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10 Website Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

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As a core part of your online marketing strategy, your website is essential to attracting consumers to your business. Your website is often where potential customers form their first impressions of …

As a core part of your online marketing strategy, your website is essential to attracting consumers to your business. Your website is often where potential customers form their first impressions of your company and decide whether or not to contact you. But is your website doing all it can to attract visitors, hold their attention, and convince them to contact you? Take a look at 10 of the most common mistakes that businesses make to their websites and then assess your website. Are you making any of these mistakes, too?

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  • 1. reachlocal.com | 866-978-9312 © 2013 ReachLocal. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission. Website Mistakes & How to Avoid Them Try T h i s , N o t Th at
  • 2. 2 Try T h i s , N o t Th at As a core part of your online marketing strategy, your website is essential to attracting consumers to your business. Your website is often where potential customers form their first impressions of your company and decide whether or not to contact you. But is your website doing all it can to attract visitors, hold their attention, and convince them to contact you? It’s important that you aren’t making the many common mistakes that businesses make with their websites — mistakes that lead to less site traffic, lost conversions, and ultimately, reduced revenue. To help you assess the strength of your website, we put together this guide covering 10 common business website mistakes, along with some tips on how to avoid them. You’ll see examples of actual business website transformations from ReachLocal clients who’ve used ReachEdge™, the powerful marketing system that combines a smart website, lead management software, and a powerful mobile app to help businesses attract more consumers to their sites and convert those visits into leads. Take a look at 10 of the most common mistakes that businesses make to their websites and then asses your website. Are you making any of these mistakes, too? Website Mistakes & How to Avoid Them
  • 3. Try This, Not That: 10 Website Mistakes & How to Avoid Them Ebook ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Website Mistake: Cluttered, Busy Home Page Over 60% of the time, consumers who cannot immediately find the information they need on a website will choose to leave the site rather than keep looking.1 So, if you want prospective customers to stick around, make the most valuable information, like your phone number, business hours, and list of services, as easy to find as possible. But if your home page is too busy and cluttered with extraneous copy, images, or design elements, it can make it difficult for visitors to know where to look or find the information they really need. If you think giving your website visitors “everything but the kitchen sink” on the homepage is a good strategy, you’re probably overwhelming them with too much information. ------------------------------------- Air Conditioning Company Cuts the Clutter------------------------------------- Before: This HVAC company’s original website was heavy on the text and light on the visual appeal. And, even though their phone number was present on their old site, it wasn’t featured prominently on the page, so visitors had a difficult time finding it. Taken in total, these elements can turn off online visitors and cause them to abandon the website, as seen in high bounce rates. After: With their smart website, this business broke free of copy- and image-clutter with a clean design, which features customized images that build credibility with visitors. Plus, their ReachEdge team created search-optimized copy about popular topics like “HVAC installation and repair,” which helps the company be found by consumers searching for these subjects. Result? The business website now receives more targeted traffic from motivated-to-buy consumers. 1) 1 Online Marketing Institute
  • 4. Try This, Not That: 10 Website Mistakes & How to Avoid Them Ebook ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Website Mistake: Too Little Copy Although many sites are guilty of having too much copy cluttering their home page, other sites are guilty of leaving out important information, like their location, hours of operation, address, service lines, or other important details. It’s important to remember that the job of your website is to convince people to contact you, otherwise, it won’t help you get more customers. Let’s look at how one small business website transformed their sparse website by using ReachEdge. ---------------- Dental Practice Website Pops With the Right Balance of Content---------------- Before: This dental practice suffered from having a bare-bones website. Not only can a lack of interesting and helpful content be detrimental to a business’ ability to get found in search engines, but it can also turn off potential clients who do visit the website, leading to high bounce rates and therefore low conversion rates. After: This dental practice upgraded to a ReachEdge website, which provides customized, search-friendly content that appeals to and educates site visitors. Engaging copy is key to getting site visitors to spend more time on the website and helps convert them into leads for the practice. 2)
  • 5. Try This, Not That: 10 Website Mistakes & How to Avoid Them Ebook ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (555) 555-#### 3) Website Mistake: No Clear Conversion Path Did you know that 83% of people surveyed said they sometimes leave a website because it takes too many clicks to get what they want?2 And when that happens to people who visit your website, they’re probably not going to contact you. You can fix this by emphasizing your desired conversion path as the most important thing on your website. For example, if you want visitors to call you, promote your phone number in a large font at the top of your homepage and on all of the pages on your site. This can substantially increase the amount of calls you get from your potential customers. Sounds easy, but 60% of businesses are missing a primary conversion path on their websites.3 --------------------------------- Concrete Company Optimizes for Conversions--------------------------------- Before: Having too many items on the menu and too many value propositions cluttered this concrete company’s original website and confused their audience about where to go or what to do next. The contact information is difficult to find, which increases the likelihood visitors will leave the site before contacting the company. After: Working with his ReachEdge project manager, the business owner chose a layout from one of the many professional themes offered in ReachEdge’s suite of templates. His ReachEdge smart website now makes it easy for consumers to know just where to look with a simple, clean, and professional design. It also makes the phone number the most important thing on the page — because a call is what they really want from their website visitors! 2 Online Marketing Institute 3 BIA/Kelsey (555) 555-5555
  • 6. Try This, Not That: 10 Website Mistakes & How to Avoid Them Ebook ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 6 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Website Mistake: Unstated Call to Action Each conversion path should include a clear and concise call to action that instructs your website visitors what the next step in their buying journey is. For example, “Call for a Free Quote,” is a popular call to action. But, did you know that 70% of business websites don’t ask visitors to take any action?4 It’s no wonder so many businesses are losing out on leads from their website visitors. You can redesign your website to include a straightforward call to action. When you use a ReachEdge smart website, you can get rid of this problem automatically, because each site includes an optimized call to action that you select. ----------------- Defense Attorney Appeals With Images & Strong Call to Action----------------- Before: This legal practice’s website was too boring, which can be a disadvantage when it comes to an appealing online presence. Its content- heavy home page, which buried the call to action, and lack of images were likely to send a visitor straight to a competitor. After: Their ReachEdge site offers a clean, professional layout with an easy-to-find phone number and a clear call to action — “Call Today for a Free Initial Consultation.” Both elements are featured prominently at the top of the page, which encourages potential clients to call the firm to schedule an appointment. 4) 4 Online Marketing Coach and Small Business Trends
  • 7. Try This, Not That: 10 Website Mistakes & How to Avoid Them Ebook ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 7 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Website Mistake: Value Proposition Doesn’t Pop The value proposition of your business is a key component for your website, because it tells each visitor what you do and the benefit you offer. Plus, it sets you apart from your competitors. This focal-point message should be easy to identify and work seamlessly with the overall content message. Your ReachEdge project manager partners with you to craft the perfect value proposition based on your business’ key values and goals. ----------------------------------- Veterinary Clinic Gets Streamlined Message----------------------------------- Before: This veterinary clinic’s original website had a lot going for it: colors that work well together, a great team photo, an introductory video, and a social media button linking the site to the clinic’s Facebook page. These are all great elements for a site. But, the overall design wasn’t fresh, the content was poorly organized, and the website lacked a single, cohesive message for current and potential clients. After: With ReachEdge, this vet clinic’s website got a professional upgrade that included a streamlined design with crisp fonts and a single message that focuses only on what matters most to clients and prospects. The value proposition, “Where your pet’s health is our top priority!” features prominently on the page but doesn’t distract from the other areas of content. 5)
  • 8. Try This, Not That: 10 Website Mistakes & How to Avoid Them Ebook ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 8 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Website Mistake: Unprofessional or Outdated Design Does your website lack the right amount of copy or have too much? Is the layout static, incorporate too many colors or fonts, or use Flash? If your website is dated, loads slowly, or includes bad design, then it could be driving prospects away. In fact, research shows that 85% of consumers abandon a website due to poor design.5 Today’s consumers expect websites to be professional looking with the right amount information they need to decide to do business with you. ---------------------------------------- Technical College Gets Updated Design---------------------------------------- Before: While the design is a step in the right direction, this website doesn’t have enough copy that Web visitors would need to see. It lacks a clear call to action and phone number at the top right of the page. The window of opportunity to engage online visitors is brief; don’t send them on a hunting expedition on your site to find the information they need. After: Using one of ReachEdge’s themes, this website now has the right amount of information in the right places. There’s a clear call to action, (“Enroll today!”), a phone number at the top right, a clear value proposition (“Education that works!”), and clear access to details about the school. The visual also includes a more representative sample of the student population, rather than an image of just one student as shown in the before example. With ReachEdge, your project manager will work with you to craft the right messages your website needs to engage visitors and encourage them to contact you. 6) 5 Online Marketing Institute 555-555-555 (555)555-5555
  • 9. Try This, Not That: 10 Website Mistakes & How to Avoid Them Ebook ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 9 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 555-555-555 Website Mistake: No Secondary Conversion Path A secondary conversion path like an email, contact form, or live chat technology helps you get conversions from visitors who are unable to pick up the phone or want to contact you after business hours. It’s important to optimize your website for these types of conversions as well. A BIA/Kelsey report showed that almost 75% of small businesses don’t even list an email address on their home page.6 ---------- Auto Website Adds Secondary Conversion Path to Get More Contacts --------- Before: This busy, dated website makes the phone number difficult to find. Plus, there’s no secondary conversion path like an email, contact form or live chat options for online visitors to use. Secondary conversion paths are important because they give visitors additional options to contact you, which is important because consumers aren’t always comfortable calling a company this early in the sales process. After: This ReachEdge website offers a fresh layout that’s clean and easy to read and includes a consumer- centric image. The bottom-right corner of the screen is an example of live chat technology.* It’s an easy and convenient way for consumers to ask questions about your products and services from the comfort of their home, office, or on the go. Capturing leads and contacts this early in the buying process helps you to move your customers one step closer to the final sale. 7) 6 BIA/Kelsey * TotalLiveChat sold separately from ReachEdge.
  • 10. Try This, Not That: 10 Website Mistakes & How to Avoid Them Ebook -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 10 ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� Website Mistake: Lengthy Contact Forms What information do you collect in your contact forms? How many questions are too many? Studies have shown that website contact forms should only be three to five fields in length.7 But many businesses try to collect too much information. This causes abandoned forms, because people simply don’t want to take the time to fill them out. If your website is guilty of this problem, it’s important to use as few fields as possible. --------------------- Business School Changes Content Form to Short and Sweet -------------------- Before: The contact form on this site has ten fields for an online visitor to fill out — that’s double the maximum recommendation of five form fields. Consumers today lead very busy lives and are also easily distracted. So, don’t give them a reason to leave your site prematurely because of a contact form that’s too long. After: The contact form on the school’s new ReachEdge site has just four field sections: name, phone, email address and comments. This falls within the ideal amount of three to five fields. You want to collect pertinent information from your leads, but you don’t want to overwhelm them with too many fields. Make sure your contact forms are short and sweet. You can collect additional information from your potential customer when you follow up with them. 8) 7 Unbounce
  • 11. Try This, Not That: 10 Website Mistakes & How to Avoid Them Ebook -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 11 ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� Website Mistake: No Mobile Site Today, 76% of consumers surveyed use their smartphone to access information about a local store they want to visit.8 This means your website needs to be optimized for mobile in addition to desktop viewing. What are on-the-go consumers looking for? For starters, your address, phone number, hours of operation, and maps or driving directions. By creating a mobile-friendly website with key features like a map and click- to-call functionality, you’re increasing your chances of being contacted by consumers who are looking for businesses while on the go. ------------------------------------ Auto Website Gets Mobile-Friendly Update ----------------------------------- Before: Does your website look right on a mobile phone? In this example, you see a website that isn’t designed to be viewed on a smartphone. When loaded on a smartphone, the information is cut off on the screen, which results in a poor user experience for its prospects. They will most likely abandon any further research about the website if they cannot read what’s on their phone. After: With this after example, the website is now mobile- friendly. The site is easily viewable on a smartphone screen; no wording or images are cut off. With more than half (55%) of mobile retail shoppers ultimately making a purchase, mobile technology is increasingly gaining popularity among consumers during the sales process.9 Having a mobile- friendly website is now more important than ever. 9) 8 Local Corporation 9 Nielsen, xAd, Telmetrics Mobile Path to Purchase study, 2013 555-555-555 Call Today 555-555-5555
  • 12. Try This, Not That: 10 Website Mistakes & How to Avoid Them Ebook -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 12 ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� Website Mistake: Doesn’t Track Conversion Sources or Measure ROI Do you know which marketing tactics are driving the most leads and customers to your business? Do you know how many calls and form submissions you receive from online marketing efforts like SEO and social media? Unless you ask leads how they found your business, you probably have no way to know. In addition, one of the biggest problems businesses have when it comes to their websites — and their marketing in general — is not being able to easily understand their return on investment. -------------------------------------- Apartment Complex Tracks Lead Sources ------------------------------------- Before: This site contains no back-end technology that tracks where calls and clicks to it are coming from. Not having this information puts the company at a disadvantage, because the business owner doesn’t know which online marketing efforts are effective, thus increasing the chance of wasted marketing dollars. After: This ReachEdge website is equipped with six tracking phone numbers that automatically swap on the site based on the visit’s marketing source: direct ads, organic search, paid search, directories, social media, and other sources. Thanks to this tracking technology, the apartment complex now knows which marketing programs are driving the most visits and contacts to its site. With this information, the company can make better decisions on where to spend its marketing dollars. FLOOR PLANS Interior advantages span from fabulous Tuscan touches of rich slate and hard wood flooring, oversized open concept floor plans, designer color schemes, and gourmet kitchens with granite countertops. Come experience city excitement, suburbia style. Villas di Lucca… Upgrade yourself. 10) Social Other PPC SEO Direct Site Traffic Directories 555-555-#### Tracking phone number that’s directly related to each marketing source.
  • 13. Try T h i s , N o t Th at Website Mistakes & How to Avoid Them Is your website a victim of some of these common mistakes that could be costing you customers? Learn how ReachEdge’s website design options and lead tracking functionality can attract more visitors to your website and help you turn them into customers. Call us at 866-978-9312 to learn more.
  • 14. 14 About Us A global leader in online marketing, ReachLocal’s (NASDAQ: RLOC) mission is to help local businesses all over the world reach more local consumers online. Through a combination of our smart technology and sharp professionals, we deliver services that get the results you need. And, we do it all so you don’t have to. facebook.com/reachlocal blog.reachlocal.com reachlocal.com twitter.com/reachlocal youtube.com/reachlocal plus.google.com/+reachlocal reachlocal.com | 866-978-9312 © 2013 ReachLocal. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission. ReachEdge™ is a trademark of ReachLocal. Like This ebook? There are many more ways to learn. ReachLocal Newsletter reachlocal.com/newsletter ReachLocal Learning Center resource.reachlocal.com

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