I know you’ve spent time and money building a website with the hopes that it would bring you new customers and more business. You might even be blogging and posting on social media tasks. But, if you’re getting traffic to your website but no traction with leads, something is wrong.
I’m going to share with you seven homepage faux pas that will shed some light on why people are visiting your website and leaving without a word.
Many websites that we see in the wild show a lack of strategy and outdated ideas about marketing. People designing their websites perpetuate these common mistakes when they inadvertently base their designs on ineffective websites.
Once you see what you’re doing wrong, you can make some changes that will make your website work to bring you the clients.
Let’s Take a Look at These Common Mistakes.
1. Your Visitors Can’t Tell What Your Business Does.
You have three to five seconds to prove to your visitors that they are in the right place. Although it may seem obvious, you need to make it clear at the get-go who you are, what you do, and exactly who your client is.
Make sure your logo is legible. If it’s not clear from your business name, what it is that you do, add a tagline beneath it.
If you have a restaurant, store or a business that only services a particular area, make it very clear on the homepage so out-of-area visitors will not waste their time or yours.
2. Your Headline Doesn’t Specifically Address Your Ideal Client’s Problem.
The top area of your website is the best opportunity for connecting with your ideal prospective client. You have to write a clear and compelling headline that will appeal specifically to your target client, identifying their main, overarching problem.
Craft this message speaking directly to the person who is searching for a solution to their problem. Let them know you understand their situation and have the perfect solution for them. Tell them why your product or service is the right choice. Just talk to them, person to person.
Before adding the message to your website, read the words you write out loud. If you wouldn’t use those words if you were talking to a prospective client in real life, then why would you put those words on your website?
3. Your Hero Area is All About Your Company Rather Than Your Client.
Don’t waste words welcoming people to your website And please, don’t present them with your mission statement, front, and center. News Alert: No one wants to read your mission statement.
You want people to form their own opinions about who you are by how you talk to them about their problems and your solutions. Once you get a connection, you can tell them why your business is uniquely able to help them.
That’s a much better way for your target client to find out more about you and your company than to bombard them with accolades for your business.
4. You Confuse Your Visitors by Offering Too Many Solutions to Too Many Problems.
It is likely that your business provides more than one service or skill or product line. But if you try and promote all of those things on your homepage, especially “above the fold,” you’ll confuse your ideal client.
Making your homepage specific to one primary product or service allows you to provide more detailed information about it. There will be time and place to add the other things you do on interior pages. Donald Miller of StoryBrand has a saying, “If you confuse, you lose.”
5. Your Copy is Overly Complicated, Full of Large Words and Industry Jargon and is Too Hard to Read.
Most people are so close to their businesses that they have a hard time explaining what they do in clear, understandable language.
Maybe they want to sound knowledgeable, or they might assume their prospects speak the same language. But even experts don’t want to be overwhelmed with information when searching for a solution to their problems, at least not on the homepage. Even when the business owner tries to dumb it down, on a scale of 1-10, they get their copy to a 7, when it needs to be a 2.
Make your copy easy to understand, so your prospective clients don’t have to decipher your offer. “Don’t Make Me Think” by Steve Krug is one of the most prominent books on website usability. But it also provides an axiom to guide your design decisions.
While we’re on the topic of website copy, make sure people can read your text. You may have great copy, but if the font is too light, too small or on a dark background, your visitors won’t read it.
Stay away from presenting a “wall of text.” When confronted with a web page full of text most people will not want to work that hard, and they’ll bounce away. Instead, break your copy into paragraphs a couple of sentences long and use headlines, subheads, and lists. These things will allow people to read your words with a quick scan.
6. You Don’t Offer a Call-to-Action, or You Have Too Many.
Despite knowing that a website should work to bring in business, it is surprising how many companies don’t tell their visitors what you want them to do. Indicate the main thing you want your visitor to do after visiting your site. Be bold with “Schedule a Consultation,” “Buy Now,” or “Contact Us” in a button with a color that pops. If you can, add a link to your primary call-to-action in the navigation bar, all the way to the right.
It’s good to add an indirect call-to-action for those not ready to do business with you. Offer a free eBook in exchange for their email address. And send out a series of emails to build, know, like and trust that will nurture your lead until they are ready to buy from you.
The link for this offer should be secondary to the primary call-to-action. It could be shown in a section of the home page further down below the fold or in an exit intent popup, a sidebar, and at the end of your blog posts.
A caveat is to be sure you do not have so many calls-to-action that your visitor gets overwhelmed and doesn’t do anything.
7. You’re Choosing Images and Graphics that Don’t Enhance Your Brand
The images and graphics you use on your website will make an immediate impression on your visitors. They will begin to form their opinions right away about whether they like the site/business and whether they trust it – before reading any words.
Choosing the right images can build affinity for and trust in your brand. You can find high-quality stock images and videos that will perfect for what you need and will be better than you could produce, on a limited budget. But stay away from cheesy photos with smiling stock people. Those are not going to build trust with your visitors. And people need to trust you before they work with you.
Now that we’ve cleared up the misconceptions that lead to people bouncing off your website, its time to go to work. Sit down and identify someone in your target audience and clearly define their most salient issues. Ask yourself why they don’t go out and solve their problem. What’s is stopping them? When you answer these questions, you’ll know what copy needs to be written to have them feel comfortable that you are right for their job.
First, you’ll need to speak directly to that person by crafting a message that speaks to them. Shows that you understand what they are dealing with and that you have a solution to their problem that overcomes their issues with finding someone to hire. Choose a hero image that works to show a positive outcome to their problem.
Next, choose elements for further down the page, that build a case for working with you. Now, you can show testimonials or logos of companies that have worked with you to demonstrate your expertise.
Don’t forget to give your prospective clients explicit instructions on how they can engage your services and include a specific call to action for what you want them to do next.
With that all done, you can sit back and wait for the phone to ring. Okay, it’s not that easy. But, you’ll be a lot closer to having a website that works to bring in business.