We all want to convert traffic into sales on our website, to shake hands with our visitors and turn them into clients. We usually think we’re doing a good job. But there are 3 major ways yours is probably losing them. Today I’ll help you fix them.

We’re all told we need a website so we can sell our stuff online.

So we build a website, put our names on it, tell people about our company, and proudly share a link to it on Facebook. We might even get real fancy and create a Facebook page and ask all our friends to “like” it so the number doesn’t hang out in the single digits for long.

And then we wait.

And wait.

If we have money, we’ll take out ads and send people to our website. We’ll get business cards made (cj.com, vistaprint) and toss our URL on the bottom, but for some reason we can’t get any increase in sales.

Did you ever think your website might actually be losing customers for you? It’s very possible, but I’m about to show you how to fix it.

3 main problems with most small business websites

There are a few problems I see over and over again, but they’re all understandable especially for businesses that are trying to bootstrap their website.

Below I outline the problems as well as how you can fix them starting today.

your website is all about you

It’s a common mistake, and an easy one to make. Of course you want to sell yourself and your products to make sure people visiting your page see right away why they should hire you.

There’s nothing wrong with the concept. It’s the approach that causes issues.

Your potential customers don’t want to know how cool your product is. They don’t care how many awards you’ve gotten or where you’ve been featured. Those are nice things to have, because they give you credibility, but they shouldn’t be the focus.

Your customers care about only one thing: how you can help them with the problem they’re trying to solve. Most of the visitors don’t go to your site to find you, they are looking for a solution.

how to fix it

The good thing is you likely already have everything you need to solve this:

  1. Instead of thinking about how cool your product is, think about the problem it solves for your visitor.
  2. Visit your website from the perspective of the person with the problem and try to see how quickly you can find how your product solves the problem. Don’t make assumptions about your content – only base your speed on what you see on your site.
  3. Now take the content you found that tells you how you solve their problem and make that front and center on the home page. Tell them how you can improve their life rather than what you’re selling. Check out this blog post and podcast on Copyblogger to really find out how to roll out the red carpet on your homepage.

your information is difficult to find

How many times have you been on a website looking for one piece of information and you can’t find it to save your life? (By the way, if you have trouble with that on this website, please let me know!)

how to fix it

  1. Think of the different questions your website visitors might have both before they get to your site and also once they start reading and want to learn more. Start with low-hanging fruit like “how can I get in touch with you”, “how much will this cost”, etc.
  2. Make sure all of those questions have pages with answers.
  3. Make sure those pages are easy to find. Have you linked to the main important pages in your header navigation?
  4. Add a search widget to your site. Google has a good one. If you’re on WordPress, their built-in one is decent.

you’re not telling your customers what you want them to do

This one is probably the easiest one to miss, and it’s also pretty easy to fix.

Think about it this way: if you’d never used Google before, how would you know what to do when you got there? Well, there’s only one thing you can do – start typing in the search bar.

Each page on your website should have what’s called a “call to action”. And each page should really have only one call to action. There are a few exceptions, but there should at least be only one *main* call to action that gets the most attention.

What should the call to action be? That depends on what you want your visitor to do once they’re ready to leave the page they’re on. On a course landing page, the obvious call to action is “buy now”.

Maybe some pages you’ll want them to send you an email. Blog posts often ask for comments. Sometimes maybe you want a phone call. For the post part, your call to action will guide visitors into becoming a lead and eventually a paying client. So make that particular action obvious, and where it’s appropriate – specifically ask the visitor to take the action.

how to fix it

Decide what your main call to action on your homepage should be. Take a look at the Jayzilla homepage. There’s one button to click when you get there. Clearly, I want you to go to the page where I explain how I’ll fix your problem, and I even ask you to take that action via the button text.

It may help to draw out a tree of actions you want people to take in order to get to the point of initiating direct contact with you, and then set up your pages to easily guide visitors through those actions.

If you treat all of your pages and blog posts like a sales page (not one of those crappy, cheesy ones), you’ll start to see more people spending more time on your site as well as converting them into clients.

I can help you with it, if you’d like

That was a lot of information, and I hope I organized it well enough for you to evaluate your website and fix the common mistakes. If you’re not sure where to start, I’m happy to help!

Send me an email with your website URL and what you think needs the most improvement after reading this post. I’ll take a look and give you specific advice on how to adjust it so you’re capturing more leads. A set of fresh eyes might be just what your site needs!

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