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Make your website work for you, not against you!

I'm building a website for a tattoo artist, and looking around at the competition, I've found a large number of them with websites that are actively discouraging visitors from becoming customers. If you're not getting the visitors you want, even though you are advertising your services on Google and Facebook, maybe your site is to blame.
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Here are the eight most common problems that I found while doing my tattoo business research.

1. Under Construction

Remove those under construction pages! It might have been accepted practice in 2000, but not any more. The worst example was a site with the message “Home page under construction, please look at our artist’s galleries”. As a general rule, I always tell my clients that it’s better to not show a page at all, than to show one with under construction on it. Also, don’t put a coming soon date on there unless you know for sure that you will meet that deadline. Of course, in the above example, not showing a home page is impossible, so you would need to fix that immediately.

2. The Spinning Wheel

Please wait animated gifThis can take many forms, and they are often the precursor to unnecessary animations. You should never let animations and large, bloated photos stop your website from loading quickly. Speed is the name of the game, not just for your visitors, who will only wait a couple of seconds for your site to load, but also for search engines. The slower your site, the more likely it will be spending time on page 2, 3, or 4 of those search listings.

3. Old and Neglected

Some sites looked like they were designed back in the 1990’s. That beige and turquoise design with the panels, scrollbars, and comic sans typeface will lead visitors to think you’re not taking good care of your business.

Websites are like cars, and you should ideally look at refreshing them every 3-4 years.

4. No Google Business

Half a dozen local businesses hadn’t registered with Google Business, so the website button wasn’t displayed on their Google business card. Life is moving faster every day, and people don’t have time or inclination to hunt you down, especially when your competitor is doing it right.

If you have a website, don’t forget to register it with Google Business , and make sure that you add this important channel between you and your potential customers to your armoury.

5. Big splash pages

A number of the sites I checked out had a splash page containing a design like a mandala or company logo. No call to action, no instructions and no obvious way forward. Your website should be guiding your visitor from the instant it loads to the point of making the sale. Put blocks in their way, and you will find that your visitor will give up pretty quickly.

Splash pages were big a few years ago, but no longer. Try to avoid them if you can so that your visitor can quickly get to where they want to be.

6. Difficult to read text

This can take a number of forms – writing lost when displayed over a photo, writing that has has little contrast with its background, writing that is too small, writing with spelling errors, writing in an unreadable font, and writing that is cut off by the edge of the screen.

Make your text clear and concise. Use special fonts sparingly, and make sure that there is good contrast between the text and the background.

7. Poor phone experience

Make sure your website looks good on a computer, a phone, and a tablet. More people now access the internet by phone than on laptops or desktop computers.

When creating new content, check it on as many devices and browsers as you can to make sure that it looks good everywhere. Also, make sure that it looks good in both portrait and landscape mode.

8. Poor Photography

Finally, get good photographs and avoid cheesy stock photography. This is important generally, but if you are selling art, either on paper, skin, or coffee tables, then you need to get great photos of the things that you create. Make sure that your customers can see the work you do in the best possible light.

The Take Away

If your website is not working for you, it is working against you. You want your business to be a success, and you need a website that enables that success. Check your website. Get your friends to check your website.

Make sure that your website is doing the job it’s supposed to be doing, and if it isn’t, do something about it sooner rather than later.

Your website could be costing you more than you think, so if you would like some advice, send me a message on the form below.

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