Common Website Problems that Might be Causing Your Prospects to Slip Away

Common Website Problems that Might be Causing Your Prospects to Slip AwayWhether or not you want to admit it, qualified prospects might peruse your website, but eventually take off without you knowing it. What research has shown us is that at least 70% of the buying decision is made before a prospect fills out an inquiry form, picks up the phone to call you, talks to a sales rep, or walks into your office.

What does this mean?

The way your brand is positioned on the internet plays a significant role in determining whether you have a chance to even say hello to your customer. I can’t tell you how many new clients push back and proclaim “but my customers all come from word-of-mouth”. Once we engage with them, they uncover so many more prospects whom they never knew existed because the website wasn’t set up properly.

With my clairvoyance (kidding, this is backed by a slew of research, training, podcasts, and frankly, experience), I will share the most common factors that cause prospects to leave a website.

Can’t Easily Navigate Your Website

As simple (and obvious) as it sounds, a prospect may leave because she didn’t find the answer she was looking for. Shocking, I know. Consider how you feel when you just want an answer and want it fast. The last thing you want to do is trudge through bodies of text and layers of pages to find an answer.

Unsure What The Company Does

I have suffered from this issue in the past, and thus can speak to it directly. When describing what your company sells, make sure you focus on more than a fancy value proposition.

Despite what we were taught in Marketing 101, a prospect cares more about the problems you solve for them, than the fancy benefits you offer. Shine the light on the prospect, not on you. Make this simple, clear, and easy to find.

Not Ready to Engage

Many clients think they’ve made it easy for a prospect to engage because they have a ‘contact us’ form on the website or a blog or newsletter subscribe form. This will only be attractive to some prospects.

As you likely know, there is a sales cycle involved with every purchase or engagement. Some are longer than others, but you have to respect that only a fraction will be at the stage of readiness to fill out a contact us form, and in essence, asking to talk to a person at your company.

What you can do is provide stepping stones to engaging that give the prospect something of value in exchange for some basic information, but without putting on the full court press. Examples of this might be an educational video, a tip sheet, and eBook, or a calculator. This allows you to meet the prospect where she is, not where you want her to be (sales consultation, etc.). Keep the consultation request or contact us form, but supplement it with other valuable offers.

Lack of Trust

A fundamental piece that every website should have is some form of ‘social proof’ or ‘trust signal’. At the bare minimum, testimonials will work. Ideally, some sort of case study or imagery of successful projects will really help convey your competency. Keep in mind that people are often disenchanted with testimonials as they don’t convey the same authenticity of videos and imagery.

There are so many ways, beyond social proof, that you can convey trustworthiness. From the voice in your copy that sounds real, to offering unbiased perspectives, to simply creating content that addresses all of the questions and concerns that they have.

The Bottom Line

Don’t wait until a prospect contacts you to address what might drive her away. And keep in mind that you will always need to test and refine your website content and web design. If you have metrics in place to test how your visitors and leads are interacting on your website, keep an eye on them and make note of how your changes impact these numbers.

Ideally, as you make changes, you will see an increase in any one of the following – visitors, leads, customers.

About Erin Carpenter

Erin Carpenter is the co-founder and CEO of Hidden Peak Interactive. She started the company in 2010 with a vision to transform the antiquated and ineffective ways that many businesses market themselves. Erin’s background in multiple disciplines, from Digital Marketing, to Finance, to Operations and Aviation*, enables her to think strategically about how marketing fits into the big picture of driving revenues for businesses.

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