Is your small business website secretly terrible?

Is your website secretly terrible?

If the graphic design is terrible, you’ll probably be able to tell.

If the web developer has done a terrible job, and the site doesn’t work properly, you’ll pick that up.

But.  What if the WORDS are terrible?

Is your site actually SELLING you?

A friend just asked me to critique her friend’s website.  And it was attractive, in a stock-imagey kind of way.  It was coherent and informative.  Everything seemed to be working as expected.

But.  Did it really sell what she has to offer?  No it absolutely did not.

It wasn’t until I reached one of her Facebook posts, which had some lovely testimonials tucked away within it, that I actually started to understand that what she was selling was really cool.  It was something that I might even like to buy myself.

Her website, her home page, and the available menu items and links, left me totally cold as a potential customer.

Sadly there are a LOT of common errors

On this lady’s site, weak areas included:

  • It wasn’t that clear to me what it was that I could buy from her business.
  • Nor, why I would want to.
  • Her home page talked almost entirely about her, her business, and the services they offered.
  • What was missing was: what’s in it for me, the reader?  Why should I care?
  • I was in no way inspired to click any of the menu items – prominent choices were ‘About’ and ‘Work with me,’ all me, me, me…
  • The home page was super long, crowded and busy.  Viewed on a the screen of a smart phone in particular, it would feel like way too much information.
  • The solitary blog post was elderly, used the word “I” from top to bottom, and was missing out on basics like subheadings (which improve your SEO).
  • And so on.

My point here is not to character assassinate this lady’s site, because really this is all typical of an awful lot of small business websites.

Is YOUR site secretly terrible?

So this could be a good moment to visit your home page and check:

  • Is it crystal clear within the header of your site what you are selling?
  • Within the first paragraph, are you explaining to the reader why buying from you is going to change their life for the better?  (Or is it talking about you, and your business?)
  • How many times does your home page use ‘I’ or ‘we’ and how often does it use ‘you’?
  • Does your site’s menu hint at the benefits of buying from you?  (Or does it focus on you – is ‘About’ your first menu item?)
  • Do you have a blog page with one lonely blog post on it from a year ago?
  • Is there a prominent call to action?

If you’re starting to shift around uncomfortably in your seat, you’re not alone.  I’d estimate that about 90% of small business websites fall into these traps.

The good news is, it’s fixable!

Time for an upgrade

Re-writing and restructuring the content of your website can make it a much more effective selling tool for your business.

To get some help, just get in touch.

 Image: Pixabay

About Jessica Kennedy

Authored by Jessica Kennedy, the Marketing Chihuahua. Jessica writes text for the websites of small businesses and charities, and provides coaching in blogging and social media. She really enjoys helping people and organisations express themselves fluently online, in painless and practical ways.