The Seven Deadly Sins of Business Website Design
Posted by Darian Schouten on September 3rd, 2015
When searching for local business products or services online, what makes a user choose one business over another? In many cases, it is a poor user experience on a business’s website that will prompt a potential customer to back out in search of a better option. This article identifies the seven main ways that business websites fail to convert visitors.
Is your company website killing your business by committing one or more of these deadly sins?
1. The phone number is too hard to find
Calling is the number one way that users convert on a local business website. Make your business telephone number stand out on your website and appear above the fold. Conventionally, the best practice is to put your phone number in the top-right corner of your website’s header. On mobile, you can make calling your business even easier by adding a floating ‘Call’ button on the site so that users can reach your business with one simple click -no matter what page they are viewing on your website.
2. Undefined service or service area
Clearly communicate your product/service along with the geographic region you serve. Don’t give users a reason to second guess this. You have less than 3 seconds to convince a user that you are offering what they searched for and this message is conveyed faster when users can see this information right away.
3. Homepage is cluttered with too many options
Your homepage is the beginning of your customer’s journey. Do not overwhelm your visitors by trying to tell them everything about your business at once. Limit your users’ choices to the activities you would most like them to perform. With too many links on every page, users can get easily lost on your site. Getting confused or lost on a website makes for a bad user experience and they can easily leave your site for a competitors with a few clicks of their browser’s ‘back’ button.
4. No call to action
The website is arguably the biggest part of most small-medium businesses’ inbound marketing tools these days and if you are not asking your users to contact you, then many of them simply won’t! Give every page of your website a purpose and focus the content on each of your web pages around getting users to “take the next step”. Don’t let any of your site’s web pages be a dead end. On boring, text heavy pages of your site, consider adding a link to another page on your site or to your company’s latest blog post to keep the user engaged (and on your site)
5. Not mobile responsive
This could be an article all by itself entitled, “The most important part of a successful website.” It is a fact. Mobile use is at an all-time high and is not slowing down. Our mobile devices are being used alongside other activities more than ever and in-home desktop computer use is declining. If your website does not provide the user with a positive mobile experience, you should stop what you are doing and address this immediately. Having a mobile-responsive site is simply not enough since users don’t use mobile devices in the same way that they use desktops. IT is advised that in any new web development you consider for your business, you should focus on the user mobile experience first and then adapt the design to desktop!
6. Too much stock photography
There are multiple sites for stock photography and it is easy cheap and easy to create a professional, image-rich website for your business without picking up a camera, but users aren’t stupid. In fact, many users are cautious about their surfing habits nowadays so showing your visitors that you are a legitimate local business with something to offer by including real photos of your business and your staff can go a long way in increasing your website’s conversion rate. Hiring a local photographer is an inexpensive, lasting way to make your business website better and a sound investment given the positive impact it can have on your potential customers.
7. Design & functionality errors
This is a no-brainer. Your company website is an extension of your business and in many cases, will be a customer’s first exposure to your brand. If the website is half-finished or doesn’t load correctly on most screen sizes, then you are going to lose customers. Keep your website updated and functioning by regularly testing your site’s forms and pages. Make it look great and provide an awesome user experience.
The path to salvation is simple. Follow these simple guidelines when creating or optimizing your business website and you will be converting more users and generating more business online in no time!