It only takes 50 milliseconds for website visitors to form an opinion about your website (1). That’s 0.05 seconds for you to make an impression, and even if you do end up holding their attention, will they actually contact you?

While there are many website design mistakes that could be the cause of your website scaring off potential clients, in this article I’ve listed the top four that I see affecting service-based businesses every day.

Mistake #1: Bad Layout

If your website was designed over five years ago, then it’s time to refresh. Just like your business services must stay up-to-date and relevant, so should your website. Don’t let your Google listing lure you into false comfort – while your site may rank on the first page of Google, if you’re unable to keep visitors on your page and therefore contact your business – then it’s all for nothing.

You see, when visitors come to an outdated website or one that is difficult to navigate, most of them will click away as quickly as possible, and guess what? They will head straight to your competitors pages instead. A modern design is essential to standing out in the crowded web and for converting those visitors into actual clients.

How to fix it:

  • Visitors tend to scan websites, so ensure you’re grabbing their attention with some clear headings, subheadings, images or videos.
  • Do not bombard them with text. Limit it to 250 words max per message/section, but less is always best.
  • Simplify your menus and check links. Your visitors should smoothly find their way towards the action you want them to take.
  • Get a website refresh done by professional website designers and marketers – design and coding is not something you want to attempt yourself.

TIP: Mobile website viewing took over desktops back in 2016 – it’s now 2020, so time to make sure your website is mobile responsive!

Mistake #2: Missing in Action

Your website has a purpose. Whether you want your visitors to sign-up, buy something, request a quote, or simply contact you – there has to be a clear and prominent call to action.

So, if yours is non-existent or lost in a busy design then you won’t be converting your visitors into clients. Low conversion rates can simply be a result of the call to action getting lost on the page. You need to ensure your call to action button stands out and makes it easy for the visitors to take the desired action.

How to fix it:

Your call to action button is what you want your potential client or customer to do, for example, do you want them to:

  • Call you
  • Email you
  • Fill in a contact form
  • Sign up
  • Come into the office
  • Add to cart and purchase

Defining the call to action is the key, then take the customer on the journey to this action, through your website design and credibility.

Mistake # 3: Poor User Experience

‘Slow to load’ is the worst user experience one can have and the slower your website, the faster your potential client will click elsewhere.

According to surveys nearly half of web users expect a site to load in two seconds or less, and a delay of even one second can reduce your conversions by up to seven per cent (2).

How to fix it:

There are many reasons that can contribute to a slow loading time. Among the common reasons are:

  • Images are too big
  • Too many images and videos in the media library (even if they’re not in use)
  • Too many plugins
  • Outdated plugins
  • Broken links

Mistake #4: No Trust

Your website is asking for your visitor’s time and money, so you need to show you’re credible with what information you are providing and taking from them.

How to fix it:

Your website should provide the visitor with the following:

  1. A clear understanding of what you actually do and for who ­– I’ve seen a lot of beautifully designed websites that have told the customer absolutely nothing about what the business actually does, what problems they can solve and the benefits of contacting them over your competitors. Website copy is vastly different to writing for other mediums, it should be short, clear, impactful, portray your branding through tone, and of course, be SEO friendly.
  2. Prove you are trustworthy– Showcase recent blog content, proving you know what you’re talking about. Ensuring ABNs, addresses, licence numbers, memberships and qualifications are clearly visible on the website. If you have an online store or member login, ensure that you have a current SSL certificate (this is the little padlock in the browser showing it is a secure site).
  3. Represent your brand– Images can be a great way to improve a website, portray a brand and keep visitors on your page, however, if used incorrectly they can slow your website down, make your website appear fake/in-genuine or bring in the wrong target market. Every image you use should be relevant, meaningful, high quality and authentic – yes, even your stock images.

While refreshing your website can make your brand stand out, it’s always best to get the right advice first to avoid costly mistakes. Focused Marketing has the website design, writing and marketing expertise you need to produce a website that brings the clients to you.

There are solutions for every website, regardless of industry and services – we can help your website stand out on the web without taking a toll on your budget this year.