Is your website putting people off?

  • //images/sam_mcarthur.jpgWe are pleased to welcome Sam McArthur of internet marketing specialists, Savvy Marketers, as a guest contributor to The Marketing Eye blog.  Here Sam shares some very practical advice on how to make sure your website is fulfulling its potential.

    Many of us who have websites don't always look at how visitors perceive them as we think we know what they want, and what information should be on our websites. For most small business owners, using a focus group would cost a small fortune, so it's not something many of us do, other than asking for feedback.

    However, there are things that can really put visitors off websites and over the years, I've come across common mistakes time and time again. Here are a few things that you need to check on your own site:

    1. Make sure your contact details are easy to find, preferably on each page of your website. On [the Savvy Marketer's] site, our phone and email address are within the header image, with a separate contact page too. It's surprising how many sites still have their contact details buried away.

    2. Make sure you tell people what you want them to do - lead people through your website, tell them which pages to visit first and make sure you put a call to action on your pages, such as contact us now, buy now, subscribe etc. If you don't tell your visitors, it may not be obvious to them. If you're not sure what the point of your site is, then read Louise's post from last week: Do you expect too much from your website?

    3. Equally, don't give too much choice - you really don't want to give your visitors half a dozen things to do or look at otherwise they won't know which way to go either. If you're promoting your own products, make sure someone else's aren't on the same page as yours (for example, if you also have affiliate links on your site). You don't want to steer them away from your own offering when you've put time and effort into getting the visitor to your site in the first place!

    4. For service providers, explain the outcomes of using your service, how the visitor will benefit from working with you, how you will solve their problem. Don't explain the process as most people won't be interested in that, it's the end result that they want. Case studies are a great way of showing off results you've achieved for other businesses.

    5. Equally if you sell products, give your products descriptions that will resonate with your target market. A poorly written, bland description probably won't motivate them to buy from you. Reviews can also help influence buying decisions, and I recently wrote a post on this subject: Product Reviews Increase Conversion Rates.

    6. Scatter testimonials around your website, don't just hide them away on one page. I always tell clients to put their testimonials around the site and on the corresponding product/service page.

    7. Check your web stats regularly - check for trends over time and popular pages. If you've got a high bounce rate for particular pages on your site it could be that the page is poorly targeted, so look at the keywords you're targeting and how the information on the page is presented.

    8. Finally make sure that you're writing for your target market and that they understand your terminology. Avoid using jargon that people won't understand or writing in a very formal style. People scan web pages so highlight important points in bold, use bullet points and a more informal writing style.

    The Marketing Eye says: This advice is pertinent to all B2B websites and particularly those of professional services firms, many of which have grown organically and without much strategy.  Talk to us if you would like a strategic review of your website.  Alternatively, visit Savvy Marketers for more online marketing tips and advice and to sign up to their twice monthly Savvy Marketing Tips newsletter.

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