7 Ways Your Website Is Driving Customers Away

A lot of people spend countless hours adding all kinds of bells and whistles to their website, only to find that it doesn’t help. They promote, use social media and buy AdWords, but nobody sticks around. Needless to say, they get frustrated and think the web isn’t working for them.

If your website is getting traffic, but visitors are leaving right away, there’s a reason why. You need to find out and get that bounce rate down. Here are some of the most common ways websites drive potential customers away.

It’s hard to navigate

If it takes more than two clicks to find what they’re looking for, visitors leave. Simple as that. Is your contact information hidden behind a bunch of other pages? It’s time to revisit your site structure and make sure your most valuable content is at the forefront.

Too many popups

If I can’t get to your content because of countless popups asking me to sign up for a newsletter, I’m out. Not only is this annoying, it often makes viewing on a mobile device nearly impossible. Let me read your content before I decide if I want it delivered to my inbox or not.

It looks bad on a phone

Or any other device. We’ve talked about the importance of responsive web design before, but we can’t stress mobile functionality enough. Even if you aren’t going to make your site fully responsive, it’s mandatory that it at least work on all devices.

Autoplaying video or music

This is a big turnoff. When I land on a webpage and it automatically plays video or music, I am gone. What if your viewer is slacking off at work, shopping, on your website? It’ll be the last time they visit your site.

Outdated content

Did you get excited and start a blog, only to write two posts and leave it there to die? It’s better to have no blog than one that hasn’t been updated in two years. Updated sites have more credibility. Visitors lose confidence when they see a site that has been static for a few years.

Bad spelling

I’ll admit I’m more annoyed by this than most, but it’s still important. Poor spelling gives the impression you don’t care. If you don’t care about the appearance of your own website, how am I, the customer, supposed to feel confident in you?

Keyword stuffing

It doesn’t matter how good a writer you are, if your website copy is stuffed full of keywords it’s not going to be compelling. Writing for search engines is a no-no. Write for the people coming to your site. Besides, search engines are smart – unique, useful content will rise to the top while keyword stuffed drivel won’t even make it to the front page of Google.

Any of these sound familiar?

Hopefully, none of these apply to you. But don’t worry if they do. The good news is that they are all fixable and we can help.

What have we missed? Is there something irritates you when you visit a website? Let us know in the comments!

Spring Cleaning: Tidy Up Your Online Presence

Spring is finally on the way!

There’s fresh snow on the ground, but we are finally halfway through March and there is hope in the air! I know we’re all dying to get outside and do some spring cleaning, but we aren’t quite there yet. So let’s make the most of these last couple weeks of winter.

This is a great time to tidy up your online presence.

It’s easy to set up new websites or social media profiles. But then we get busy and let them sit around gathering virtual dust. We’re all guilty of it. The good news is that it only takes a few moments to go through these simple tasks and clean up.

Take an hour or two every day to tackle one of these lists and you’ll have a clean and shiny new online presence in less than a week. It’ll feel almost as good as the first time you get to mow the lawn in April, I promise.

Your Website

  • As you prepare to open the windows and let fresh air into your house, why not do the same for your online home? Run through this quick checklist to remove clutter and breath new life into your website.
  • Add some new content. Start a blog, upload a video or update your photography.
  • Update important information (about page, contact info, etc.).
  • If you have event listings, are they current? Make sure your upcoming events are added.
  • Use this free tool to easily check your website for broken links.
  • Update copyright information (the date in the footer of your website).

Social Media

  • Using an outdated profile photo? Stale cover image? Spruce up your Facebook and Twitter profiles by adding fresh images. Bonus points for consistency.
  • Check your bios. Does your Twitter bio accurately reflect who you are and what you do? If it’s been a while, update accordingly.
  • Double check your information. Make sure your contact info and hours of operation are correct.

Review Sites

Dedicate an hour or two to searching popular review sites such as Yelp and FourSquare.

  • Find your business and, when possible, claim the listing.
  • Make sure your listings are up to date with current information and an appealing picture.
  • Take a moment to thank people who may have reviewed your business in the past and address any unfavourable comments.

Local review sites like these have excellent SEO in place, so it’s always a good idea to maintain up to date profiles.

Bonus Task

Overwhelmed by email? Clean out your personal inbox.

Unroll.me Ditch those email subscriptions cluttering up your inbox. It’s surprisingly liberating.

Stroll over to Unroll.me and pop in your details to see and manage all of your email subscriptions one place. Then, kick back and watch the endless stream of unwanted email go away. You’re welcome.

Did this post inspire you to clean up your online presence?

Head on down to the comments section. We’d love to hear any suggestions you have to share.

What Is Responsive Web Design and Why Do I Need It?

The biggest web design trend in 2013.

Responsive design is here to stay.

Every few years a new buzzword comes around and suddenly everyone starts using it. The buzz for responsive web design blew up in 2013, but it’s not going anywhere any time soon.

12 Grain Creative - What Is Responsive Web Design?So, what is a responsive website?

A responsive website detects the device it is being viewed on (iPhone, tablet, desktop computer, etc.) and automatically adjusts its perimeters to provide the best viewing experience for the user. Gone are the days of creating a seperate website for mobile devices. Today’s responsive websites adjust to the viewer.

Basically, a responsive website adapts to its environment, rather than the user having to adapt to it. It’s a no brainer that responsive sites provide a better user experience, but there are other benefits to having them as well.

 

Why does my business need a responsive website?

We believe all new websites should be created with the the user experience in mind. A better web browsing experience leaves a potential customer happy and ready to spend. A frustrating experience trying to view a page on a mobile phone or tablet can leave them looking elsewhere.

Responsive design is:

  • Cost effective. While you may think that building a responsive website would cost more, it may not. It’s true that developing a responsive site is more time consuming than a simple desktop version, however there is no need for a separate mobile site. If you were planning on providing a separate mobile experience, responsive is far cheaper in the long run.
  • Good for SEO. Search engine optimization is important. With a single, responsive website, search engines only have to crawl through one URL. Search engines also look for sites with unique content. Your single responsive site means that no content is duplicated, telling the search engines that your content is higher quality than something that can be found in more than one place online. Not convinced? Just ask Google.
  • Social media friendly. If you’re active on social media, or people are sharing your blog posts, you’re hoping these activities will send traffic to your site. Most people use their mobile devices to check their Facebook and Twitter feeds, so when they click on your link, they need to be able to see your website the way it’s meant to be viewed. If they have to pinch and zoom to read anything, they will leave and you could be losing a future customer.
  • Future proof. Responsive design doesn’t just adjust to the size of today’s mobile devices. It is completely adaptive to the screen it is viewed on. This means that it will work on devices that haven’t even been released yet, so you don’t have to worry about your site’s functions becoming outdated as mobile phones and tablets continue to evolve.

Is your small business website responsive? If not, we can help. Let’s talk.

 

Show Your Customers Some Love This Valentine’s Day

Love it or hate it, Valentine’s day is big business for small business.

You don’t have to sell flowers or chocolate to add a boost to your sales in February. Show your customers you care with some great deals and reap the rewards.

We’ve put together a few ideas to help you show your customers some love and make the most of this sweet holiday.

  •  Give something away. Have a couples themed giveaway like dinner and a movie. The catch? Couples are only entered when they shop at your store or place an order on your website.
  •  Start a partnership.  It is the season of love, after all. Why not couple up with a local business to offer a specially priced Valentine’s package? You both get to make a customer happy. Everybody wins.
  • Incorporate creatively.  Tie your products into the holiday. If you’re selling specialty food items, why not send out an email including a recipe for the perfect Valentine’s meal? If you’re running a pet business, highlight Valentine’s themed treats and accessories. Make sure to leave enough time for your customer to pop in or order the product you’re highlighting!
  • Reward loyalty. Thank your best customers. If you have a loyalty program, consider doubling their points for the month of February. If your run an online shop,  sneak a little gift into a package or give a free shipping upgrade. A little unprompted love can go a long way for customer loyalty and help that customer become a real ambassador for your brand.
  • Not for profit? Last, but definitely not least, if your business is a charity or not for profit, why not appeal to people’s generous side by asking them to spend that candy money on helping the needy? Your loved one is sure to appreciate your support of the cause nearest and dearest to them.

How does your small business plan to make the most out of Valentine’s Day? Let us know in the comments below.

New Year, New Business, New Blog

Happy New Year and welcome to the 12 Grain Creative blog!

We launched 12 Grain Creative in August of 2013. Both of us were new to the area, so we decided to combine our skills and have had a fantastic time so far. We’ve met some wonderful new people, worked on some great projects and are super excited to begin our first full year in business together.

We’ll be using this space to share interesting content pertinent to marketing your small business. We invite any and all feedback so don’t hesitate to leave a comment. We’d love it if you joined us on Facebook and Twitter as well!

Speaking of the year ahead…

12 Grain Creative 2014 ResolutionsMost folks have high hopes for their New Years resolutions but they can fizzle out pretty quickly. For example, it’s January 26 and I have yet to go to the gym. But you can start a new resolution any time, right?

The key to making resolutions happen? Setting attainable goals. Our resolution is to bring you consistently useful content and help you make the most out of your digital presence, so let’s get started with a few resolutions to help your small business start the year off strong:

  • Delegate. It’s hard to let go when you’re an entrepreneur. But by relinquishing tasks to a trustworthy employee, you free yourself up to plan ahead and look at the bigger picture.
  • Streamline. There are a lot of tools available to keep your business organized, and many of them are free. From simple to do lists to full fledged accounting software, take advantage of the technology available to make your life easier.
  • Update your website. Most consumers research a business online before making a purchase.  Does your website present the image you want it to? Is it easy to view on mobile devices? If not, it’s time to update (and we can help).
  • Find balance. If you’re burned out, you aren’t any good to your business or your family. Pick up a hobby, get outside, hang out with the fam and put your own happiness first.

What personal or professional resolutions did you make this year?