I have just sent out a direct mail campaign (yes, they still work!) to selected local businesses. Before I sent the letters out, I looked at the website for every business I was writing to and made sure I felt there were things that I could help them with to improve the number of leads they generated.
There were a number of really common problems that all businesses need to be aware of but here are three of the most damaging:
1: Google is actively restricting your site’s visibility
The first is having a mobile responsive website. This means that your website will automatically adjust itself to look better on a mobile phone or tablet. More that 50% of internet search is now done on a mobile device (and growing) and so Google, which wants its search results to be as relevant as possible, now values mobile-friendly websites much more highly than traditional designs. If you haven’t updated your website to be mobile-friendly, and you rely on internet search as a source of leads, then you could find yourself rapidly disappearing from Google’s search results.
2: I don’t know what you do
Half of all website visitors make a decision on whether to stay or leave within just 8 seconds. If you haven’t captured their interest, they’ll carry on surfing, going next to one of competitors. It is therefore critical to get across why you are relevant to your visitor, different to your competitors, and get them to register their interest all within those first 8 seconds. I visited some sites where, even after a full minute, I wasn’t sure what the business actually did. Either there were large meaningless pictures or the text hadn’t been written with potential new customers in mind. Visitors would have left long before because it wasn’t obvious that your business was relevant to their needs. Pretend you know nothing about your business and go look at your website now as if you were a new prospect and see if it would convince you to take action within 8 seconds.
3: If you can’t see it straight away, it may as well not be there
The third problem is sites where the user has to scroll down to find the important information. They just won’t! And this includes the new generation of mobile-friendly websites with beautiful big artistic pictures at the top. 80% of website visitors will make a decision on whether to stay or leave a website WITHOUT scrolling down. If a visitor has to scroll down to find out what you do, 4 out of every 5 will leave without having found out what you do. If you have a box for people to signup to a newsletter or email updates and you have to scroll down to find it – you’ll only be getting a fraction of the signups you would get if it was at the top and it the right format.
Website best practice, and how visitors respond, has changed radically over the last couple of years. More than half of internet search is now mobile and more than half of internet traffic is video. Your business needs to catch up fast.