Website mistakes are common. Some don’t cost you a thing. Others can be costing you a boatload.
Here are 7 common mistakes we find when we evaluate client websites:
#1 – No opt-in email capture mechanisms
Opt-in email capture mechanisms come in many forms, including special reports, newsletters (See #2), trial software downloads, and squeeze pages. Squeeze pages are a last resort vs the other 2, but they are far better than doing nothing to collect emails. No one wants to be a spammer, but there are times when a quick email to alert your prospects or clients about some news, an event, is the only way for most businesses to reach them in a timely fashion unless you have their phone/fax numbers and the capability to broadcast calls/faxes – both of which you must be very careful about (possible legal issues), depending on your relationship with each person.
#2 – No sequenced email autoresponders
This one more or less requires you to cure mistake #1, because without email addresses, it can’t work because you have no way to email your prospect. Once you get an email address, you should have a sequence of INFORMATIVE emails (NOT SPAM, and NOT pitch after pitch after pitch after pitch) on a regular basis – for lack of a better term – an email newsletter.
#3 – No mechanism to capture an address for print newsletters and other mailings.
Roughly the same as #1, but remember – the internet is just another media. Remember when broadcast fax was outlawed? What if all you had was a fax number? Remember when the Do-Not-Call list was put in place? What if all you had was a phone number?
If you only have ONE means to communicate with your prospects and some lobby-intoxicated elected official decides to shut down that media, you’re out of business, or at least in BIG trouble. Get the mailing address. Offer a CD, a free report, a small book or a gift that someone will ACTUALLY WANT.
IE: ANYTHING that will get you the address so that later, you can offer them other items, information, etc. Worst case, a postcard from Hawaii to let them know you are thinking about them (no, I’m not kidding).
#4 – No audio or video
It’s the 21st century folks, matter of fact, it has been for over 5 years. The web is over TEN years old. Does your site look like it was built for 1998’s web?
These days, video and audio aren’t geek toys, they are yet another media that is better than printed words for many people.
Audio that your prospect chooses to start, not that annoying automatically started audio that makes you reach for the volume on your PC (or the X button to close the browser).
Ditto for video. You can provide SO MUCH MORE information using video. Don’t use it as a toy, use it as an effective way to get your message across. You don’t need a $15000 camera and a professional studio to make good web video these days. A $300 digital camera will do just fine, though you may want to get a slightly better microphone than the one that comes attached to the camera.
Video and audio allow you to establish a personal relationship with the prospect. Remember, companies don’t buy things, PEOPLE do. Even at companies. PEOPLE buy products and services.
#5 – No contact form
Email from people you never heard of and would just as soon never meet is getting worse by the minute. The last thing you need is another 300 “personal” emails or hot stock tips that someone has to waste unproductive time going through. Worse yet, there’s 1 or 2 emails from clients in the middle of that pile of 300 emails and someone accidentally deletes it? What happens to that client or prospect?
If your email address is on your site in plain text, the slimy creatures who blast you with that stuff can easily find it. Provide an easy to use contact form on your site so that people can contact you without opening their email program. You need to be careful with these, because of something called “injection attacks”, but any competent web person or website portal software should have this under control by now. If they don’t, give them 48 hours to fix it or find a new web person – because they should have taken care of this MONTHS AGO without being asked. It’s their job to stay on top of this.
#6 – Little or no content, and certainly nothing new.
Little or no content that looks interesting to the search engines. BIG TIME MISTAKE. You are full of content, you just don’t think so. White papers, how to articles, a column by the boss, a blog, and so on.
#7 – Speaking in one voice to everyone who enters your site
If you sell tennis rackets, would you talk to Tiger Woods, Andre Agassi and Donald Trump all the same way? Of course not. Even though all three of these guys can afford any racket you have to offer, they have different levels of expertise. You simply cant afford to approach them the same way. Same goes for your prospective clients.
That’s only SEVEN.
Problem is, there are many others you can make, these are just some rather common ones. How many others are making your website a leaky bucket, losing sales and customers left and right? If there are 117 possible ways to lose ONE customer and you are doing them all, what is that costing you each month? Ouch. Reverse that and blammo, your site is moving in the right direction.
Copyright 2006 – Mark Riffey. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Reprint Rights: You may reprint this article as long as you leave all of the links active, do not edit the article in any way, give author name credit where credit is due and follow all of the EzineArticles terms of service for Publishers.
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