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Do you love your website?

Your website is essential to your business. It is where you provide the core message and information of your company, where the audience gets to know your brand and your people. It is where YOU find out if you attract your audience.

Getting the website right is a challenge. ‘Website shame’ is a thing. It’s when you don’t want to give out your business card because you don’t want someone to look at your website. It’s when you try to tell a prospect everything about your business so they don’t need to look you up online. It’s more common than you might think!

 

Four reasons why people feel website shame.

These areas can affect every website, whether for a small business or a large corporation.

  1. Your site doesn’t express you or your brand’s personality. It is not interesting enough for your audience to stay.
  2. It has technical difficulties or functionalities that makes it hard to navigate and use.
  3. You spent too much money on a site that doesn’t work.
  4. Not having a website at all! People can’t find you!

Some examples of these:

1. Not interesting. Because we can track the analytics, we know how long people stay on various parts of our website. Do you know how fast your audience bounces?

The ‘reads like a textbook’ website. This is a problem of not connecting to the reader well enough to know how to talk to them in an interesting way. We want to sound professional, be factual or formal but that might result in being less personal and losing the reader. These days there’s so much information to read and process. Most people aren’t looking for a lot of words. Especially not textbook like language on a website! Exception: specific detail boxes can contain this kind of information. But it should still be interesting and personal! Express who YOU are, or your brand.

The ‘sounds like everyone else’ website. This is a problem of thinking in your industry you have to talk a certain way to for people to take you seriously. It can be a problem of “industry speak” where you have jargon you fall into regularly. That jargon can be okay, used sparingly. But what’s different about your company, that nobody else can claim?

The ‘lost in the past decade 1.0 brochureware’ website. When websites first showed up on the planet, they were the next version of a brochure. Some websites still function that way. They’re an online place to find basic information, such as an address, phone number, basic product listing, or a price. But those websites that perform well with their customers provide a more connected experience. They get their reader to relate to their message. They speak with authority the customer can relate to, that makes the customer feel they are in the right place.

2. Hard to use/negative user experience:

The buttons go to the wrong places. It’s shocking how often this problem happens. Even on big corporate websites that serve hundreds of thousands of customers. Have you ever had to correct a bill online with a medical institution or telecommunications company? Only to end up needing to wrangle someone on the phone to finally solve your problem?

It’s confusing where to read or look. This can be both a design problem and a functionality issue. We need clear, working buttons and white space. Our eyes need to know where to look to take in just the right amount of information. If there is too much text, or other content, many of us will move on to another task or site.

It’s based on earlier technology that’s outdated. Older websites may still function, but they look dated and rely on outdated processes.

3. You’ve already sunk too much money in your site, and it’s wrong!

This is a combination of the first two points. Your website exists, but it’s dull, or it’s broken. And not for lack of spending on it! Most likely you spent your money on the wrong tasks or wrong people and you are close to giving up on your site. This is a common problem. It comes from not creating clarity about your message ahead of time, or not creating a strategy for your website. Your website is not a one-time purchase that you throw up in a day, it needs planning, designing, structure and strategy. If you do it right from the beginning you won’t fall into this category. Here’s what Gary Vaynerchuk has to say about it!

4. You don’t have a website!

Some businesses get off and running without a website. Maybe yours is one of them! You’ve started on Facebook or another social media platform or you’ve built your business completely offline. This is totally legit, yet there’s an opportunity awaiting you to build more business if you’re ready for it. Especially these days when we’re all doing most of our business online! Some might even claim that you don’t exist if you don’t have a website?

How do you remedy these problems?

How to solve the website shame.

1. For the ‘not interesting’ sites, the solution lies in updating the way you present your message. You want to fix a disconnect between what you’re presenting and the customer’s interest. That disconnect could be in the words, in the pictures, in the layout, or even in the website technology. The solution is to incorporate the right words, visuals and technology that create a connection with your customers. There are many ways to understand your customer’s behavior and how to grab their attention – these are some great UI/UX design tips for 2021 to get inspired by. Connect with us for a website appraisal. We’ll help you determine what you can do to make your site interesting!

2. For the ‘hard to use’ sites, the problem and the solution lie in the design and functionality. This can include the most basic area of your website’s layout, as in the navigation. It might involve choosing different technology add-ons. For example, the shopping experience might need an update because of a plug-in. There might be other software decisions to make to improve functionality. Get a CyAs Tech website appraisal to understand what’s needed to remedy this problem.

3. For the ‘sunk costs’ problem, there is only one solution. It’s a tough nut, but the truth is, you’ve got to face up to the situation, and fix it. And how do you fix it? Get someone who is objective to work with you. What do you need? Is it clarity, or is it technology, or both? Is it for someone to help you see what you really need to do, a guide? “We have an app for that!” Work with us to get that appraisal and recommendations for an effective site you’re proud of.

4. For the ‘MIA’ website, the obvious next step is to get one! But how do you go about getting a website you feel proud of? How much do you need to do before you contact a web developer? If you’ve never had a website before, this will be a new process and it can be a fun one. In developing your website you’ll map out the important messages and the way you need to deliver them to your customers in words and pictures. You’ll want easy, logical steps for your customers to follow as they “travel” through your site, so they understand who you are. A strong website developer will be able to help you with each of these steps. Connect with us for a free consultation on how to move forward to create your website!