It’s tough evaluating our own websites. We can’t help it, we’re a little bias. We put a lot of time, thought and effort into launching our site that it’s sometimes hard to admit that it actually might be doing us more harm than good. If you’ve fallen for any of the following five website faux paus, that might be the case.
Here’s what could be working against you and what to do about it:
1. Sign up for our newsletter
Let’s face it. No one really wants yet another newsletter in their email inbox. Most of us are inundated with more messages than we can realistically read on a daily basis as it is. This phrase is scaring off leads, so let’s change it.
Action Step: Give something specific and valuable to your visitors that would actually be worth signing up for, such as a guide to the top tips for looking your best in professional headshots or how to select the best location for your engagement photos.
2. Auto-Playing Music
I know you simply love that song that starts up when people visit your website and are certain it sends a warm and fuzzy feeling across the screen. The problem? It doesn’t…not always, that is. Music is a subjective taste and the same song you adore sounds like fingernails across a chalkboard to someone else. Also, most people aren’t expecting sound to blast at them when they visit a website and their level of annoyance grows by the second while they fumble for the mute key.
Action Step: Ditch the auto-playing music. If you’re emotionally tied to it, then let visitors choose if they want to hear it with a play and stop control that requires them to start it up before it will play.
3. Dated Design
I know, who can afford to re-launch a website every few years? Maybe the better question is, who can’t afford it? If the website is turning visitors off because its so old and outdated, we’re losing business from it anyway. Might as well put up a little money to update it and then see the return in multiples.
Action Step: Have an outdated design, but don’t want to drop the cash? Try good ol’ fashion budgeting. Set aside a reasonable percentage of your income for the next 6 months to save up. Alternatively, find a web company that has a creative payment plan that allows you to somewhat finance your project over time.
4. Me, Me, Me Copy
It’s totally awesome that you’ve won awards and been featured in every magazine in your region, but visitors get a little bored with all that me-focused talk.
Action Step: Try speaking to what your visitors really want and describing who you work with and how they benefit from your art instead.
5. Wild Wild Widgets
Is your website packed full with widgets, flash animation, moving gadgets, fancy ads, pop-ups and trinkets galore? Time for a spring clean.
Action Step: Go back to basics. Right now, clean and minimal is in. Try to discipline yourself to remove anything that isn’t absolutely essential to making the sale on your website. If it doesn’t move visitors to inquire, it doesn’t belong there.