Why Your Website is Failing Your Business

Do You Know Why Your Website is Failing You?

Your website is failing you. And it could be your fault.

I’ve worked with many different business owners who have websites that are failing them. Those websites are not working effectively as a marketing tool to bring in leads and sales.

The biggest reason for this is the business owners created their website as an afterthought.

The website wasn’t built with the same care and attention that the brick and mortar business was. Instead, it was pieced together, glued together, put together any way possible just so the business had one. Because they thought they needed one. And didn’t carefully consider why.

Does this sound familiar?

Was this how you created your website?

But creating a website as an afterthought doesn’t recognize just how vital internet presence is to your marketing efforts and the eventual success of your business.

Developing your website without proper planning almost guarantees that it will fail you in one or more ways. And it’s not too hard to predict just how these websites will fail.

Five Specific Ways Websites Fail

The first reason websites fail stems from the way they were developed. Many websites were built from a generic template. That may have worked at first, but in today’s environment, you need a site that showcases what you have to offer.

For example, websites that use stock photos fall into this category. They aren’t highlighting what makes your business unique and why people would want to buy from you, rather than your competitor.

Another reason for failing websites is that they are built in stages, pieced together over time. Websites built in this way are nearly always difficult to navigate, and that’s frustrating to potential customers. If someone can’t get around your site easily, they’ll most likely give up and visit your competition.

Amateur designers often get caught up in selling you all kinds of the bells and whistles whether they really help meet your main goal: to turn visitors to your site into customers. Or these designers try to be clever with how the navigation works, rather than making it easy for users to figure out. The main thing is to make navigation easy and clear, so customers don’t get frustrated and leave your site.

The third way websites often fail is by not having a proper SSL certificate installed. Without an up to date, properly installed certificate, you can’t enable an encrypted connection. This means your site (and any transactions that take place over it) are vulnerable to hackers.

A fourth common fail involved websites that aren’t mobile-friendly. How many times have you called up a website on your phone and you can barely read it? The owner of the site might have a beautiful site for a desktop, but if it doesn’t work on mobile, he’s risking losing the people that do their searches on their phones.

A fifth problem arises because the website wasn’t created with marketing in mind. It was just built to be a static brochure, kind of like an informational government pamphlet, and about as interesting. No one thought about how to guide customers through the journey of explaining your products or services and their benefits step by step.

This means when someone visits your site, they are met with an onslaught of information and they don’t know how to get the answers to their questions or what to do if they want to buy.

Your website needs to clearly present what products or services your company delivers. If you have too much information, users get lost. If you don’t have enough, or not the right information to help people make buying decisions, users get frustrated and look elsewhere.

A design with marketing in mind will make things easy for potential customers, not lose them in distracting visual clutter.

So do a quick audit of your website. If any of these fails are present on your site, it’s time for a revamp. And if your site is older than three years, you need to re-develop it.

Three years, you might think. That’s not much time.

Reasons to Fix Your Failing Website

But in the world of technology, it is. Major changes to speed and features happen every year. Many small businesses haven’t touched their websites for five or seven years. This means they are completely outdated and missing out on the new features that can make the website work harder for you as a marketing tool.

It’s like your phone. Every week you most likely get a notification from the app store telling you one of your apps needs to be updated. And if it’s not an app, it’s the operating system that needs an update.

Why is this?

It’s because the systems are constantly being improved.

The same is true for the systems that power your website.

If you don’t make sure you have the most recent updates, your site will load slowly and be vulnerable to security breaches. Both of these can frustrate customers and drive them straight to your competition.

There are constant evolution and development. This is not like it was when the internet first began when websites were stationary and static. Now the web is dynamic and constantly changing.

Consider this. You’re searching for a business. The search results lead you to a website for Brand A that’s merely average, like the person who built it was learning on the job. Or it looks outdated and is hard to get around. And it takes forever to load.

Then you try a different website, Brand B. This one loads fast, is attractive, polished, and professional, and is easy to navigate.

What is your perception of the two companies? You’ll think Brand B’s product or service is of higher quality than Brand A’s. And you’ll be willing to pay more for Brand B’s product because you’ll think you’re getting a better product or service.

If you do go with Brand A, you’ll be more likely to haggle over the price. Because you perceive Brand A as having lower quality, you’ll want to pay less for it.

So, think about how your website stacks up against your competition. Yes, it takes ongoing work to keep a website updated. But if it helps you meet your marketing and sales goals, it will be worth it.

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