10 Warning Signs Your Website is Broken : Under30CEO 10 Warning Signs Your Website is Broken : Under30CEO
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10 Warning Signs Your Website is Broken

| July 6, 2012 | 5 Comments

You have that feeling, don’t you?

Sure, you have a website, but is it doing everything that you want it to?  It’s not generating the traffic that you want.  And it hasn’t made a sale for you in quite some time.

You can’t help but wonder…

Do you need to be patient, waiting for the latest social media site to be your savior?  Or is it possible that your website is really broken?

The hard truth:  there’s no way to know for sure

When it comes to building websites, there is no “right”  way.

There are websites that completely defy everything the experts tell you not to do, and yet they are generating millions of dollars for the business.

While there aren’t any rules for building a great website, there are warning signs that will tell you if your site is broken.

Below, I’ve compiled 10 of the most common warning signs.

Beginner Mistakes:

No Clear Goal

I’m often asked to review someone’s website, and one of the first questions I ask is “What’s the goal of your website?”

Unfortunately, too many CEO’s and business owners are unable to answer this simple question.

Generally speaking, websites exist to serve one of three purposes.  They are either used as a sales tool, a way to service customers, and a way to inform prospects.

Before you write a single line of code, or design your home page, have a clear understanding of what the goal of your website is, and how it aligns with the direction of your company.

Brochure Site

Back in the ‘90’s and early 2000’s, websites were electronic brochures.  They were five or six pages of generic information and a few pictures.

Successful websites today are multi-media experiences.  They consist of videos, blogs, podcasts, news rooms, and even online communities.

These dynamic sites aid to facilitate trust between a business and its prospects before any monetary exchange is made.  The result is the business experiences more traffic and more sales and the customers are confident in their decision to make a purchase.

Clutter

Have you ever been to a website where there is so much going on that you don’t know what to do?  There are ads, social media buttons, moving graphics, and links to many different products and services.

When a website overwhelms its visitors with options, many visitors leave without taking action.

Remember mistake number one.  Whether you want to drive sales, perform customer service tasks, or be a resource to prospects, develop your website with a clear goal and eliminate all other distractions.

Clashing Colors

If your blog has a blue background, having dark blue text is a big mistake. The contrast is too close and most of your readers will have a hard time reading your text.

This sounds obvious right?

Next time you are browsing the web, make a note of how many websites actually make you have to strain your eyes to see the text.

It’s more than you might think.

Loaded with Jargon

Every industry has its own language.  And many websites mistakenly speak in the language of the industry.

For instance, if you sell software with a 128-bit encryption key, the only people likely to understand what that means are software developers and IT professionals.  Unless you are selling to these individuals, you are better off trying to find another way to explain how secure your software is.

Remember to step outside of your industry echo chamber and speak in the language of your buyers so they understand exactly what you are trying to communicate.

Advanced Mistakes:

No call to action

A call to action is a tactic that marketers use to encourage a website visitor to do something.

Some examples of a call to action are:

  • Buy Now
  • Download the White Paper
  • Add to Cart
  • Call for a Free Consultation

When visitors come to your website and is interested in your product or service, make sure that you provide them with an opportunity to take that next step.

Don’t Speak to Your Buyers

Website visitors can be quite fickle.  And why shouldn’t they be?

Leaving a website is as simple as pushing the back arrow on the internet browser.  A website needs to capture its visitor’s attention quickly.  And to do that, you need to talk about your buyers and how you can help them.

When you visit most websites, the first thing you see is the product or service being sold.   The hard truth is that your prospects don’t care about the features of your product or service.

Here’s a simple fix:  make customer case studies the first thing that your visitors see.  This will generate more interest in your business and increase conversions.

Slow to Load

You have seconds to captivate web browsers and make them want to learn more about your business.  On the web, there are an ever increasing number of distractions.

And websites that are slow to load lose out.

Remember, visitors can easily leave your site by simply clicking on the back button in your internet browser.

Not Formatted for Mobile Devices

There is a good chance that your prospects won’t be visiting your website from a desktop or a laptop.  The number of people who will interact with your website from an iPad or smart phone increases every day.

If your site isn’t optimized for mobile devices, you risk losing out on these potential sales.

Eliminate the Flash

There was a time when having a Flash based website was the cool thing to do.  That’s no longer the case.

First, many visitors will exit your website before your site finishes loading.  And second, Apple products don’t support flash.  This means visitors using the iPhone and iPad won’t be able to view your website.

The Bottom Line

As a CEO or business owner, a website could be one of the most powerful tools in your business, but only if it’s not broken.

Each time a visitor comes to your site and leaves is a wasted opportunity to make a sale or inform a prospect.

And it’s an opportunity that you may never get back.

So here’s what I want you to do.

Using this post as a checklist, look for these warning signs on your website and start to fix them one by one.

Wasting time is literally costing you money.

So get started.  Like right now

Joshua Davidson is the CEO of Chop Dawg Studios, a new media marketing company that helps businesses create beautiful web presences without breaking the bank. Grab a free proposal and receive $100 off by mentioning this article at Chop Dawg Studios.

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Category: Finding Customers, Startup Advice

  • Jennlandia

    So glad you added “not formatted for mobile devices.” This isn’t incredibly hard to do anymore and makes a world of difference. I stumbled on the blog SmallBizSurvival.com the other day on my mobile and was pleasantly surprised to see it optimized just for my iPhone. It’s the little touches like that which make you remember a site AND a business.

  • Jennlandia

    So glad you added “not formatted for mobile devices.” This isn’t incredibly hard to do anymore and makes a world of difference. I stumbled on the blog SmallBizSurvival.com the other day on my mobile and was pleasantly surprised to see it optimized just for my iPhone. It’s the little touches like that which make you remember a site AND a business.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joshuadavidson18 Joshua Davidson

    Definitely! In todays era, doing those small ‘details’ make all the differences for businesses and they barely have much costs involved! :)

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  • Vin

    great advise