You’ve got copy and a freshly designed website, and you’re ready to go. Ta-da! And you launch your website while riding a unicorn and throwing around confetti.
Then you go shopping for new bathing suits and sunscreen, because you’ll be at the beach soon enough while your website makes you money while you sleep.
But to your horror, you realize that fancy-pants new website is falling far short of your expectations.
While you may not have been expecting to pack for the beach quite yet, this scenario may sound a little familiar and you can’t figure out exactly what’s up.
Assuming you have traffic to your website, you should be generating email signups and sales from the site. Or consults. Or some type of activity. These exact activities will vary based on your business, but the job of the site isn’t just to look pretty, but to help you achieve goals.
Creating a website is the easy part. The hard part is creating a website that actually works for your business and isn’t just taking up pixels on the web.
There are so many moving parts when it comes your website, which means you could have one small area that’s causing problems or numerous places where you’re literally leaking traffic.
If you’re not sure what the problem could be, here’s a list of 10 common website leaks that you can fix to boost sales and engagement:
#1. No Call to Action
Long gone are the days of websites that can just be “informational”. Your website needs to provide a clear call to action for your visitors. You need to realize that they’ve arrived on your site for a reason, and they’re not there for kicks.
You literally need to tell people what to do. Don’t just assume they know. And if that feels pushy, it’s not, it’s actually helpful as you’re making your visitor’s life simpler.
The Fix: Review your site to ensure you include that “next step” for your visitors by asking them to book a consult, subscribe, buy or take some type of action.
#2. Your Visitor is Lost
Remember the sites of the early days with complicated dropdown menus and pages that went on for days? Those are over.
Your job as the “host” of the website is to help your visitor so they have a clear path through your site. Once they arrive on your homepage, do they know what do to do next, and better yet, is there context for that step?
Don’t ask visitors to make decisions based on zero information or to take a leap of faith that they know what the ever lovin’ you’re talking about. The millisecond they get confused, they head over to close the tab and they’re on their merry way.
The Fix: Look at your homepage with fresh eyes. It is clear what to do next and are the decisions you’re asking them to make in context? Then work on your copy and design to make this dead simple.
#3. You Make it Hard to Do Business With You
Your website should not be like a game of the Price is Right where people have to make a lot of guesses.
How much is this service or product again? How do I pay? How is this delivered?
All questions you don’t want people to have to ask, because they’re unlikely to work that hard. Can you imagine if you went to Amazon and suddenly there were no prices and you didn’t know when your order would arrive.
You’d probably stop shopping there pretty quick.
Same goes for your product or service. Give the details, let the visitor figure out if it’s a good fit by offering up all the information they need. Trying to be all cloak and dagger to create curiosity is an ill-informed strategy that backfires for most business.
If there’s not a clear price point or all of your work is custom, say that and consider offering a starting price so visitors know if working with you is even an option.
The Fix: Make it clear what you’re offering and how much it costs. No guesswork or mysteries for your visitors.
#4. There’s No Social Proof
Social proof is powerful. People want to know that they can trust you so social proof such as testimonials or case studies helps to create confidence that you deliver results.
Social proof is a must for your site if you’re selling anything. Not having that proof in place will kill even the best product or service because it looks sketchy.
The Fix: Stop right now and get some social proof on your site. Focus continuously on adding, updating and improving your social proof as it’s one of the most critical pieces of your entire website.
#5. Your Free Offer Sucks
On the web, collecting a potential customer’s email address is the focus of most marketing and lead gen efforts. Which means you need to be smart about it if you want to do it too and can’t afford to have a free offer that completely sucks.
Your potential subscribers are smart and they’re not going to hand over their email address for something that sucks.
When you’re planning your opt-in offer in an effort to build your list, create something that your ideal client actually wants. They need to be willing to exchange their email address for it, so need to have value.
The Fix: Create opt-in guides, checklists and more that people really and truly want. Be useful and deliver something of value. Get rid of your janky, lame offer and come up with something they’ll love.
#6. There’s Nowhere to Give You Their Email
Dude, if there’s nowhere on your website for you to capture visitors’ email addresses, we need to talk.
Research shows that most consumers don’t buy from you on the first interaction, but after several of them. If they arrive on your site all excited, but not yet ready to buy, can you rely on them to come back time and time again until they are ready to buy? Maybe, maybe not.
Ditch the maybes, get their email address and then you can “keep in touch”, make offers to them and get them coming back to your site.
The Fix: Get opt-in forms on your site so visitors can start to build a relationship with you. Look at including at least two or three forms prominently throughout your site.
#7. Your Copy is Bland and Boring
Think of the last really good book you read. What kept you reading it? Most likely it was interesting, engaging or enticing.
Your website copy needs to be the same. Think about how you can capture the imagination of your visitors and connect with them so they keep reading.
Before you raise your hand and tell me that what you do isn’t that compelling, just stop. It up to you to find a way to make air compressor parts or widgets engaging for your audience.
The Fix: Review your copy and see if it’s snore-inducing or if you want to keep reading. Get other people to review it too . There’s always room for improvement.
#8. There’s No You in Your Site
This one is for you personal brands and small businesses. Stop hiding behind your website and playing it safe. People will be doing business with you so showcase your personality.
When there’s no you in your website, it’s not memorable and you’ll be just another face in the crowd.
The Fix: Find ways to inject your personality into your site with stories and your own little quirks. That’s way more interesting to visitors than the “canned” version of what you think you should be.
#9. It’s All About You
Having your personality and stories included on your website is a smart move, but don’t forget, the website isn’t about you. It’s about your customers.
If you only talk about you, you, you….your visitor isn’t going to know if they’re in the right place or if you can help them. They’ll have a hard time peeking around your massive ego trip.
The Fix: Take a hard look at your about page to start. If it starts with talking about you first, you need to update it. Lead with your customer first, always.
#10. Your Site is Sloooooowwww
Back in the dial up Internet days we were willing to wait for a page to load pixel by pixel, but now, we’re pretty impatient. When a page doesn’t load quickly, we’re apt to click away.
Having a slow site means you’re losing a visitor before they even start. It can be caused by a number of issues, but it’s something you need to fix now.
Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to see how fast your site loads. It will help you identify any major issues that need to be fixed.
The Fix: Run the PageSpeed test and clear up any lingering issues so that your site loads quickly and you’re not losing visitors to a slow loading site.
The Recap – Fix Your Leaky Website
Handling these leaks on your site can help you improve your visitor’s experience, drive them into action and boost your engagement and sales in the process. It may seem like a lot of work, but keep the goal of your site in mind. Do you want to look pretty or do you want your website to be productive?