take? Do you know which pages perform best for you? Or what content visitors are interacting with the most? Are you using analytics tools to measure the traffic to your site, to track online conversions and to measure ROI on your marketing campaigns? Free tools like Google Analytics are a great place to start.
You put hip before happening.
Every element on your homepage should support the goals you’ve identified. That means avoiding design elements that might be hip or cool but ultimately are just distracting. (My Amala is light: web pages that talk to me.)
Put clarity (useful, predictable, efficient, logical) before creative (cool, splashy, flashy, beautiful).
So how about your website? Is it generating leads by serving potential customers, or is it just sitting around and waiting?
Poor Web Design.
You may be the best at what you do, but if you don’t project a clean, professional image online, people won’t hire you, as simple as that. You’re in the realm of subjective perceptions and the way you present yourself online can make or break you. Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression and online that means you have less than 5 seconds to do it right.
You do what? If you don’t quickly convey the kind of business you are in and the products and services you offer to customers, you will repeatedly lose visitors. Sounds like another no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many business websites still leave you looking at them for minutes wondering, “What does this company do?”
It’s all about you.
Customers don’t head to your site to hear how awesome you are. They’re there because they have a problem they need you to fix or a question they need you to answer. Your website should be designed to help them quickly achieve whatever it is they came for. Too many references to “I” in lieu of “you,” too much sales talk instead of helpful information, and too much of you not addressing their fears/wants/desires will turn people away from your brand, not on to it.
Your customers don’t care about you. They care about how you can help them.
Without a main call to action (CTA) – a request/direction to ‘do something’-, customers won’t know why they are visiting your website or what your company has to offer. Remember a conversion only happens when a customer who is viewing the site takes an action your marketing intended. This typically means a purchase, filling a form and submitting it, signing up for a newsletter and/or completing some other goal for the site.
Lack of Web Usability.
Too many business websites don’t pay attention to web usability and make it real hard for users to navigate them and find the information they’re looking for. Exploring a website should be an easy, intuitive process. Designing all information-based processes properly is a strategic task that should not be taken lightly. The golden rule is “Don’t make me think” – make it easy for me to link to every contents/pages i need to visit.
Don’t be part of the 30% businesses that cannot be found in online searches because their websites earn a Google Page Rank of zero or have no Google Page Rank at all. Helping your potential customers find your company through SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is important. With keyword data, meta descriptions, page titles and SEO-friendly content, among others, your website can stand out from the rest.
When drafting your web contents, use the right keywords, link properly, make your site super crawlable for spiders, and stay away from common SME SEO mistakes. Sometimes before you can see more traffic, you have to break through the obstacles preventing you from seeing any.
Over the years, we discover many people don’t take this part seriously, they believe they should be able to do it themselves and just scatter some keywords on the site, this really cost them greatly. Make extensive research about SEO, impliment it on every page on your site or higher a professional to handle your Search engine optimisation to increase your site organic growth.
Not Mobile Ready.
Mobile is predicted to overtake desktop Internet usage soon. Recent studies not only show that over 70% of mobile searches lead to online action within an hour, but point out that 4 out of 5 consumers today use smartphones to shop. But the reality is that over 60% of businesses do not have mobile sites or do not even know if their websites are mobile-capable. Time to jump on the mobile bandwagon!
With more and more users searching via mobile devices and on the go – is your website mobile accessible? If it’s not, users trying to find you may hit a dead end. There’s nothing worse than trying to find your accountant’s website while on the road and finding out his site only renders in Flash and won’t load on your phone. Not that I’m talking from experience. If your website is not mobile friendly, you can engage professionals like ediaro website development team to review and upgrade or customise your website.
Social Media Links Wanted.
Is your online presence social? Allowing your current and potential customers to share their experiences with your brand via social channels, enables information about your business to reach people you might not have otherwise targeted. Leverage the power of social. Put social media to work for you by integrating social widgets and apps to your website!
Have a newsletter subscription form visibly on your website to get customer emails and also send regular email updates about your post, new products and other activities about the organisation.
For some reason, many companies think that loading a website with as many “creative” design elements as possible, such as a busy background wallpaper, an embossed company logo, wild patterns, animations and even in some cases favorite tunes as background music, will add interest to their business websites. The reality is that all those things interfere with the messages to be communicated and scare visitors off.
Define Conversion Path
You need to have conversion path in place. One criticism of many small and medium enterprise(SME) business sites is that they don’t include a clear conversion path for their customers. If you want customers to take a certain action, you need to create a funnel intended to guide them to do that. Simply stringing together a number of content pages won’t necessarily put someone on the path to buy.
Your conversion path may be as simple as a solitary landing page paired with a call to action, or as complex as an entire microsite. Either way, you are in charge of designing the flow of your website. Creating a clear conversion path not only helps customers feel more comfortable on your site, it also gives you clear data to track so that you can see where people are abandoning, where they’re engaging, etc. The more data you have to act on, the better you can design your site to attract new customers.
Invisible Contact Information.
Did you know 93% of small and medium businesses do not display contact email addresses on their websites and 49% lack any phone numbers at all? Visitors need to be able to contact you with information requests, questions, complaints, and/or suggestions. A ‘Contact Us‘ page is like an Internet business card that should be always available from any part of your website and have your key company’s contact information. Make it easy for people to contact you and give them options (ex. contact form, department emails, twitter, facebook, telephone numbers, fax, among others), instead of making yourself invisible.
No Image Optimization.
It’s true, a picture paints a thousand words, but if your web graphics are not optimized for the Visual Web, it will mean higher hosting costs for your company and a poor visitor experience which can lead to less visits and no returns. The more storage space on the server you need because of larger files and the more bandwidth it’s needed are variables you need to address with optimization from start.
Broken Links and 404 Error Messages.
Before launching your website and making it public, make sure every link works or get ready to lose a lot of visitors quickly. Avoid giving your visitors “404 file not found” error messages, or broken/incorrectly labeled links that end their browsing experience abruptly. For large sites consider adding a form so visitors can submit a broken link, which lets them become part of the solution and know you are on top of any problems they discover.
No Web Standards.
Building a website compliant with web standards means simplifying and lowering production and maintenance costs, while delivering a site that is accessible to more people and more types of Internet devices. Sites that follow these guidelines from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) will continue to function correctly as web browsers evolve and new Internet devices come to the market.
Place online adverts
The web is a highly competitive place, so you need to get noticed to make sales. To publicise your website especially when newly launched, you can consider placing an online advert across multiple platforms to targeted audience – this will make the site accessible to people you intend marketing to.
Over 75% of businesses do not use analytic tools to measure their websites’ performance. If you don’t monitor your metrics (such as average time on pages, bounce rates, entry and exit pages, top content, keywords, referrals, etc.) you not only miss the opportunity to make your website more effective toward those who visit you most and those you’re not reaching, but you’ll lose a lot of time and money managing your online presence blind-folded.
Accept online card payment
It’s Easier for most customers to make payment online. In this 21st century, most people are foregoing the use of cheque book these days and opting for debit or credit card payments, especially with the recent introduction of the cashless / cash lite policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria. Why then will every business will not have this option of accepting online payment? Whether a store is an online business or even a physical one, online payments make it easier. It’s also very easy for a business to set it up whether they do it themselves or hire an eCommerce company to do it for them.
An online store needs to accept online payments or else they’ll be waiting for cheques to come in and being held up their transaction. But a physical store can also benefit from the ease of online transactions. Think about businesses that have monthly re-occurring payments coming in, whether it’s a pest control business, utility company, consultant, or a school. It will be much easier for them if they just set up online payment services for their customers. Other businesses that have monthly bills can do the same.
Got Website Backup?
Consider this scary scenario: your website is hacked and your business is suddenly brought down affecting sales and overall operations. Possible? Yes! Almost 50% of small and medium businesses have been cyber attacked at least one time, with down time and restoration costs averaging N2,000,000 (Two Million naira) or more. Believe it or not most businesses still do not use backup services to protect their data. It is a real, costly nightmare scenario that can break your business and strike anytime. To avoid any disruption, protect your information assets and get back online within minutes if your web server goes down, consider website backup a mandatory strategic investment.
There’s no POD.
The more powerful a POD (point of differentiation) you can create, the better you’ll attract the right customers to your brand. If you want to attract people, you have to give them more of you. You have to stand out from the crowd and show them something that they’ll want to align themselves with. Take a look at your own site – what are you showing potential customers? We don’t mean the graphics or the videos you choose to incorporate (don’t forget to optimize those for search engines, too!), We mean the experience that you’re creating. Are you using your site to set yourself apart, or do you come off like everyone else? Are you talking to customers in their own language or filling your pages up with buzzwords and jargon?
If you’re finding it difficult to attract leads via your website, it may be time to ask yourself some hard questions. Before you can fix the problem, you first have to identify it. What are some struggles you’ve had attracting leads for new sales? How have you fixed the problems?
In this social, visual era building a successful, effective website presents you with a great opportunity to grow your business and build a global audience that supports your brand. To get the most out of your investment and build a memorable, effective online presence that sells, you must start treating it like a business. Just keep in mind that a business website can be a powerful strategic weapon that can have a huge impact on your bottom line, but only if it’s designed, developed and maintained properly.
For professional website development, online advertising and digital payment integration contact ediaro webcentre team via email@example.com or call (+234) 080-9502-9999 for more information.