The 3 Most Devastating Business Website Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)January 23, 2020
People search before they shop.
Think about it.
Before you purchase a product or service, there’s a good chance you compare prices online with your phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop. You browse multiple vendors, consider your options—especially shipping costs—and decide whether to buy something online or go to a store.
This trend in consumer behavior is the new reality every business owner and marketer faces today.
Most people in the United States will search for a product or service online before they think about making a purchase.
Take a whiff of these sobering statistics:
- 97 percent of consumers go online to research a purchase decision
- 82 percent of smartphone owners use their phones to research a product or service before making an in-store purchase
- The average consumer refers to nearly eight different sources before making a local purchase
- 38 percent of shoppers start with Amazon and 35 percent begin with Google
Let’s face it:
Your website is critical for the livelihood of your business.
You need a digital home to generate attention, capture leads, and make sales.
Most of the business owners I’ve worked with over the years get this. They’re smart people, and they understand consumer behavior has changed, and that they need a solid website, like yesterday.
But here’s one big problem I’ve also observed:
Many of these business owners rushed to create a website.
It’s like they heard the same message Kevin Costner’s character received in Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.”
Feeling a sense of urgency, they rushed the process and made mistakes along the way that have caused them to lose a lot of business and money.
In this post, I’d like to share with you the three most devastating business website mistakes I’ve observed. My goal is to help you avoid these mistakes so that you can create a site that drives massive amounts of new business for your company.
#1. Your website wasn’t built for mobile phone users
Did you primarily use your desktop or laptop to review your website design?
If so, then there’s a good chance your website isn’t mobile friendly.
Sure, your site may include a responsive design, which adapts to the screen size of your viewers. However, if you started with your desktop or laptop to build your site, then you went about it all wrong.
Your website needs to be built with mobile phone users in mind—first.
In other words, as you think through the messaging, design, and layout of your website, you must start with how your site will look on a mobile phone instead of a tablet or desktop. By making this commitment, you’ll force yourself to work with the limitations of space on a mobile screen instead of trying to figure out how to cram every feature from a desktop onto a mobile phone.
You’re probably wondering:
Why is mobile-first design so important?
For starters, there’s a good chance you’re reading this article on your phone. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, 95 percent of Americans own a cell phone, and 77 percent of Americans own a smartphone.
This rise in mobile phones has led to a significant increase in people (probably you) who use their phone to access the Internet. Based on data gathered by Statista, the share of mobile phone website traffic is 52.2 percent.
The number of people who use their phone to access the Internet—and your website—will continue to climb for the foreseeable future.
To build a website that generates sales for your business, begin with your mobile phone customer in mind first.
#2. Your website loads (really) slow
People move fast online.
They’re hungry and in search of answers to their questions, solutions for their problems, or something funny to pass the time.
When it comes to your website, your potential customers aren’t wasting time for your site to load. According to a survey by Akamai and Gomez.com, almost half of web users expect a website to load in two seconds or less.
Does it take your website three seconds to load?
Forget about capturing a lead or making a sale.
Based on the survey I just mentioned, nearly half of your prospects are gone by then.
Here’s the deal:
If your website has a slow load speed, then your killer design, latest feature, or holiday discounts won’t capture anyone’s attention because they won’t be on your site to see it. They’ve already bounced off of your website like a kid jumping on a trampoline in search of something else.
Not only will a lack of speed crush your sales and conversion rate, it will also negatively influence your site’s ranking in searches on Google. Google has minced no words when it comes to expressing their need for site speed. Practically speaking, if your site speed is slow, then you’re hiding your website from searches on Google.
Are you concerned about your site’s load time?
Visit PageSpeed Insights by Google and see how fast—or slow—your website is. This is a free service, and all you have to do is enter your website URL into the bar and press “Analyze.”
After you submit your URL, PageSpeed Insights will give you a score based on how fast your site loads and it will also provide you with a variety of ways you can speed up your site.
#3. You don’t tell your website visitors what to do
It’s time for a pop quiz:
What is the ONE thing you want someone visiting your website to do?
Do you want them to buy now?
Do you want them to subscribe to your newsletter?
Do you want them to request a demo, quote, or estimate?
Would you like for them to donate to your cause or organization?
Alright, times up.
Now, with your answer in mind, it’s time for a follow-up question:
Is this ONE thing clearly displayed on your website? Can someone visiting your website easily know what you want them to do without having to scroll or search around?
If you don’t make your call to action (CTA) as clear as day, then you’re making a huge mistake.
If you don’t clearly ask for someone to do something online, then they’ll be a lot less likely to make a decision. This would be like meeting with a potential client in person, sharing how you can help him or her, and then getting up and walking away without asking for them to take action.
Know what else?
If your site doesn’t possess a clear call to action, then, unfortunately, you have a lot of bad company.
According to an older study, 70 percent of small business B2B websites lacked a call to action. This may be an older study, but things haven’t changed too much.
Based on a different resource, many small business owners still struggle to let people know how to do business with them online. In fact, this study discovered that 93 percent of small business sites did not display their contact email address and that 49 percent didn’t provide their phone number.
What’s the moral of the story?
You have to clearly display your call to action on your website to let people know the next step you’d like for them to take. Without a call to action, potential customers will leave your site without giving you their business or supporting your cause.
Do you know what you want people to do online?
Make sure they know too.
Don’t build your site alone
There are many mistakes you can make with your business website.
But these three tend to be the most devastating:
Your website wasn’t built for mobile phone users
- Your website loads (really) slow
- You don’t tell your website visitors what to do
Before you rush off to place a new coat of paint on your website or slap a big ugly call-to-action button on your homepage, take a deep breath and wait. It’s best to build a business website with a proven partner.
We’d love to chat with you about your plans and see if we’re a good fit to build you a website that grows your business.