Bad Websites And Poor Design: The Deadly Combo That Will Damage Your Business

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Why Badly Designed Website Actually Damage Your Business. 

The top 10 mistakes that you want to avoid (or fix) if you want your website to actually generate new leads for your business.

Your website is one of the most vital assets in your business and should not be ignored. So why do a lot of businesses tend to let their site go stale and untouched in months or even years?

These days, your website is now the ‘shop front’ for your business. It is the 21st centuries equivalent of the big billboard on the high street, so you have to make it appealing. If you don’t… you know your competitors will be.

But there’s more to that than just looks and great design and this is what this article is about… it’s about showing you the common mistakes on your website that maybe stifling your business growth, and ways to judge your performance in each area. This way you can ask your developer or designer to fix these issues.

These issues run deeper than design, they categorically prevent and deter visitors from completing that all-important enquiry form or purchase.

We’ve rated them out of 10, with 10 being the most damaging impact on your business’s ability to get new leads through your website:

1. Asking For Too Much Info

Damage Rating – 4/10

Businesses tend to think about their own needs before their clients/customers/visitors on their website. We’ve had many instances when consulting for companies where they ask for a list of questions to be answered before people are even allowed to contact the business.

How crazy is that?

Talk about setting up hurdles for people to buy from you!

Asking people to answer in depth questions before they’re even allowed to talk to you!

In successful marketing, your first main goal is to get contact details of potential clients in order to establish a
relationship. Whether that’s a phone number or just an email address, you should encourage people to contact your business, so that you can follow up with a series of contacts to find out if your goods or services is suitable for
them.

So if you have more than 2/3 questions in your form, which require to be filled in, cut it down and make it less hassle for them to contact you and let the relationship start a bit easier.

2. Poorly Placed/ Wrong/ No Call To Action (otherwise known as a CTA)

Damage Rating – 4/10

So what exactly is a “Call to Action” you may ask?

Well it’s a marketing term which is any messaged designed to prompt an immediate response or encourage an immediate sale. It’s the online equivalent to a “sales close”.

You’ll normally see them on website in a button such as “enquire now”, “buy now”; “Register for free trial”.

The call to action is a core component of marketing, sales, and any persuasion-based effort today.

A good call to action isn’t the only element you need to succeed online, but a good one will certainly improve your effectiveness.

There may be many reasons why your call to actions aren’t quite having the desired effect of getting your client to act now, and here are some common issues:

  • You’re overwhelming users with too many options.
  • Your CTAs are hard to find.
  • Your CTAs aren’t optimized for mobile.
  • You’re using the wrong language.
  • You’re using a form that’s WAY too long and complicated.
  • You’re asking too much without offering anything in return.
  • You’ve left out the benefits of your offer.
  • Your colour choices are all wrong.
  • You’re leaning on a single conversion point.

Optimise your call to actions if you find yourself getting a lot of traffic but little conversions (you should have Google analytics on your site)

3. Bad Use Of Colour/Contrast/Fonts

Damage Rating – 5/10

Have you ever been on a website that actually hurt your eyes?

As a PR Marketing that’s covers property developers, construction companies, student accommodation, consultants, health and fitness and lifestyle industries, we have seen our fair share of disastrous websites… ones which actually physically hurt your eyes!

Poor use of contrast, colour and fonts (also known as typography) says a lot about your business. It can say:

  • You don’t care about your businesses reputation
  • You prefer doing things cheaply
  • Amateur work, not an expert in your field.
  • Don’t have attention to detail

And that’s just your business… so why should anyone trust you with theirs?

Inept use of fonts, colours and contrast will result in less new leads, which when times are desperate, you’ll be more
inclined to sell on price, leading to lower profit margins and more work.

On the other hand, getting your fonts, the contrast and colours right can significantly improve your brand and business reputation, which allows you to project yourself as the expert in your field, and therefore justify a high(er) price.

4. Broken Links

Damage Rating – 6/10

It’s annoying and frustrating when you’re on a site… it’s captured your interest, then when you click on to read more its just a blank page, or an error message appears.

There are many times even when clicking on Google search (even on a paid advert as well) when it takes you to a blank page… It’s probably the ultimate definition of wasting money… paying for advertisement to send people to a blank page.

Broken links and blank pages can be common though as you add more pages, or if you change you site, they can be easily missed by your website designer or developer.

Luckily, there are easy solutions out there. Your designer/developer should have already implemented them on your site to notify if there are broken links in your site. If not, then below is the link to install on your site.

The main and automated version, which is completely free, is the Google Webmaster tools (otherwise known as Google Console).

https://search.google.com/search-console/about

Not only does it alert you when you have a broken link, its shows you how your site performs for particular searches, so if your selling “blue widgets in London”, and you’ve optimized your site, it will tell you how many times it has appeared when someone’s has typed this in and how many time they’ve clicked on your site.

5. Outdated Content, No Updated News

Damage Rating – 5/10 (potentially 9/10 depending on how long it hasn’t been updated)

Trust is a big issue when people come to buy or enquire, even more so when it comes to the Internet.

When websites aren’t updated, if it’s been left stagnate for months and years, if people land on your site, they may wonder if you’re even still in business.

  • Can I trust you with my money?
  • Are you’re products or service reliable?
  • Will I get an answer back from you?
  • Is there any point in contacting you?
  • Do you still do what I’m looking for?
  • Is this business credible?

These are just a few of the questions that will be running through the mind of anyone who visits your site?

Sure enough, if your website hasn’t been updated in months or years, they will be quickly moving on to your competitors website to enquire with them.

Unfortunately there is no real quick solution to this apart from update your content and news. Add some case studies in, add some industry news, give tips out, do something to give value and keep visitors coming back.

If you’re struggling with ideas as to what you can do with your business, drop us a quick email and we can come up with some ideas for you, or if you don’t have the time, we can create it for you.

6. Poor Navigation And Hidden Pages

Damage Rating – 7/10

If your navigation bar (the menu bar where normally you have about us, your services/products and contact us page appear) is poorly designed or structured, it can lead to a huge drop in enquiries of new leads AND damage your search engine rankings…. a double whammy!

How does that happen you might ask?

Well, if your website visitors find it difficult to search for what they are looking for, they will just close the window (this is what’s know as a ‘bouncing’ from your site) and find somewhere other website.

They wont hang around and check out other pages (because they find it difficult and frustrating), which means you wont get them to enquire about what your selling.

No enquiry = No sales

What’s even worse though is that Google will know that people are bouncing off your site regularly and start to
penalise you by lowering your rank on the search engine listing (as they see that people are not finding your site relevant) and when they come to look at your site, they’ll also find it difficult to navigate, which gives them even
more reason to lower your site in the rankings.

7. Not Mobile Responsive

Damage Rating – 8/10

When was the last time you were in a coffee shop or restaurant and didn’t see someone on his or her mobile phone?

People are constantly on their phones so its imperative your site is optimised for the mobile phone.

Here are some statistics of one of our campaigns that we managed for our clients:

Blue – mobile searches

Red – tablet

Yellow – computer

Mobile phone usage stats
Mobile phone usage stats

 

On sites we monitored, the statistic show that a whopping 60% of visitors viewed sites through a mobile phone. This isn’t just for one particular industry… it’s an ongoing upward trend which Google has already acknowledged by penalising sites, which are not mobile friendly.

Telltale signs of a non optimised website are:

  • Ineligible text or text too big on your
  • mobile.
  • Website scrolling left and right on mobile.
  • Images too big or too small.
  • Buttons too big or too small.

The sure way of finding out if your site is mobile optimised is to ask Google at:

https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly

Google show you what potential visitors will see and give you a screenshot of your site as well as indicate what needs to be changed in order to optimise it for mobile.

You can then send to your website designer to change, who should have really contacted you a long time ago to warn you that your site is potentially having a negative effect on your business.

Warning: Some developers and designers may do absolute minimum to get your site optimised (so its passes the test) but not care about how your site looks, so go on your mobile now and see for yourself if text, buttons or images look too big or small or misaligned.

If you feel that it’s not been done to a standard which represents your business value, then pop us a quick message and we can see if we’re able to help you.

8. Bad User Experience /Old Website

Damage Rating – 8/10

A good user experience is vital for any website. A website with a good user experience will be easy to use, efficient and provide the user with meaningful and valuable content throughout.

On the other hand, poor user experience is a liability to your business. If you’re lucky, it doesn’t do anything for your business, but in most cases it will deter people from contacting you and therefore damage your ability to generate new enquiries.

Examples of poor user experience include:

  • Too many pop ups
  • Too complex to navigate
  • Information overload
  • All sales and no value
  • Out-dated content and design

If you’re site hits these issues, maybe its time to update your site as your business and your
brand could be affected.

Remember your website is probably the first real meaningful contact your future customers have with your business, so make sure it’s a good first impression.

9. Slow Loading Website

8/10

There’s nothing more frustrating than having to wait. We all want something fast, something instant and when a
websites takes an age to load, we just naturally move onto something else.

How many enquiries and potential sales do you think your site has lost because of slow loading?

One of our clients had a heavy website, taking up to 15 seconds to load (That’s just us counting out loud and not using any software)…

15 seconds in near silence is a long time.

When we actually measured officially using a dedicated site, it actually took 17 seconds.

 

Example of bad website damaging business
Example of bad website damaging business
How A Good Website Can Increase Number Of enquiries
How A Good Website Can Increase Number Of enquiries

Most normal visitors who don’t know anything about your business and have no bias would just close tab and find a
competitors site.

When we initially discussed with the client, we heard some excuses such as “our website is different… people will
stay to view… we have a backend system which does other functions”
etc. but we explained that potential visitors will not care what you are offering, they don’t care what’s on the backend, what they do care about at that single moment is that they have to wait.

When we got to work, we managed to cut their page loading speed right down and it worked wonders for them… so much so that we managed to bring them in over £500,000 worth of bookings in a space of 5 months. That’s how much a page speed could be worth to a business.

 

So how do you test your site speed?

Again, Google recognises that people who search on the internet do not have the patience to wait for websites to load, therefore they penalise websites with slow load speed and reward fast loading websites with higher rankings.

So what could be causing slow loading pages?

There are many factors that could affect your load speed (and below we show you how to find out exactly why your page is slow)

Some common factors that slow down your site and deter visitors from taking action are:

  • Large, unformatted images
  • Using a cheap/ slow hosting
  • Not utilizing Caches
  • Too much flash content
  • Not using compression

So what’s the solution?

A brilliant site which not only shows you your site speed but also the exact issues to fix is:

https://gtmetrix.com

If you are using this site, choose the nearest server (you can signup to a free account) and look at the main headline
stats:

The 2 most important indictors are (in order of importance):

1. Fully loaded time

2. Page speed score

Fully loaded time is the actual time for your web page to load and page speed score is the grading of your website in
terms of what can be optimised (A being that your site is relatively optimised, F being your site has areas where it can be optimised)

In reality, your site should aim to open in under 2 seconds. 4 seconds max.

If you do the test and send the link to your developer, they should be able to reduce your page loading speed, which in turns will mean that more visitors actually stay on your site and increase your chances of them taking action such as send an enquiry or purchase your products or services.

Each and every client is given advice on how to update their website without affecting its performance, to ensure that you keep getting enquiries and sales through your most important digital asset.

10. Not Secure

Damage Rating – 9/10 (potentially 10/10)

This is essential in building trust with your visitors. If your site is not secure, the visitors may not even be able to
reach your site.

Google are now penalising websites, which are unsecure, as they want to ensure that visitors who search on their platform have a safe and secure experience. Sites which are not secure are now showing in lower pages and in some cases taken of their listing, which ultimately means that your site will never be found when someone searches for your products or services.

If your website does happen to be visited, all browsers such as Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari also now highlight clearly that the sight is ” Not Secure” and that their data is at risk.

Website Not Secure Warning

How would you feel about putting your contact details into a site that’s not safe?

You’d probably have second thoughts right!

The absolute worst-case scenario, and this happens to a lot of sites which are not secured, is that your visitors can reach your site and instead see this message:

Mobile phone usage stats
Site not secure warning page

The only way they can reach your site is if they click on a couple of buttons and acknowledge they are at risk!

The thing is, you wont even know about it as you’ll most likely have bypassed this message as you’re consistently on it, but for new visitors, because there is no record of them going on to the site before, they may hit this screen.

So you’ve spent all your time networking, paying for leaflets, advertisement, time promoting on social media and handing out business cards, then your visitors go to check you out and your site (and in connection, you business) is not trustworthy… how damaging is that to your reputation, your brand and your business?

Worst-case scenario…

If you’re in the EU, you maybe in breach of GDPR as you maybe holding personal contact details of visitors which opens your business up to fines of up to €10 million, or 2% annual global turnover – whichever is higher.

OUCH

So what’s the solution?

1. Visual check to see if your sight is unsecure by checking in the browser:

Website Not Secure Warning
Website Not Secure Warning

 

Secure Website Padlock
Secure Website Padlock
 

Confirmation by using an external site checker such as:

https://www.hubspot.com/ssl-checker

(Some pages of your site maybe secure and some pages may not so, which still brings up the same warnings.)

If it’s green light great… if its red light, then you have an issue.

There can be many causes why a site is not secure:

  • You haven’t setup your SSL encryption (or your website developer/designer may not have)
  • You may have content which are not secure
  • Your site maybe defaulting to http (not secure site)

Contact your developer or designer and get them resolved otherwise your business will continue to be damaged by your website. If you would like us to look at this for you, we can carry out a free website audit for you. Just click here.

Summary

Let’s face it, the main reasons why you have a website for your business is to show people what you do, demonstrate your expertise, and gently persuade them to contact you for more information.

It’s an extension, a tool of your business and if its ultimately damaging your business reputation and branding, creating a first impression that you don’t want for your business, then it’s something you need to rectify immediately.

If your website designer or developer has missed out on these areas, and you would like us to not only carry out a website audit but a PR Marketing audit free of charge, simply fill out the form below.

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