Approximately three out of four consumers use the internet at least once a month to find local businesses, according to data collected by BrightLocal in its 2018 Local Consumer Review Survey. Additionally, 27% of the respondents reported conducting this type of search every single day, though this number increases to 54% for searchers in the ages 18 to 34 range.
The question is: when these potential customers — the people who are actively searching for your products and services — visit your website, is the content it contains compelling them to make a purchase, or is it doing the opposite and driving them away?
Answering this requires taking a close-up, honest look at your current site to consider whether it is effectively attracting and converting your leads. But what is it that you’re looking for?
While a number of factors can ultimately impact your ability to draw visitors in and create a positive user experience, a good place to start is with these eight issues, all of which can ultimately hurt your business.
1. It contains spelling or other word-related errors
If your website isn’t up to par with simple spelling and grammar, it can cause visitors to lose respect for your brand. Because these types of errors are so easy to correct, not doing so makes your company look sloppy or lazy. It’s also a sign that you don’t take your business seriously enough to make sure the content is correct.
A simple fix for eliminating spelling and word-related errors is to hire an editor to go over your content word for word. Alternatively, ask a few members of your management team to comb through all your pages, looking for any issues that jump out to them.
2. It’s too SEO-focused
Another common error that businesses make is creating website content that is more focused on search engine optimization (SEO), rather than content that makes sense for customers or provides any real value.
An example of this is starting your page with “If you’re looking for an Orange County auto mechanic who can service your Orange County vehicle, contact Orange County’s premier auto repair shop located on 123 Main St. in Orange County.”
Is this sentence loaded with some great SEO keywords and phrases? Absolutely. But if you were a customer visiting this site and this was the first thing you read, it doesn’t quite entice you to want to read any further.
3. It doesn’t have enough SEO
Just as you don’t want to have too much of a focus on SEO, you don’t want to underdo it, either. Therefore, if you’ve never looked at whether you use enough keywords (or the right keywords) on your site, now is a good time to do just that.
Not sure what phrases people use to find you? One way to figure that out is to go to a search page and start typing in your search. Look at all of the options that automatically populate the search bar. This gives you an idea of the wording that others have used when doing that type of search.
4. It takes too much brain power to read
Have you ever gone to a website, only to have it use so many words you didn’t know that you left the page more confused than when you arrived? Though sometimes difficult-to-use words are necessary — such as when explaining a product’s specs — if it takes too much brain power for the average person to read, you run the risk that your visitor will click away.
Yale University reports that, when it comes to reading on-screen text, it is ideal to keep the reading level as low as possible for your particular audience. This improves comprehension for all of your consumers, including those who may have cognitive impairments or those who may not read, write or understand English all that well.
5. It doesn’t show your personality
Your website content may also be hurting your business if it doesn’t reflect your brand’s personality. If your site’s visitors feel like they’re reading a textbook or content that is otherwise considered fairly flat, there is likely no appeal to want to do business with you.
The three keys to marketing success require getting your customer base to know, like and trust you. Showing your company’s personality is one way to achieve all of these goals. So treat this like you would any other relationship that you want to nurture and strengthen, and use your content to let them in.
6. Focusing more on yourself than the consumer
Some businesses make the mistake of using their website solely to convince their visitors why they as a company are so great. Although some level of pride and boasting about your products or services is okay, your content needs to immediately answer the one question all consumers have: What’s in it for me?
7. Not thinking and speaking toward your target audience
When creating content for your website, it also benefits you to put yourself in the shoes of your target market. What types of questions are they likely to have about your products and services? Additionally, what type of wording would they use?
The more you can think and speak like your target market, the greater your ability to create content that really connects with them. The better you’re able to connect with them, the easier it will be for them to buy from you.
8. Linking to unreputable sources
Linking content within your site to other websites can help improve your search engine rank. This practice is most common in blogs, especially if you’re pointing to research studies that back up what you say or publications that have mentioned your brand — but make sure the sites you’re linking to are credible, reputable sources and companies. Otherwise, you run the risk of driving customers away.
Having a website is a must in today’s digital day, but it’s even more important to have a website that helps your brand versus hurting it. You simply work too hard to have your content work against you, so follow these tips to make sure it doesn’t.