Your Website Sucks! The Top 7 Mistakes Most Business Websites Make… And How to Avoid Them

Black line art illustration of a man with his thumbs down.
Black line art illustration of a man with his thumbs down.

“My website sucks… says who?”

It’s a big call. I mean, how can I possibly know if your website sucks or not, sight unseen?

The truth is I can’t. But if I was a betting man, I would put money on your website sucking. Here’s why…

According to the 2012 Sensis e-Business Report only 19% of Australian small-to-medium business websites actually generated more business.

What this means is, 81% of websites don’t work. They just sit there and do nothing! That’s right: no enquiries… no new customers… absolutely nothing. And that sucks!

Is your website an asset or a liability?

Does your website suck? Here’s the litmus test: If you shut down your website today, would it make any difference to your business? Would you be shutting off a reliable source of customer enquiries and sales? Would it have any negative impact on your bottom line? Or would no one even notice?

If your website doesn’t suck, I congratulate you on your online marketing skill. You can stop reading now.

But if you’ve just realised your site does suck – or you suspect you could be getting much better results from it – don’t panic. It’s relatively easy to turn a sucky website in to a profitable website: one that gets the phone ringing, boosts sales and grows your business. Isn’t that what you want?

You don’t need advanced knowledge of web design, a swag of search engine optimisation tricks, or to be a social media marketing whizz. For the most part, all you have to do is avoid the following mistakes:

The top 7 mistakes most business websites make

This is a 7-part series. So stay tuned, because over the next 7 weeks I’ll reveal the top 7 mistakes. To avoid missing a post please sign up for my e-newsletter (in the right column) to have them delivered to your inbox.

Mistake 1: Your website lacks clearly defined goals

Mistake 2: Your content isn’t customer-focussed

Mistake 3: Your sales pitch is weak (or non-existent)

Mistake 4: Your site doesn’t create trust and credibility

Mistake 5: Your website doesn’t capture qualified sales leads

Mistake 6: Your content is too hard to read

Mistake 7: Your site isn’t visible on Google

The websites that suck bottom line

10 Newbie SEO Questions Answered

SEO guru Jill Whalen has answered  a selection of newbie questions in a recent edition of her excellent newsletter.

Ever wondered how many links you need to get to #1 in Google? Or, what factors affect my Google ranking? Or, how can I write my website content to get better rankings?

In the article, 10-plus SEO Questions, Jill reveals all, with many links to previous articles with more detailed information on each topic.

A good one to bookmark.

Charles CuninghameSEO Copywriter

Related posts:

  1. The Top 5 Factors for Better Google Rankings
  2. SEO – Who do you Believe?
  3. Answer First-Time Visitor Questions Quickly
  4. Why You Should Pay Attention to “Natural” SEO

Behind the Hype of Social Media Marketing

In The 7 Harsh Realities of Social Media Marketing, Sonia Simon reveals what it really takes to make social media marketing work.

From my experience the most frequently ignored social media reality is that someone has to WRITE all this stuff. And it has to be pretty good. To quote Sonia:

There’s too much good content that you need to compete with. And there’s no magic system that can replace sitting in front of your keyboard and producing something that somebody wants to read. (Or partnering with someone who can.)

If you need someone to write your blog posts, Facebook page or Tweets, there’s a… ahem… good copywriter I can recommend.

Related posts:

  1. Use Testimonials to Harness the Power of Social Proof

Behind the Hype of Social Media Marketing

In The 7 Harsh Realities of Social Media Marketing, Sonia Simon reveals what it really takes to make social media marketing work.

From my experience the most frequently ignored social media reality is that someone has to WRITE all this stuff. And it has to be pretty good. To quote Sonia:

There’s too much good content that you need to compete with. And there’s no magic system that can replace sitting in front of your keyboard and producing something that somebody wants to read. (Or partnering with someone who can.)

If you need someone to write your blog posts, Facebook page or Tweets, there’s a… ahem… good writer I can recommend.

Does Your Website Content Pass the Help Test?

Old school copywriting is all “Sell, Sell, Sell!” But online, hype is out and “help” is in, according to website content maven Nick Usborne’s article “Help, Help, Help, Sell”.

When it comes to your website visitors he says, “You need to guide them, inform them, direct them. And, of course, at the same time, pre-sell them.”

Gerry McGovern concurs. In a recent newsletter he explains why trying to be creative rather than communicating clearly isn’t the best way to help people who are searching the web for solutions to their problems. To quote:

Think about it. There are lots of people on our website right now whose attention we already have. Will they leave satisfied? There are many more searching for things that we have. They don’t need to be convinced. They are already on a journey to complete a task that we can help them complete. Let’s help them be successful. It’s a massive opportunity.

Charles CuninghameFreelance Copywriter

Three Handy Tips for Using Google Keyword Tool

As we’ve so often said, great content is nothing unless people can find it. As Patricia Redsicker says in her recent article on the CMI blog, “Even the most epic content is worthless unless someone finds it, enjoys it, and passes it along to his friends and peers.”

As you know, Google’s Keyword tool is a great way to get your content seen, and Patricia offers three excellent tips on how to use this tool like a pro. Read on after the jump: Findable Content Marketing: 3 Google Keyword Tool Tips

Think Before You Redesign!

Just like clothes and hairstyles, website design can go stale. If your website was designed back when Levi’s Engineered Jeans were the freshest thing in fashion, it might be time for a redesign.

But while a site makeover is always a nice ego boost, it may not lead to improved results… unless you look beyond just the look and feel. This short video illustrates why it pays to think about what your customers want from your website before you redesign: