Have you ever visited a website and as soon as you landed there, you hit the ‘back’ arrow?
The first impression you got might have been, “what a scam!” or perhaps “what a waste of my time,” or maybe “I don’t trust this one.”
Many studies have shown that online users instantly judge a brand based on its website. A poorly designed website instantly conveys distrust and irrelevance, and in that moment, you would have lost a potential customer, just like that.
Other mistakes such as a bad SEO strategy may not directly ruin your credibility but they could cost you tons of money for every potential client lost.
Here are some things that could be undermining your online reputation and losing you money:
There is no arguing with a badly designed website—no one will stick around and they will likely spread the word about your unsightly website.
Poor design can be a matter of aesthetics such as the wrong choice of color and fonts. Or it could be other subtler issues such as slow-loading pages, a badly indexed website that is un-crawlable by Google, broken links and improper redirects, disorganized navigation or too much clutter.
Investing in good website design can help in solving many of these technical issues. But, you also need to comb through your site regularly to ensure that things are working as they should.
While you do not have to hire an SEO professional, you need to optimize your site properly if you are going to do it on your own.
Basic optimization requires extensive keyword research and development of content that users are looking for. Internal link building is also a vital aspect of website optimization.
If users cannot find your website or if your site lacks strong visibility, you are certainly losing money and clients to your competitors.
It is common for some websites to omit the comments section in a bid to avoid spamming. However, any credible website must provide its users a way to share the site and the content.
It is of no use to create content that cannot be shared and spread out to as many online users as possible. It is a sharing economy and the more people share your work, the more recognition, authority and brand awareness you receive.
If your website content is un-shareable, you will certainly be lost in the hubbub of the crowded online marketplace where no one can see you or hear you.
Is your website overwhelming visitors with information overload? A disorganized website that lacks a clear call to action not only raises a red flag; it also loses you potential customers.
Singularity and simplicity allows site visitors to undertake specific actions when they come to your website.
What is it that you want site visitors to do? To sign up for your newsletter, to check out the latest offer, to have a look at that cool video, to download the app?
Simplicity is a site design issue but it also impacts on user behavior, conversion rates and eventually, on your bottom line.
A major red flag that will definitely earn you a bad reputation is being too promotional or ‘salesy’ on your website. People hate to be sold to. It is even worse when they come to a website expecting real content only to be met by “Buy Now”, “Get Rich Now” messages.
Whatever you are selling, avoid the hard sell and over the top promotional tactics—they will lose you money and clients fast.
The number one rule is to focus on giving site visitors value through excellent content and relevant information. When people see the value of your product or service, you will not have to coerce or manipulate them into buying your products or services.
The world has gone mobile and if you do not have a site that works on all devices, you are light years behind everyone else.
Over 80 percent of online users are today accessing websites via mobile devices. This means that sites that are not mobile optimized are seen as unreliable and untrustworthy.
Although users tend to complete the online purchase process on larger devices such as desktops and laptops, they make their purchasing decisions while browsing from their mobile devices.
Keeping your website updated with relevant, fresh content takes up a lot of time. Even then, having just a couple of blog posts on your site will not cut it—thin content undermines your authority and diminishes brand awareness.
If you do not have a firm content strategy, your website will start to gather dust and be relegated to the archives of the web.
Use both free and paid tools and resources to beef up the content on your site. Online users tend to trust websites and brands that consistently generate valuable, timely, well-thought out content.
Your website is the window to your online brand—attend to it consistently and you will build robust authority in your niche while growing your business. Neglect it and you could tarnish your brand and lose potential customers to competitors who have taken the time to care for their sites. Always make sure you present your business in the best way possible and invest in the best design you can afford. It will pay dividends for your business in the future.