8 sneaky ways that your website & branding are hurting you (& what to do about it)
Are your website & branding helping your business grow, or are they holding you back?
Let’s set the stage: you’re in a stage of expansion, but your results aren’t quite meeting your expectations. Whether it was a recent pivot or a new product launch, your hopes haven’t quite been met when it comes to your recent business growth. In other words, sales are slow.
You did everything “right” with your sales and marketing, and you’re feeling so frustrated that things just don’t seem to be working anymore. Is it you? Is it your customers? Why are long-time buyers losing interest all of a sudden?
It can be incredibly frustrating to feel like nothing is working in your business, especially when it feels like all you’re doing is pouring in effort.
But what a lot of people may not realize is the role that their website & branding play in leading to more sales. And because their impact is underestimated, keeping them up-to-date and on-par with the quality of what you offer can get brushed to the wayside.
Let’s look at eight sneaky ways your website & branding are hurting your sales (& what you can do about it):
Your website isn’t updated properly
Believe it or not, it can be as simple as that. Maybe this means your content isn’t updated — no new blog posts, ads for a product you launched three months ago, an email address that doesn’t work anymore, old dates on your pages that aren’t relevant right now — an outdated website can signal to potential customers that you don’t care all that much, that you’re too busy to do something like update a website (so how can you take on new clients?), or just flat out confuse or frustrate your people enough for them to leave.
Your website is SLOW or has broken links — so people are leaving before they buy
Have you ever tried to open a website, only for it to take 10 minutes to load? And when you finally get in, the link you click on doesn’t work? Did you buy from that company? Slow load times and broken links are a surefire way to frustrate your potential clients before they even get to the checkout page.
Your words are saying one thing, but your branding says another
Let’s say your words are communicating a message like “sharp” “innovating” “elegant” and “sleek,” but your website has neon colored backgrounds, a decorative font detailing every page, flashy pop ups, and images cluttering the screen. You’re sending mixed signals! And mixed signals are a quick way to confuse and even break the trust you have with your dream customers. Are you picking up a theme here? If your website causes any type of confusion or frustration, people won’t buy.
Your website or branding is cluttered
If people don’t know where to click, they won’t click. Simple as that. When your sales page, home page, or even Instagram profile has too much going on, too many images, too many places to click and read more, your potential customers will freeze. Where the hell do I click? Where do I start? If the answer isn’t obvious, the person on your site isn't likely to take that next step.
You’re confusing your audience
Do you have mixed messages being shared on your website? Different values being portrayed on one page vs. the next? Different prices listed for the same product? Seemingly duplicate products with different names? Two services that contradict each other’s benefits? Or maybe just too darn much going on. If you’re confusing your audience, they won’t buy from you. Most people won’t take the initiative to reach out to a company for clarification when a website is confusing.
Your website or branding looks like you took the DIY route
If you want your people (your audience) to trust you and see you as a credible brand, make sure it isn’t obvious that you’re doing everything yourself or flying by the seat of your pants! Don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing wrong with DIYing it. But if you’re going to do it yourself, make sure your website & branding quality matches the quality of the service you provide. If you claim to be the top leader in your industry, make sure you’ve got the visuals to match that status.
Your website doesn’t work on mobile phones
More than 50% of web traffic is coming from mobile phones, as has been the case for the past several years. Most people access websites from their phones — especially if they’re coming to you from a link they saw while scrolling social media. And yet, there are still businesses whose websites don’t work on mobile. Are you one of them? Make sure your website is fully optimized for smartphones.
Your branding looks too similar to a competitor, and your audience isn’t sure who to buy from
What sets you apart from your competitors? Is there a reason people should remember you and buy from you instead? If you don’t know the answer, find it. And once you know, make sure that reason is clear. Whether you do that through your writing, your visuals, your overall vibe — the details of how you do this don’t matter as much as the fact that it needs to be done. If your brand and online presence aren’t giving people any reason to buy from you instead of Amazon, they won’t.
So now you know how your website & branding might be sabotaging your sales and success. So how do you fix this?
First, identify the problem. Not every problem on this list may be relevant to your business. And you may have a problem that isn’t on this list at all! You can’t begin to update your website & branding until you understand where you’re at and what is currently holding you back.
Before I work with any clients, I always start off with an Introductory Assessment so I can take a look at their website & branding and figure out what is going on, where they’re at, and how I can help them before starting a project. This allows them to have a clear idea of what kind of help to invest in, and gives me direction so I can make sure I’m making effective and necessary changes.
Invest in help to fix it. Like I said, there’s nothing wrong with taking a DIY approach to your website & branding. But I understand that, like most entrepreneurs, you’re short for time. There’s nothing wrong with investing for help where you need to to grow your business — and that includes keeping your website & branding top-of-the-line, so that you can stand out from the crowd, build more trust with your audience, & convert sales!
Continually monitor your sales and reach after making the updates to see what is working and what isn’t. Web design is an ongoing process, and what works for someone else’s business may not work for yours in the same way. So continue to keep an eye on it, even after you’ve invested in professional help! By staying ahead of the game, you’re preventing yourself from making the same mistake again a few months down the line.