Guest post by Melody Brooks, Sumèr’s head copywriter
An effective website benefits your business in several ways: it clearly shows who you are, what you do, and whom you serve. It educates prospects and clients and differentiates you from the competition. A website is standard equipment for your business, and you should expect to spend as much thought, time, and money creating it as you would any other business-critical asset.
Simple tweaks to a website can greatly improve its function and effectiveness, and following are five common website mistakes. Your webmaster should be able to handle them or recommend someone who can.
1. No opt-in box.
You need to compile and maintain a list of prospects and clients. Period. The easiest way to do this is to put an opt-in box on your website that feeds into an autoresponder. In exchange for the reader’s email address, offer a coupon for your services or a free gift, such as an audio or short report. The box needs to be in a conspicuous place at the top of each page on your website.
2. No social media buttons.
You are linked to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, right? Then you need to let readers know. Make it easy for them to follow you with buttons that connect them to your social media.
3. Too much copy squeezed together, or copy that is too small to read.
Either gives your site a cramped feeling that makes readers uncomfortable, and they won’t stay long because reading your site feels like work. Spread out the web copy and enlarge the font so readers have breathing room—but don’t spread it out so far or make the type so big that readers have to scroll through 20 pages of web copy. White space is good. Large areas of blank space are not.
4. No clear navigation.
You have just a few seconds to grab and keep readers’ interest, and when they can’t figure out where to go next, they’ll go to your competitor’s site. You need to direct their attention and compel them to purchase or ask for more information. They need clear calls to action and a limited number of choices to make. Don’t overwhelm or confuse them.
5. Poor or no meta tags and keywords.
Your website won’t help your business if people can’t find it. Your webmaster should be able to do keyword research and write meta tags or direct you to someone who can. Or you can learn to do it yourself. It isn’t difficult, and it helps you to find out what your competition is doing. After you have keywords, write meta tags and add alt tags to images, and then revise your web copy to incorporate keywords.
These quick tweaks will make a difference in how easily prospects find your business and how long they stick around to hear your story. As you build an email list and refine your website, you’ll find that sales will increase and you’ll attract your ideal clients.
Melody Brooks is Sumèr’s head copywriter and can be reached at .
Does your website need improvements?