Six easy ways to get your website wrong

By: Sharon Tanton

Date: 30 October 2013

Six easy ways to get your website wrong/how to get your home page wrong{{}}What’s wrong with this website?

1. The menu is all me, me, me.

This self-orientated list is offputting for anyone searching for answers to their problems. Read it closely — OUR services, OUR products, about US. There’s nothing here that shows that you care about your clients and their challenges.

2. Really boring stock photography image.

Say no to jigsaw pieces, hand shakes and random smiley women answering phones if you want your business to look authentic. Invest in decent original photography or illustration that reflects your brand.

3. Self-orientated and jargon-filled copy.

It’s all about how great the company is, and says nothing about the kind of people they help, in language they understand.

4. Generalist.

It’s neat to be niche — promising to do anything for anyone won’t win you much business.

5. Nothing useful to take away.

A brochure is only handy if your visitor is just about to buy, but what if they’re “just looking”? There’s nothing here to engage or interest anyone earlier in the buying cycle.

6. Outdated news.

Not only is it out of date, but again it’s very inward looking. It’s all about the company, with nothing about the customer. And there’s no offer to stay in touch now they’ve found you — no newsletter, no Twitter. Your website visitors could soon be gone without a trace.

I am sure you’ll have seen many websites like this from businesses both big and small. Little more than an online brochure, a site like this can work as a credibility-building tool but doesn’t do much to engage or build trust in what you do. Businesses with a website like this are missing a trick.

Turn your website around

Remember: your website is not a sales proposal. Not all visitors will be ready to buy straight away. If you want to engage and generate leads from your website — a regular stream of warm, inbound leads — you need to do more than present basic information on your company. Answer their questions, make the content valuable to your audience and you can turn your website into a fully-fledged member of your sales team.

Sharon Tanton is an expert contributor to Marketing Donut, creative director at Valuable Content and co-author, with Sonja Jefferson, of Valuable Content Marketing.

What does the * mean?

If a link has a * this means it is an affiliate link. To find out more, see our FAQs.