website-mistakes-725

By Tom Tortorici | TortoriciInc.com

They’re common mistakes. Are you making them? Guess you’ll have to keep reading to find out:

1. Expecting people to click on your top menu

You’ve organized your site, and created a top navigation menu, with sub-menu items all set up nice and neat. Wonderful. Except for one thing. When you visit somebody else’s site, you don’t click on all those menu items. Quite often, you don’t click on any of them. Which means all that wonderful content somebody worked so hard on is essentially invisible.

Which is why you want to decide which pages you most want potential buyers to see. Then, one way or another, promote those pages on your home page, with a brief but enticing intro, an icon or image, and a prominent link. Check your Analytics before and after taking this step, and you’ll see your key interior pages are now being visited more often. Good job.

2. Assuming people will know what you’re selling

You know what you’re selling. But when a first-time visitor initially lands on your home page, is it absolutely and immediately clear? Are you sure? There are plenty of sites out there that fail this test, and the people at the company don’t realize it, because, well, again, they already understand what they’re selling.

When I come to your site, I quickly need to know that I’m in the right place. And don’t think that the tiny tagline under your logo is going to do the trick. Or even the company name. Visitors don’t generally notice elements that are at the edges (including the very top) of your web page. Eyes go to the middle banner area, and that’s where I need to know what you’re all about.

3. Welcoming me to your website

I admit it, I have a short attention span when it comes to websites, or really anything else these days. News flash: so do your web visitors. So don’t waste that first headline, that prime piece of home page real estate, on words that don’t actually say anything.

Instead, plug in a phrase that makes me stop in my tracks, with a benefit-oriented headline that is so unique that none of your competitors can claim it. Not only is this important, but this header should be the core message, and the starting point, of the development of any new site. And everything else should flow from there.

4. Thinking that this is all about you

Hate to tell you this, but it’s only about you and your company from your own perspective. From the perspective of visitors who are trying to reach a goal or overcome an obstacle, it’s all about them. So if you want their attention, it’s smart to start by showing that you understand, and share, their objectives and sensibilities.

Keep in mind, there are “benefits” which are what they’re left with after you’re gone, that they didn’t have before. And then there’s “process,” which is the part that you, as a provider, are involved with. They’re both important, but when people are first searching for a solution for something, they’re focused on benefits. Only when they’re further down the “sales funnel” do they start thinking about “process.”

Conclusion: There’s no shame in making these mistakes; in fact, most website owners make them in one way or another. But those who can break outside their own point-of-view and approach their sites from the buyer’s perspective are going to have a natural competitive advantage. They just are.