If you’re reading this chances are your website is trash.
For whatever reason you’ve decided to have a website for your business but also decided that it’s not important enough to invest some time, energy and money into. Because of this you now have a pile of steaming, hot garbage sitting on the computer screens of your potential customers.
Fortunately for you, we are providing a way out of this wasteland your users find themselves in, by listing off the top ten reasons your website sucks.
Let’s jump into it!
YOUR WEBSITE IS NOT SECURE
Do you see the words “Not Secure” or an unlocked padlock icon at the top of your browser when on your website? This means the website you are on is not secured and it’s the first thing a user will see when visiting your site.
So what does site security mean?
When your site is secured it is served over the HTTPS network instead of HTTP. That one letter makes a huge difference as the HTTPS network means the information being transmitted is encrypted.
When it comes to your website wouldn’t you want your user’s emails, credit cards, and any other personal information they may input to be encrypted and safe from hackers?
Setting up site security requires an SSL Certificate, which, lucky for your cheap ass, is free! So go ahead and get your site secured before someone hacks all the data that’s been placed on your webpages.
YOUR WEBSITE IS NOT MOBILE FRIENDLY AND FULLY RESPONSIVE
“My website comes up on my phone so it’s mobile friendly, right?” Wrong!
Just because your website loads on your iPhone doesn’t mean it’s mobile friendly. A mobile friendly website is one that the navigation, text, images and overall design are catered to a mobile device.
The text on your website should be easily readable on a smartphone, and not require the user to zoom in to read it. Elements should stack on top of each other, often resulting in a single column design, to make your site easier to navigate.
Another thing, mobile friendly and fully responsive are not the same thing.
A fully responsive site changes based on the size of the screen it’s being viewed on. Desktops, Macbooks, iPads and smartphones all have various screen sizes, so your website should change depending on that understanding. A mobile friendly website is a site that is specifically designed for smartphones. Your website may look great on an iPhone but crappy on an iPad.
YOUR WEBSITE LOOKS UGLY
Ugh, what is that, what am I even looking at?!
This is what people think right before they close your website into oblivion and never visit it again. You have 5 seconds to impress your user, FIVE SECONDS! Do you really want to waste your opportunity to convert a new customer because your site is ugly?
So how do you give your website a makeover?
For the sake of this article we are going to focus on the homepage design of a website.
Generally you would start with the layout of the page. Take everything that you want to put on your homepage and lay it out in order of importance. Whatever is at the top of your page is the most important thing your business is trying to communicate, and it will be the first thing your users will see.
Most website designs include a large banner at the top of their homepage. This banner is referred to as the Hero Banner. The Hero Banner should be used to promote your main or featured product or service. Some elements to include in a Hero Banner are an image, a catchy headline and a call to action.
But not just any image will do. In fact, the images or photos on your website really matter. If the current images on your site are low quality or poorly shot, then your website will look ugly no matter how nicely it’s laid out.
If you are unable to take a quality photo of your business, then you can try to find some stock images online. But understand that not all stock images are created equal. A website that provides good quality images, for free is Unsplash.com. We recommend starting with Unsplash if you have to rely on stock images and want to save money.
YOUR WEBSITE IS SLOW
Hello, is this thing ever going to load?
Luckily for you, no one will ever say that when visiting your website. The moment someone realizes your webpage is taking too long to load, they will exit the site and never return.
There are a plethora of reasons one’s website may take awhile to load, but most of the time the reason is one of two things.
There is too much data on the website
If your website uses plugins then you may have overdone it and installed too many. Having a lot of plugins can make your website bloated and cause it to be a slow mess of data.
Another common factor with data are the image sizes. If you’re using images that haven’t been optimized for the web, then they are going to take longer to load for you and your users.
Your server sucks
“Hosting for $5 a month? Sign me up!”
A cheap hosting plan means a slow website because it will throttle your data transfer speeds. Every website needs hosting so why not spend a little more money for something reasonable and get off of your slow, cheap server.
YOUR WEBSITE’S NAVIGATION DOESN’T MAKE SENSE
Your website is compiled of different web pages. These pages need to be categorized and connected based on importance and in a way that makes sense. A great way to get started revamping your site’s navigation is to create a sitemap.
A sitemap can be helpful because it is a birds eye view of all your webpages and how they are connected. Now take that sitemap and build your website’s main menu using it. The main menu should seamlessly help your users explore your website and keep them from getting lost along the way.
YOUR WEBSITE DOESN’T INCORPORATE YOUR BRANDING
Oh this is a website for a law firm and not an ice cream parlor? Then why the use of pink and blue everywhere?
Your branding is one of the most important things about your business and should be properly integrated into your website. A company’s brand consists of many different things, but in short it’s the identity of the business.
If you’d like to know more about how to up your branding game, check out our Business Branding Start-Up Guide.
YOUR WEBSITE USES AMBIGUOUS HEADLINES
“Inspiring others one click at a time”
“Experience innovation at every level”
“Strategizing and nichifying omni-channels for the greater good”
Do you know what any of these mean? Yeah, neither do we.
There’s been a trend that started a few years ago that incorporates marketing buzzwords and overcomplicated messages in the pursuit to sound intelligent. Unfortunately these fancy titles mean little to nothing to your users. Even if the title gets a user to click, once they find out the actual product you’re pushing, it may be completely irrelevant to them.
We prefer to take a page out of marketing 101 on this one and follow the KISS rule, Keep it Simple, Stupid. Your users want to know what it is you’re selling so they can make the decision on if they want to engage with the rest of your web experience. The faster and easier you can help the user understand your product, the more helpful your website will be to your audience.
YOUR WEBSITE IS A CLONE OF YOUR COMPETITORS
Maybe you came across another business similar to yours and you really like their website, so you copy it. Now this may sound like a good idea at the time, but I can assure you it is a terrible one.
If your users ever come across the website you copied off of, oh and trust me they will, then they will see that one of the websites they visited is a fraud. Because you’re the copycat, chances are your website will be missing some key features that the other website has, making it easy to spot the doppleganger.
Your uniqueness is what makes you, you, same goes for your business. While it’s okay to be inspired by others and incorporate similar elements, having your own original look will help cultivate a culture around your business and grow a loyal customer base.
YOUR WEBSITE LACKS SEO
You’ve probably heard the term SEO but may not know what it means. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it is the practice of tweaking your website to search engine standards. The more optimized your website is for search engines, the more often and higher in the rankings it will appear in online searches.
SEO comprises a wide range of factors that can be broken down into two categories, on-page and off-page.
On-page SEO means the text, images and layout of your website. If your website is informative or engaging and distributed in a way that is easy to understand, then you have good on-page SEO.
Off-page SEO is the more technical side of things that include meta descriptions, alt tags, robot.txt files, xml sitemaps and much more.
All of this techy stuff can feel overwhelming but the key is to make your website for humans, not for search engines. If you have a good website that your users enjoy, then naturally your website will rank well in search engines.
“I HAVE A FACEBOOK, I DON’T NEED A WEBSITE”
Have you learned anything from this article?
You do realize that you don’t own your Facebook account, Facebook does. If you knowingly or unknowingly break one of the many rules Facebook has, they reserve the right to shutdown your account. If your Facebook page goes away, then how will your existing or new customers find your web presence?
When it comes to your website, you actually own that asset and can do with it as you please. You don’t have to abide by the rules of another organization or have your online experience look like every other business in your industry. Having your own website means having the freedom to run the online platform of your business they way you want.
You also realize not everyone in the world has a Facebook account, right? If someone doesn’t have a Facebook they are not going to find you or be able to engage with all you have to offer. The great thing about having a website is you don’t need to require your users to have an account to access your full web experience.
So are you content with losing all of the potential business you could be getting from your website?
If you’ve made it this far then you are well on your way to having a better website for your business and your customers.
Do you feel like you want to incorporate these changes for your website but don’t know how?
We are here to help!
At FABLE we specialize in helping businesses with their brands and websites. If you’d like our help in redesigning your website, hosting your website, or just taking a look at your site and telling you what’s wrong with it, reach out to us today at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you!