Today’s guest post is by Laura Click.
When developing marketing plans for clients, an overhaul of their corporate website often tops the list of recommended tactics.
Because so many websites do a poor job of telling the company’s story and, ultimately, driving leads and sales for their business.
And no, I’m not just talking about aesthetics. There are plenty of sites that look good, yet fail to hit the mark.
Why are they so bad?
I see four deadly mistakes in many corporate websites.
Your Corporate Website Needs Help
1. Bad navigation.
If visitors can’t quickly find information they need, they’ll move on to a site that can deliver.
For instance, image-based navigation looks really cool, but if I have to hunt around to determine which image takes me to the next page, I’ll move on in a heartbeat.
That’s why your navigation menu should be clearly labeled. In other words, call your “About” page just that instead of “The Inside Scoop.”
You can still be creative with navigation, just don’t make it too hard on your visitors. Include a search bar and other navigational cues to make it easy. Traditional navigation works for a reason; people know where to look.
2. Poorly written copy.
Businesses pay a lot of attention to how their corporate website looks. But sadly, the copy gets left to the back burner.
I’ve seen all sorts of problems in this area:
- Empty pages or “coming soon” messages throughout.
- Pages laced with corporate jargon and industry lingo.
- Too much French content (saying “we” too much).
- Unfocused copy that doesn’t succinctly explain what you do.
Your website needs to tell your story. It’s your one chance to show how you can solve your customer’s problems and answer their most pressing questions. It’s your opportunity to show why they should pick YOU.
If you don’t have the talent on staff to get this right, hire someone to help. After all, well-written copy is just as important as the design. Don’t skimp on this.
3. Zero personality.
A website is the digital storefront for a brand. Please, for the love of all that is good and holy, inject some personality into your website and give me a reason to take a look.
Don’t try to mimic everyone else. You need to show your special sauce and what makes you different.
That means you should use images of your company and your team instead of stock photography or cartoons. I want to see your smiling faces and the people behind the business.
Or, integrate video into your website content by interviewing members of your team, offering how-to guides answer questions as Gini Dietrich does with Facebook Question of the Week.
Dare to be different and give people a reason to connect with you and your brand. It will pay off.
4. No calls-to-action.
What do you want people to do when they visit your site?
If you sell products, you want them to buy. It you are a service-based business, you want them to contact you or sign up to receive your premium content, such as an ebook, white paper, or other lead-nurturing content.
But most websites do a poor job of leading you down that path.
Each page of your site should have a call-to-action. Make it easy for the visitor to know exactly what you want them to do on that page.
This requires both strong call-to-action copy and design that draws attention to the button or design element.
You’re in business after all, so make sure the corporate website is helping you drive the results you’re after.
This list doesn’t even come close to scratching the surface of problems with company websites, so I’ll turn it over to you. What are the biggest problems you see with websites?
Laura Click is founder and CEO of Blue Kite Marketing, a Nashville-based marketing firm that builds and implements marketing strategies for small-to-medium B2B and service-based businesses. You can connect with Laura on Twitter or by checking out her blog.