Written By The Art of Business Content Team
So, your small business has a website, just like the experts say you should. But, for some reason, it’s costing you an arm and a leg to keep it running and you’re only getting crickets in return. How frustrating! What could the problem be?
The truth is, there could be quite a few pitfalls you’re falling into with your website.
Ideally, your website should load in 2 seconds or less! That’s right…just 2 seconds! Why? First of all, a sluggish website will knock your SEO performance. Google won’t prioritize slow websites. Secondly, you’ll lose readers if your website is slow. Believe it or not, if your website takes 7 seconds to load, you’ll lose up to 30% of visitors! That’s 30% of potential clients who were poised to walk in your door…. who’s just turned around and left!
We recommend working with Squarespace, which not only offers killer website designs but also quick loading times. WordPress is also a great option if you work with a developer. According to Ather, our website developer, “Squarespace adds CDN to all websites by default. If you choose to use WordPress, you’ll need a technical person to add this detail.” However, no matter what platform you use for your website, there are a few tricks you can use to shave downloading times. For example, make each page smaller. You can check your page size with Chrome Developer Tools. Aim for 1MB or less per page. Also, remember, super large images will cause your load time to lag. So, aim for using smaller image sizes and opt for a .jpg file type if possible.
Another reason your website isn’t making money is that your mobile visitors are getting left behind. Did you know that worldwide, over half of website traffic is from a mobile device? That means to compete, your website MUST be mobile-friendly. In other words, it must display correctly on a mobile device. If it doesn’t, potential customers are going to BOUNCE right off your website and find a website that does display correctly.
If your website doesn’t have a responsive design…then it’s time to find one! Whether you DIY your website or work with a designer, you can search specifically for responsive designs. Then, make sure you test out your website on a mobile device to make sure everything displays properly.
Did you know that 95% of internet searchers don’t look beyond the first page of Google results? So, if your website is way down on page 3 of search results, you’re not going to get the traffic you need to make money on your website. So, how can you move up to page 1?
SEO is a long-term project that you can’t execute overnight. However, it’s worth it! You can improve your website’s SEO results by focusing on keywords with little competition. For example, instead of trying to rank for the keyword “hardware store”, you might compete by using your location. In other words, “hardware store Calgary.” That narrows down the competition a lot. You can play the SEO game with blog posts or with service pages, or even on your home page.
Websites that are too busy and flashy lose visitors because they’re too confusing. Hard-to-read fonts, fonts that are too small, and low-contrast of colours are some of the principal offences to navigation ease. Other websites fail to help visitors navigate the website with internal links and easy-to-use navigation bars. If your website has these issues, it could be the reason your website isn’t making money.
Instead, aim for a simple design that gives visitors clear paths for navigation. For example, a bar at the top of the homepage that lists just a few pages like “Contact Us”, “About Us”, and a link to a blog. Plus, your website should include internal links. For example, if you mention a small part of your origin story on your homepage, link that to the more in-depth “About Us” page.
A call to action is the perfect way to communicate what you want potential customers to do next. However, many websites miss this great opportunity! For example, after reading your homepage, do you invite visitors to sign up for a consultation or shop on your website? Or do you invite them to read more about one of your products? Failure to include calls to action in your website can mean your customers get lost in the process, close your website and move on with their lives.
Include a sprinkling of calls to action throughout your website! Remember, 90% of your website visitors will read them. For example, include them at the end of your homepage, at the end of every blog, as a pop-up, and on a landing page. Don’t forget to include something in return if you ask for visitors’ email addresses. This is called an opt-in or lead magnet. For example, you can offer a free guide, a discount, a free consultation, an ebook, or something else!
If you want your website to convert, you need to prove you’re trustworthy. Otherwise, visitors simply won’t take the leap of faith to purchase your product or service. So, how do you prove you’re trustworthy on your website? 80% of Canadians use online ratings and reviews when deciding whether or not to make a purchase. If you don’t have reviews and ratings easily accessible on your website, you can’t prove that your product or service will meet your customer’s expectations.
Include testimonials and reviews in a prominent place on your website! Your homepage is the perfect place to include a slider of a few of your top reviews or testimonials. In addition, you can add Google Reviews directly to your website.
Does your website have engaging visuals alongside killer copywriting? If not, that’s where you may be losing customers. Did you know that 91% of people prefer visual content over written content? Bring your graphics A-game to keep visitors engaged and interested!
Ideally, work with a graphic designer to get the killer visuals your website deserves. Nowadays, you can find an abundance of design options catering to all budgets. There are plenty of programs that can turn the average person into a semi-competent graphic designer. For example, we love the endless options with Canva!
You can also hire a professional writer to help you create copy that converts. Again, there are also budget options that will at least help you at least avoid grammatical mistakes (which can make you appear unprofessional). Try out Grammarly to make sure your website copy is error-free.
Does your website have social media sharing buttons? If not, you are behind the times! Making content easily shareable helps increase visibility and popularity. And hey, if you’re lucky, you might even go viral! Popular content will boost your SEO scores, which can also help you get more visitors.
Most website designs include the option of adding social media sharing buttons to your blog posts, or even to your website’s main pages. Make sure you add these to your website!
One reason your website isn’t making you money might be because, well, you haven’t put it to work for you!
Is your website optimized to make you money? Beyond making actual sales, you can also include secondary money-making opportunities on your website. Affiliate programs, brand promotions, and tasteful ads are just a few ways you can make this happen.
Evaluate your website to determine which money-makers you might want to add to your website. There are pros and cons to each. Remember, too many ads can turn off readers and make your website look messy. So, be careful about how you include these options. For example, recipe bloggers can often benefit from affiliate programs with sellers such as Amazon or food brands.
Book a discovery call with us today and find out how we can turn your website into a money-making machine! Be sure to follow us on our marketing adventures at the below!