I woke up very happy today. Poured myself some coffee, watched good morning american and wanted to devote a few hours of my time to buy the perfect gifts for my friends and family. But as I spent more and more time on gift surfing, I started to become very frustrated with the whole process.
Looking for that perfect Christmas gift? Birthday gifts? Oh well, that’s too bad cause half the sites on the internet don’t offer standard payment options like Paypal. Some of them don’t even offer to sell their products online! This is the year 2012 and if you haven’t realized the great potential websites have to grow your business and it’s profits, I’m just assuming you have live under a rock. Wake Up!
Your website is not just a “place for people to go”, It’s main purpose is a marketing tool. How many times have you gone shopping at the grocery store and chose one product over the other just because the packaging was nicer and provided easy to find information about all the great reasons you should buy it? I’m guessing you’ve done this at least once in the past month. That’s because they took the time to market the product so you would make that purchase over choosing another product.
I’ve observed many entrepreneurs/small business owners that seem to move too quickly in starting up a new business rather than research every aspect of what they should prepare for before beginning. You wouldn’t have sex before putting a condom on, so why are you jumping the gun so fast with your business? I’m not completely innocent of making mistakes myself. I’ve made a lot them so far with my own freelance web design business, but I’m learning. And I hope that you can learn from what I’ve observed.
3 Reasons Why Your Website Sucks
1. You don’t have a website
I believe if your going to start a business, that’s awesome! But your website should be up and running before you’ve even found a space to rent. Why is that? Well, it takes time to get indexed in Google. It takes a professional SEO to get indexed in Google properly. Just having a temporary page up that tells everyone your coming soon and what you will be offering builds hype! You have to make sure you can purchase your business name as a domain name, know the approach you want to market the site, know the affects of your target audience on the site and any online ads, etc….
Who’s doing it right?
Barton Fiat of Spokane are one of the businesses who are doing this right. When I drive by I still see the business is under construction, but I’ve seen plenty of TV commercials about Fiat and the website has already been up for a quite a few months. I want to go browse cars there when they open just because of all the hype they took the time to create.
Who’s doing it wrong?
There are plenty of restaurants that just don’t have a website. This is an absolute no brainier. People eat 3-5 times a day! People usually are on the go when they want to grab something to eat. That means the majority of those people are searching Google on thier mobile phones for a place to eat. Then they are gonna want to be able to read your restaurant menu from their website. If they can’t easily see types of food and maybe some prices, they may look elsewhere.
There are many reasons why your site is one of the most important aspects of your business. Invest your time and money with a professional marketer for more details.
2. Your Missing Vital Elements For Your Website
Now we’ve reached the reason as to why I felt the need to write this article in the first place. Like I mentioned at the beginning of this article, I became irritated while shopping for Christmas gifts online. That’s because some the most awesome gifts I wanted to get just weren’t available for me to purchase online or they didn’t offer a payment option that I was comfortable using.
Who’s doing it wrong?
So my husband and I just recently purchased a brand new snowboard, bindings and boots for my daughter. She’s grown much larger and needed the new snow gear. Well, what’s a better gift to give your family than ski lift tickets? So one of my favorite mountains is Turner Mountain cause I can cruise around the entire majestic beast. Oh, I’m so sorry Heather, but we don’t sell lift tickets on our website. So your awesome plan of wrapping up small tickets in a giant box covered in layers of duct tape is foiled because someone in the marketing department doesn’t see the benefits of selling products online. Looks like you will have to purchase tickets closer to home with a ski resort that offers a service like this? Maybe Silver Mountain?
Ok Ok, Now what am I going to buy my husband? Oh yeah, he loves cars and drag races and mentioned to me one time a few months ago how fun it would be to drive a race car. Sweet! I know just the place to purchase a day of that, Stateline Speedway in Idaho. What was the first thing I noticed? Well, I didn’t see available payment options anywhere. So I said “ok so what”. I started to fill out all the information they wanted in order to make my purchase, read thru all the policies and come to find out, this awesome looking website doesn’t offer Paypal. A standard form of payment for millions of online customers. No big deal, I guess I will just have to make the purchase at another time when I actually have my card on me. But it would have been nice to see this upfront before I got excited over nothing. Problem with this, I may see something else more awesome later and decide to buy that instead. Who knows! Hold on a second, I know what your thinking, but my husband doesn’t read any of my posts. He will never know. mehehehe.
You know what’s really disturbing? Amazon doesn’t take Paypal either. That makes me upset.
Who’s doing it right?
Think Geek. As soon as I add a product to my shopping cart, I’m redirected to my shopping cart where the first images I see tell me what forms of payment they take. Paypal, and some major credit cards. Thanks for not wasting my time and keeping up with the times Think Geek 🙂
They’ve also done a great job of showing me why I should feel safe to purchase from their website by showing me images of certification and validation. They give me all the links I need to find out more info about returns, shipping and customer service. Awesome. I feel great about this purchase. No worries here. Think Geek is a great example of profitable eCommerce web design.
3. Your Website is Ugly or Non-Functional
There are thousands of websites I have seen on the internet that are totally outdated and don’t keep up with browser and code changes thru time. Websites that still use flash? Who really likes having to download the most current version of flash just to watch your fancy website? Not me. I would rather not look at the site at all than to spend my time downloading plugins. Not to mention, flash is horrible for SEO. Pretty on the outside, ugly on the inside.
Just like the style of clothes people wear changes with time, so too does they way websites change in design. As there are more and more web designers on the internet, there are more and more different design styles. Every business requires a different look to represent their business. They require different elements to interact with viewers. Some have different audiences to cater to.
No matter what your site looks like, it’s still important to keep up with what we call web standards. Where a navigation menu is placed. Where phone numbers and address should be placed. Users are used to seeing these elements in common spots. Don’t make them work to hard to find what they want or they may leave.
Well, I’m pretty tired of writing this article now. haha. Lets get a larger list going. What makes a website suck to you?