identifying if your website is out of date

With an increasing number of businesses reporting that they currently host a website, it’s clear that business owners know the importance of having an online presence. However, what many business owners don’t realize is that just having a website is not enough – you have to have a good one. If a potential customer comes to your site and can easily find the information they’re looking for, they have much more of an incentive to check out what your competitor is offering. If you want to convert online leads into customers, avoid the following mistakes.

  • Burnout
  • Financial difficulties
  • Employee turnover
  • Government regulations
  • Competition

#1 Not Hiring a Professional

According to a recent Small Business Technology Survey, only 30% of SMB owners hire an outside company to create and maintain their website. Though new business owners are often looking for ways to save money, cutting corners on your website by hiring a “graphic designer” friend or attempting to create a site on their own can actually cause you to lose business in the long run. A poorly made site could turn off customers who see an unprofessional website as an indicator of an unreliable business. Spend a little extra by hiring an affordable professional web designer that will paint your company in the best light possible – making you more trustworthy in customer’s eyes.

#2 No Clear Calls-to-Action

If potential customers come to your site and have to search through paragraphs of text or too many pages of navigation in order to contact your business, they may become frustrated and give up. Calls-to-action (CTAs) turn website visitors into customers by making the conversion process simple and accessible. First you need to decide what you want the goal action of your website visitors to be – do you want them to buy a product, contact you, or subscribe to your newsletter? Once you determine this, you need to create visible and obvious links or buttons on your site. Good CTAs typically use larger font, a contrasting color from the rest of the page, and obvious positioning (top right corner) to stand out to the visitor, making it easy for them to follow through on the desired action.

Good CTAs include:
• Contact Us
• Add to Cart
• Download Now
• Learn More
• Free Trial
• Sign Up

#3 Not Mobile Friendly

Whether it’s looking up a restaurant while out shopping or searching for an article of clothing seen while watching TV, the convenience of smartphones and tablets is creating a rise in mobile phone usage with rising numbers of consumers using mobile exclusively when conducting an online search. However, despite this trend, 91 percent of small business websites are still not mobile-optimized. This means that a majority of small businesses are losing out on potential customers who become frustrated with trying to navigate a site that won’t load quickly or clearly on their phones. By creating a site that auto adjusts based on the size of the smartphone or tablet (mobile responsive), having clearly placed info and “click-to-call” buttons, and links to maps directions, you will increase your chances of turning a potential lead into an actual customer.

#4 Out-of-Date Information

Have you ever visited a website that is promoting a sale or event that ended a couple of months ago? It’s a situation that’s unfortunately more common than it should be with majority of business owners reporting that the biggest website challenge they face is the time it takes to update their site. Not only does out-of-date information look bad to a consumer, it also prevents your site from staying relevant in Google searches. A website that is constantly producing fresh content is more likely to rank higher in organic search than one that hasn’t been updated in months. To avoid this common mistake, host a blog on your site that you update with company news, relevant advice for customers, and business related trends. Also, periodically check to make sure that all the links on your site are still working and not leading to dead pages.

#5 Content Overload

TLDR is internet speak for “too long; didn’t read.” And this slang could be applied to a large number of small business websites in existence. If your website has lines and lines of text, or contains too many pictures, it makes it difficult for visitors to find the relevant information they’re looking for. This is especially detrimental for visitors who are on-the-go and don’t want to wait for tons of content to load on their mobile device. To avoid overwhelming potential customers with a cluttered website, you need to determine what content is most crucial for visitors to see and cut out the rest. Break up text into several smaller paragraphs and only include a few photos that are relevant to your business or products.

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