Your business may offer a great product or service, you may have a professional website and the traffic to your website may be really active, but you can't understand why your sales are at a standstill. Isn't your website supposed to help drum up business? You may have one of these common search engine optimization mistakes working against your site to prevent online visitors from turning into customers.
You may have spent a lot of time, money and effort on your website to ensure it has an attractive design and a polished and professional feel. Also, when you're analyzing your SEO numbers you see that your traffic is healthy, in fact, it might even be increasing. Despite this, you find yourself thinking: why aren't those online visitors calling, coming into my business and converting into customers? Here are some things that may be happening to prevent online prospects from becoming paying customers.
What's Hurting You?: Your Website is Confusing to Navigate
- This can actually be a common issue with many websites. A prospect lands on your site and they get lost. They don't know where to proceed in the navigation, or if you even sell the product or service they need. This may be the consequence if your site map isn't organized in a way that makes sense to the prospects that are viewing your site.
- Correction: You can fix this obstacle to customer conversion if you go back to the skeleton of your website: the site map. It may need to be re-organized to make the information that’s available clear and simple to click through. Most prospects want to know what products you sell so it would make sense to create a "Products" tab and list all of your product offerings under that particular tab.
What's Hurting You?: Your Website Has No Clear Calls-to-action
- A call to action is a short sentence in the content, or even a clickable button, that directs customers to where they should go for more information, or to get in contact with your business. The lack of these calls-to-action on your website can leave visitors wondering where they can go for more information on your products and services, or worse, prevent them from engaging with your company and making a purchase.
- Correction: Effectively written calls-to-action can work like charm in leading your customers through the site in the way you want it to be viewed. They can be inserted into the copy or with the addition of clickable buttons that will be the road signs along the way for the online visitor.
What's Hurting You?: Your Website is too Light on Written Content
- One major factor than can really improve or damage your credibility with your online visitor is your written content. If they click on your website and the content is sparse, vague and doesn't give the visitor enough information to make an informed choice, they will not appreciate this. It will lead to a high bounce rate (they may click on your site, but they won't stay long!)
- Correction: If you look at your website and you seem to have a lot of white space, it's highly recommended that you expand the writing on the main pages and possibly install a blog module to engage with readers. If you're not a strong writer personally, ensure you delegate this responsibility to someone who can professionally represent your business with their writing skills.
What's Hurting You?: Your Website Has Improperly Written Metadescriptions and Tags
- A major factor that will determine if customers buy from you is if your products or services are relevant to what they intended to find through the phrase they inputted into a search engine. This is directly attributable to the “off page” process of SEO tagging and metadescriptions. Your visitors may not find what they want on your site right away, or your business may be irrelevant to their search because this step in the SEO process was full of errors.
- Correction: You should ensure your metadescriptions, title tags, URLs, and image (alt) tags are rewritten to conform to SEO best practices.
- Meta descriptions should convey the uniqueness and relevance of each page and ideally be no longer that 150-160 characters.
- Image (alt) tags should be short blurbs (50-60 characters) that provide a brief description of what is in a photo, preferably with a keyword inserted in the description as well.
- Title tags describe what the reader will find on a particular page or even the title to a blog entry. These shouldn't be over 60 characters because the search results will cut off your title, which is not optimal for the reader.
- Your prospect to customer conversion rates may be impacted if any call to action buttons or outgoing links on your site are broken and lead to a "404 Page Not Found error." Your readers may also lose trust in your business if you link to other sources which have low authority and search engine ranking. This could be due to the quality of information or the reputation of the business to which you are linking.
- Correction: You want to ensure that your links are healthy by visiting your site regularly and conducting a quality control review to ensure the links on your pages (and even in your blogs) are fresh and still functioning. Also, ensure links are from reputable, authoritative sources before linking to them in the first place.
If you're finding your website is attracting a lot of online visitors, but it isn't really pulling it's weight to help grow your bottom line, you will want to trouble shoot some of the issues discussed above. If you have a healthy marketing budget, you might even consider engaging professionals help with your SEO to ensure that your website isn't costing you sales and that it remains your number one marketing ally.