Is Your Website Hurting Your Business? Part 2
Jul 21

Is Your Website Hurting Your Business? Part 2

 OK, so you read Part 1, took action and now your website is looking good. But are you using that good-looking new website to share the right information? Back to our first date analogy: Showing up dressed to the nines will only get you so far – eventually, you'll have to say something. And if you want your good first impression to last, it better be good.

What does this have to do with my website?

Let's say your grandfather founded your business in 1924. That's great. But if you’re biggest selling point is that you’re an old establishment, there’s a chance that you’re doing more than bore your customers - you might actually be turning them away. I’m not suggesting that you hide the fact that you’ve been a successful business for multiple generations, it’s just not how you should start the conversation.

What should I lead with?

Brands that talk about why they exist, rather than giving an overview of what they do, tend to be more successful. We’ve all seen the Ted Talk where Simon Sinek talks about Apple. Apple, like Dell, started out making computers. Now a host of products are in your consideration set from Apple (phones, tablets, etc) while no one would ever to think to buy a phone from Dell. Why? Because Apple focused on why they exist, not what they do. Dell told its customers that it made great computers. Apple implored consumers to reimagine how they could own their days and live their lives with a simple plea: Think different. Your delight was and is their why. They were never just a computer company.

“Talking about why your company exists probably isn’t going to propel you to be a multi-billion-dollar company like Apple (sorry), but it will help grow your business.”

If you think you might be too consumed with ‘what’ you do, reach out - we have plenty of experience helping brands define why they exist.  

Here are a few other website no-nos that we’ve seen over the years - they're easy to avoid when you know what to look for.

1. Your homepage is a glorified list of your products or services.

Your homepage is the first impression you make on a customer. What’s it saying? To simply list what (and everything) you do isn’t convincing anyone of anything. Decisions are made with the gut and backed up with logic, not the other way around.

Your homepage should be clean and highlight why you exist. What you do should be subordinate to that. It’s fine to highlight a few specialities on your homepage, but don’t cram everything on there.  

2.  Your website is cluttered.

If your website – especially your homepage – is cluttered, people will be overwhelmed and possibly unclear on what you do, or why you do it. A cluttered page is hard to navigate, which is a good prompt to hit the back button.

 3. Me, me, me.

Remember this: You're trying to gain customers with your website, so you need to succinctly communicate what you’re going to do for them, not just about you and your business. How will working with you benefit them?

4. There’s no clear call-to-action.

What is the ideal action you want people to take when they visit your site? Whether it’s signing up for an email list or buying products directly from your site, it should be easy to find and do - not buried in a hard-to-find tab.

5. There’s no reason behind your call-to-action.

It’s great if you have a newsletter signup, but no one is going to do it if you don’t tell them why they should. People are constantly asked for their email addresses and already receive plenty of unsolicited emails each week. Outline some benefits that will allow them to give it to you gladly.

If you need some help getting your messaging right, get in touch with us. We'll know what to do.

Matthew Worden

Insights junkie, songwriter, MBA, entrepreneur and native New Yorker who loves the Big Easy. Shreds in The Lexington Express.

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