By Miles Burke

5 Reasons Prospects Don’t Like Your Website

By Miles Burke

You spend your waking hours preaching why businesses need great websites, so what does your website say about you?

Here’s five common reasons potential customers may be leaving your website without making an enquiry.

  1. Being buzzword heavy. I visited a designer’s website just recently, and after reading paragraphs of opening text, I really had little idea what they did. I’ve had 17 years web experience, too! Cut the buzzwords and speak plain English.
  2. Being unremarkable. What makes you stand out from the rest? Communicate that up front, and make your Unique Selling Point (USP) a big, bold front-page matter.
  3. Terrible design. It doesn’t matter if you are all about database schemas and never touch design work. If your website looks amateur, then so do you! Find a designer to help you out, and make your website shine.
  4. Having no credibility. Sure, you say you are the best, but we all know you’re biased. I want to see glowing client testimonials, and they need to be up front not hidden away in a hard-to-find page.
  5. No contact details. Yes, a web-based contact form is great, but that doesn’t boost your prospects’ confidence. They want to see a real phone number and a physical address. Not a post office box and a contact form.

Take a critical look at your website – is it suffering any of the above?

If so, fix it right now. You’re losing enquiries because of it.

  • Nothing adds credibility like real video testimonials. I did mine a few years ago now – and my portfolio needs updating since all my best work has been done since I joined an agency – but if you want to see my zero production cost video testimonials you can see them here: http://darklit.net/design/testimonials . Windows movie maker, a digital camera, and a little planning is all it takes.

    A pic and a paragraph can be faked too easily. I feel that real video testimonials is the only way to fly. Nice quick list. I hope you don’t grade my site against every point … :(

  • I think #6 should be “Too many Ads on you Website” – Putting an Ad in between the last two sentences of an article is ridiculous – as you have done here. Not to mention 5 of the 7 ADs on this page are for the same company.

    • Tom

      Way to be constructive, John. :P

  • I find it rather creepy when folks do not supply actual contact info on their website. It’s like they are hiding something. A form is great but an actual phone number and general location speaks volumes to me.

  • Re: the phone and address on the website contact page.

    I’m extremely curious what other freelancers who work part time out of their homes do in this situation. I recognize that having full contact information builds trust, but I’m weary of putting my home address and personal mobile number on my site.

    • Simone

      I’d suggest getting a 2nd mobile phone, that is strictly for business – it is extra cost, but you can keep the cost low with a cheap plan / pre-paid. Then you can turn it off outside of your business hours without being at the beck and call of clients day and night, and still get calls from family and friends.

      • Not a bad idea. As a cheap alternative, could I us something like Google Voice to set up a separate number that would forward to my regular cell?

        It seems like a workable solution to me, but I wonder if others have tried it.

      • Tom

        Or just get a Google Voice number (free) and set up whatever forwarding options, hours, etc you want.

  • A web developer’s website should be a sample of their work. If a business owner is looking for someone to help design/update their website, they will choose a developer who has a website that they like. Would you hire a decorator to decorate your home if you thought their office was ugly? If your website has too many buzzwords, then you probably are telling people what you want to tell them and NOT providing them with the information they are looking for. A lot of companies want to work with someone local. I think this is one of the biggest reasons why you NEED to provide contact information that at the very least includes a phone number and probably also an address.

    I know a few developers who work alone, but when they write about their business, they are vague and try to give the impression that they are a larger company with staff. I think it is important to be honest with your customers. There is nothing wrong with being a one person company or having to partner with others to provide the graphics, database, or other functionality that may be required.

    I know it is easy to develop a website and forget it. It is important to continue to review and refine your own websites and keep them current, both in terms of the technology, design, and services you offer.

  • The problem is sometimes “buzz words” are keywords people/companies are searching for on search engines and if a website designer doesn’t include them on their site, they’ll be losing search engine juice.

  • wonderful information. i will follow this. thanks Miles :)

  • Good points, and I guess that customer don’t understand much buzzwords so the go to another page

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