I received a question recently from a newsletter subscriber who asked, “How do I know if I’m losing sales on my website?”

The short answer is that every website is losing sales every single day.  There’s no way to convert 100% of the qualified prospects who visit your site.  That’s just not realistic.  No more realistic than a salesperson closing 100% of proposals.

However, with that said, you don’t have to settle for low conversion rates.  In this article, I’ll highlight 5 website mistakes that could be unnecessarily costing you sales.

Website Mistakes That Could Be Costing You Sales

1. Company vs. Customer Copy

The first mistake is using company-focused, rather than customer-focused copy.  By this, I mean answering the prospect’s question, “What’s in it for me?”  That’s what everyone is asking when they first land on your website.  How is your business going to help me? In other words, the copy on your page needs to address all of the benefits of your product or service.  Explaining what you do is important, but you need to take it a step further and relate it to clear benefits.

For example, a chiropractor obviously helps relieve back pain. But so what?  What does less or no back pain really mean to your patients?  It might be the difference between recovering from an injury in weeks, rather than months.  Or it might mean being able to play baseball with your child, rather than sit on the sidelines.  See the difference?

2. The 3 Second Test

There have been studies that show website visitors make split-second decisions about whether or not to stay on a website.  A rule of thumb is that you have about 3 seconds.  If you don’t capture your prospects attention in just 3 seconds, then she’s gone.  Likely, never to return.

This means two things:

  1. Your website must load quickly.  We’re all impatient and if your website takes a few seconds to load, then your visitor isn’t going to wait.
  2. Everything on the top of the page (aka “above the fold”) needs to be clear and compelling enough to get the visitor to want to read more.  You don’t have to sell or close the deal in 3 seconds, you just have to get the prospect to scroll or click around.

3. Weak or No CTA

Many websites that I review do not have a strong CTA (call-to-action).  In fact, some do not have a CTA at all.  That means the visitor has to want to work with you so bad that she’ll search out your contact information on her own.

If you want phone calls, then make the phone number CTA very prominent on the website.  The upper right corner is a common location where most visitors will know to look.  If your goal is to get prospects to start a free trial, then add a big button in the upper right corner.  This isn’t rocket science, but it’s often overlooked because we’re so familiar with our own websites.  Get feedback from someone who has never been to your site to see if they know what to do.  If they’re not sure, then you know you need to make your CTA more obvious.

4. No Lead Magnet

The vast majority of your website visitors are simply not ready to buy right at the moment they are on your website.  That doesn’t mean they aren’t interested.  It just means the timing isn’t right.

For these folks, you need what’s called a Lead Magnet.  A lead magnet is something valuable you can offer on your website for free, in exchange for contact information.  For example, on our website, we offer different types of lead magnets, including free checklists and guides, as well as webinars.

The beauty of a lead magnet is that it gives you contact information for prospects who are interested, but not yet ready to buy.  And then, you can follow up via email to nurture, educate, and build trust until the prospect is ready to take the next step.

5. No Credibility

Everyone that visits your website for the first time is going to be highly skeptical.  Visitors will want to see some indications that your business is legitimate and your products and services are high quality.

One credibility indicator is a professionally designed website.  If your website looks like it hasn’t been updated since 1999, then that’s obviously going to hurt your conversion rates.  Other indicators include social proof via customer testimonials and marquee client logos, as well as 3rd party endorsements like press mentions, awards, and association logos.  All of these give prospect customers more confidence in your business, which in turn, increases your sales conversion rates.

So take a look at your website.  Are you making any of these 5 mistakes?

Do You Need a Website Redesign?

If it’s been 3-5 years or longer since you’ve updated your website design, it’s likely time for a redesign.