Beware IT businesses: Are the mistakes on your website costing you a fortune?

More than 90% people I know go online to find a product/service they are looking for, and if you are not there — you are losing leads.

But, what if you are there but still losing out on leads? Scary, eh?

A number of big and small businesses think online advertising or a basic website is just enough.

That would be a big mistake!

The internet has leveled the playing field for all. So, making a mark would mean a relevant online presence.

Yes, relevant.

Here are the 5 biggest website mistakes you are doing which can cost you leads:

I. Giving a rats-ass about the content (or looks!) on your website

I don’t blame you completely.

Bad websites happen, some knowingly and some unknowingly. You might love your web page but as an outsider — I might find it useless.

First off, if you think you do not have enough budget to spend on this or the time — let me share one secret. It isn’t that DIFFICULT. Don’t get me wrong.

Of course getting the point across to your target audience is definitely not-so-easy but it is easier than you may think.

I will break this down into 3 parts (the most important, which I refer to as BIN).

If you follow the BIN, your website will actually land up in the bin of search engines.

a. Lots of bullshit content
 
If you think writing what you do and making a landing page with a few stock photos will win you leads, not anymore. Those days are long gone!

Your business deserves so much better. You are not only missing out on leads but you are scaring the leads away.

You need to realize that informative and engaging content is the new optimisation. That explains to us why you need to stop hiring:

  • someone off a content mill just because it is cheap
  • someone you know from your family who has good English (but rewrites whats already out there)
  • someone who is ready to write for you in $5–10

Wondering, why?

Most people you will hire like this will NOT spend time researching and understanding your business and target audience. It is important that you stay away from boring blog posts which people read before they go to sleep.

Instead, you need content which excites people in multiple ways. Hire content writers who will thoroughly understand your needs and give out a fun-filled and yet detailed copy which everyone loves.

Bottom line: Hire a specialized content writer who understands your industry and spend some time with him/her. Not the casual “let’s hang out way” but “let’s sit down and hash out details” way.

This attitude will take you a long way!

If you don’t believe me, you may believe content marketing institute.

Companies who used content marketing generate more leads than their competitors who don’t.

I will example you with an example. You are an IT service provider. Going by this description, your target audience have an idea of what you could be doing. If I search — “IT service providers” on google it gives me 12,80,00,000 results. One out of every three links I clicked, one had technical jargon or repetitive lines (like, we are the best, efficient or professional). Their boring branding isn’t winning them any loyalty points.

Same boring words like — we offer you best solutions blah blah! Everyone calls them the best. What makes you unique? What is your USP?

Ask yourself — what would make you hire someone in the same domain?

Content makes all the difference. Focus on the benefits and the resolutions you provide to your customers rather than focusing on how awesome you are. No-one cares about that anymore.

Your content needs to be un-usual, even IF your services are usual.
Remember — you are more than just a company and list of services. Act like that hidden human in you.

The last time I checked, you were a legal “person”

b. Ignorant 1920’s trend

Don’t yet understand what I am referring to?

Have you seen websites which look like a cluster of photos and text, and all you want to do when you land on such website is CLOSE the stupid window. Something like this

Do you get an idea?

Did you know that too much text and too many choices lead to fewer sales?

Think of it this way — you go a restaurant and you have a 50 page menu but you are really hungry. Will you or will you not feel annoyed and overwhelmed? Would you think of walking out of that restaurant at least once?

You need to remember that a good website is away to increase your organic views and an excellent opportunity to convert readers into profitable leads.

Hire a designer who can do this for you.

If you do not want to spend a lot, download Wordpress and invest in a good them like Div or Genesis. These themes let you drag and drop. You can do it by yourself.

c. Not updating or providing no-value content

I have seen a lot of good businesses do this mistake. They do not update their blog regularly or provide no-value content to the readers.

I know of websites where the last post was uploaded almost 6 months back.

You posted some awesome content and your readers are hungry for more. The next few time they visit your website you haven’t uploaded anything. Boom — you lose them!

And, with this — you lost a chance to grow your business.

I am not asking you to update it regularly and beat yourself over it. Follow these three simple steps: Think about:

Is there any latest trend in your industry?
Are you launching any new product/service or want to market an already existing service/product?
Get your team to hire a freelancer and assign him/her the task.

A good content writer would get into the shoes of your audience, search the relevant keywords, research exactly what problem your readers are facing or can have and tailor your content accordingly.

You are at a two-fold advantage:

  1. You build your reputation in the market. Your readers know you are aware of the latest trends and you care to share
  2. You did not spend a hell lot on the content because you pay a freelancer for each article (not a salary!)

Win-win!

I like to call it — TALK:

T — Trends
A — About your product/services
L — Let your content writer do the job, and
K — Kidnap the audience (in a good way!)

Do not focus on writing what you like to read, write what your audience wants to read. After all, the bid daddy is — What’s in it for me?

II. Making important information hard to access

Getting back to when I said — don’t overwhelm your readers with information. I will divide this section into 2 parts so you understand the minutest detail:

a. Not testing your website on other platforms

Your job doesn’t end once you decide to re-do a website. You need to ensure that your website is responsive and adjust to all platforms.

It should be optimised for viewers using Android or iOS. Don’t believe me? Neil Patel says,

Many people think that making a mobile version of a site and a mobile-friendly version of the site are the same thing. (They’re not.)

Get that?

It doesn’t end with you selecting a responsive theme. A 3 year old kid can filter out those themes for you.

You need to understand it goes beyond that. Test your website as a viewer (not as the owner).

Wear the thinking cap and jot down all the things which irritate you in a website. You have to consider removing pop ups, side bars for social sharing, adjust the font size and you definitely cannot have too much data splattered around your website.

b. Easy access, within the first frame which pops up

Make sure of 2 things:

As soon as someone lands on your website, they KNOW what exactly you offer. It should not take time to understand.

According to Telegraph, a viewer has an attention span of 8 seconds (a second lesser than a gold fish). Yes! You need to ensure that they can figure out what you do in that time frame.

If they do -

They should NOT have a tough time trying to find out your contact details. If they did, they might just decide to move on.

This is the screenshot of Onetech LLC,

As soon as you land on the page — they tell you what they do.

The contact is on top right corner (which is where it is generally placed — so reader tends to look up).

Under services, you have neatly listed the portfolio and you can access the blog. I would want to read more on this website. Simple.

III. Thinking SEO isn’t for your business

If you think SEO isn’t for you, you are not alone. A lot of businesses think that and guess what? You are wrong!

There is a huge possibility you never saw your website stats or if you did — your stats are 0. That’s a sign for you to focus on SEO.

I am not saying spend a lot of time on it, but yes — you need to spend considerable time on it. Have you ever paid for advertising and marketing? I am guessing, YES. So, why not try SEO? I will discuss three absolutely simple (but effective) tools to get your SEO right.

  1. If you are working on Wordpress, get the paid version of Yoast SEO. It will guide you through and explain what exactly you need to do for an optimised post. Isn’t that great? Once you write an optimised post, it will signal green. It also lets you test the readability (yayie!)
  2. Install XML Sitemap — it creates a sitemap which you can submit to the search engines and help them crawl your website better.
  3. Get authoritative backlinks to your website. That would mean — getting yourself to write posts about trends and services on known websites with a link back to your website.

IV. Not nurturing a following

If you aren’t focusing on getting a set of loyal visitors, you are lagging behind in the race.

A lot of companies like Glassdoor or SEMrush etc offer a free trial of their product/service.

It’s psychological.

Readers don’t want to pay a huge amount of money upfront without even knowing basics of that product/service. You give them a trial and build that lacking trust.

If you ask them to buy your product right away, you will scare them. Yikes!

Another big mistake you are making is that if you are not compelling them to take action. Yes. The visitors come to your website, reads your content and resources, loves it but don’t know what to do.

Goes back, forget about it.

If you had a call-to-action asking them to sign, you could have sent them an amazing e-mail about that product you are launching next month or that upcoming discount.

They already loved your website, remember? There is that chance to convert them into leads. Bottom line: You are not fighting for your audience attention. They come to you instead.

One of the easiest ways to build an audience, is giving them what to they want to read. Solve their problem. You can use platforms like Quora to figure out the problem your target audience is facing or go to Yelp and look at the feedback on services — makes notes of what people want or don’t want. Tailor your content accordingly.

For example, I searched for anti-virus and found these discussions:

You could take a cue from this and write on

  • Why doesn’t Mac need an anti-virus?
  • Is free anti-virus challenge to the entire industry?
  • Mac system is not hack prone: Myth or reality?

If you understand the need of your audience, you are sure to build a base. Last but not the least:

V. Not taking data driven decisions

You need to have certain tools which will help you track your progress.

If you haven’t already, make a Google Analytics (GA) account and set it up on your website.

GA allows you to analyze the demographics (gender, age etc) and the psychological factors like behavior, interests etc.

Voila! You about a lot about your audience now.

Now, let’s take an example. You are in IT service provider. Chances are, you have used technical words to explain your services and products.

Now that you know who your readers are — think whether they will understand all of it? Most likely, NO!

You definitely do not want them staring at your website, scratching their heads and deciding to close the window.

And, if you still think you can get away with that lingo — you will

Annoy them: No-one wants to sit with a dictionary or google one while working

Confuse them: they have no idea about what you do in 8 seconds

Force them to take a break — Most people get fed up with this sort of website and decide to take a break.

And, what happens after that? They START from the scratch and they won’t go back to your website ever.

Bottom line: figure out who your target audience is, and speak their language!

If you had not thought about your website yet, this is your chance to get rolling. Let’s make this year you start gaining more leads.

About the author:

She is a freelance tech and marketing writer/blogger and co-founder at Content Writer Guru. She works closely with B2C and B2B businesses providing content that grows their online presence and increases industry authority. When she is not writing (her first love!), she is traveling across India with all her crazy gadgets and fedora, documenting her experiences on Mrs Daaku Studio. Connect with her on Twitter