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Why is your website falling short? 9 reasons that explain Iit.

Wahid Lahlou
#digital strategy#websites
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A regrettable reality…

Let’s face it: unfortunately, most websites are not up to par.

It often takes less than a second spent on the homepage to realize it. Lack of clarity in content, hard-to-find information, broken links, inconsistent design, misaligned texts, inappropriate images, slow loading times, poorly adapted mobile site… the list goes on.

The most concerning part is that it is sometimes difficult to understand the company’s business, let alone what it offers or what sets it apart. The consequences can be disastrous: the company can be heavily penalized, lose credibility, and consequently, potential clients.

Why is this so critical?

You are exposed

The chances that an internet user searches for your company on Google are very high. At some point, a potential client, supplier, investor, or future employee will need to know more about you, and they will undoubtedly conduct a Google search.

Being present on the web is therefore crucial for your business. It’s a mark of professionalism, and it’s probably what motivated you to develop a website in the first place.

But being present is not enough. Your website needs to be of high quality.

First impressions count

Today, internet users are increasingly demanding. They no longer take the time to think and analyze. They rely on their first impression.

Your site must allow them, in a few seconds, to know if they can trust your company and find answers to the practical questions that brought them to your site. If this first impression is bad, even if your company is serious and offers quality services, you will be disqualified automatically.

You wouldn’t go to a business meeting in a sloppy outfit, and you wouldn’t trust a potential supplier if they present themselves poorly.

We all know that first impressions are important. It’s exactly the same for your website.

You are your website

Your site reflects your company’s culture and values.

Any perceived lack of quality on your website, any flaw in the content, design, or performance is interpreted as a lack of professionalism.

The visitor projects this first impression onto the potential relationship they will have with you. A site with spelling errors, that is aesthetically inconsistent, unclear, where the content tries more to boast than to answer the user’s questions, will give the impression that the company is inconsistent, does not know what it is doing, lacks rigor, and therefore is not a reliable partner.

9 reasons that explain this failure

1. Not being aware of the consequences

As I said above, first impressions count, they are crucial, but not enough importance is given to them.

I’ve heard clients say that the number of visits is so low (about a hundred visits per month) that it’s insignificant, it’s not that serious, a site is just a site.

Quite the contrary! These few visits are often qualified visits: people have shown interest in you. No one stumbles upon someone on the internet by chance. You must not miss them because a convincing site can convert 5 to 10% of its visitors. So that’s 5 to 10 potential clients per month that you might be missing.

2. Not formulating objectives

At what stage does a visit to your website occur in your sales process?

As I said, you are not found by chance. A site is hidden from the world, it’s not like a store that benefits from the traffic in the neighborhood. If someone visited your site, there is a reason. And if we ignore the reason, we are getting the objectives wrong.

The first mission of a website is to make a good impression to gain the user’s trust. Then, it must be designed to answer the practical questions the user has, such as:

Putting yourself in the shoes of your visitors, formulating these questions, and answering them is already an excellent step forward.

3. Imitating competitors or a foreign site

Instead of thinking about their own objectives and resources to develop their site, some companies tend to copy what they see elsewhere.

This is a big mistake! It’s good to be inspired by competitors, but you have to be very careful. Every company is different, it has its own identity, a unique message, and limited resources.

Wanting to do like others, who certainly do not resemble us, is automatically getting it wrong. Your website is the translation of your business strategy into a digital communication strategy. If you don’t take enough time to think about a strategy that is unique to you, your site will be ineffective.

4. Wanting to be exhaustive

I also see many executives who want to integrate as much content as possible, just because others are doing it or because they are afraid of missing something.

Why are photos of your offices relevant and will they make me want to work with you? Do you really believe that the smile of your employees will make someone want to become your client? Does the client need to know the details of each of your services to the point of writing entire pages of empty content?

By wanting to be exhaustive, companies end up taking a lot of time to produce content, they produce content that is not relevant and increases the risk of errors (spelling mistakes, inconsistencies, etc.).

Your website should make people want to know you better and move to the next step, which is often simply to deepen the relationship with you. It’s not there to answer every possible question. You must therefore carefully choose the content you share. It must be relevant to be effective.

5. Wanting to project an image of grandeur

Do me a favor: stop with this “President’s Message” story! Even less when it’s highlighted as if it were the most important thing on your site. Unless you are a large institution, a ministry, or a bank, and even then, I don’t see the relevance of this section.

Of course, you can talk about their vision and experience, limited to what is coherent with your company’s activity, but this is not the section that will convert a visitor into a potential client.

Stop also talking about your company as if it were the best in its field, the first to offer such and such a service, the only one to understand the needs of its clients. All this brings you nothing, it harms you by projecting an artificial image that will not fool anyone. What the visitor of your website is looking for is to establish a relationship of trust with you, as you are.

Be authentic, don’t try to impress. Sooner or later, they will know you as you are.

6. Wanting to please everyone

If you don’t know your audience beforehand, you won’t communicate effectively.

A website must first address your prospects, whether they are clients, partners, investors, or future employees. Unfortunately, you cannot, especially in the main section of the homepage (the hero section), address everyone.

You must therefore prioritize. Address yourself first to your potential clients. Then, in the navigation and the rest of the homepage, you can include specific sections, or even create parallel mini-sites that address a particular audience.

*Also, your audience is not your hierarchy.

I have often seen websites turn into a mess because “the president said” or “the director didn’t like the colors”… If you have a clear vision and strategy of what you are doing, you will be convincing. Be courageous and find solutions.

As the saying goes, trying to please everyone is pleasing no one.

7. Thinking a website Is easy

Unfortunately, many executives believe that a website doesn’t need much thought or preparation.

Just write content, have a logo and some color preferences, hand it all over to a web developer, a freelancer, an intern, a friend who likes to play around with WordPress and you’re done.

Building a website is much more complex than you think. First, you need to understand that it’s a marketing and communication tool, and therefore, it requires thought and a plan in this sense, with a well-defined strategy.

Then, like any communication medium, it adheres to interface and user experience (UI and UX) rules that are not obvious to amateurs:

These are not obvious rules and there are specialists who take years to study them.

Finally, what you see on the screen is just the tip of the iceberg.

How will you measure conversions, performance, mobile visibility, security, code quality for SEO? Neglect any of these things and your site will be very poorly perceived by your audience and, very poorly ranked on Google and will not convert.

8. Thinking a website is primarily IT development

I too often see companies planning to create their website starting by looking for developers.

Certainly, you need one or more excellent developers, there is no doubt about that, but I repeat: a website is primarily a marketing and communication tool. Communication whose medium is an IT tool, but you must not confuse

one with the other.

Focusing on the technical side is like going to the printer to write your presentation. You can imagine the result…

To communicate effectively, you need to know what you want to say and formulate it, not to mention that the user interacts with your page: they navigate from page to page, click on a button, fill out a form, share your content… This adds a layer of complexity.

Reducing your website to IT development is a mistake to avoid at all costs.

9. Poorly evaluated resources

The offer for website creation is abundant on the web at unbeatable prices.

But ask yourself: forgetting all the marketing and communication aspects, how long does it take to develop a website, even from a ready-made WordPress theme? You need to point the domain name, install the SSL certificate, install WordPress, adjust the colors, create buttons, resize the logo, create pages, create each section, create navigation, copy/paste all content, work on performance, security, SEO, and so on.

And that’s not counting the finishing touches, which take, like for a house, as much time as the basic development. For a simple site, it takes at least a full week.

If the price is too low, you will have a shaky site. Trust me on this. And don’t count on corrections after your feedback. First, there will be many, and the developer has already consumed the man-days dedicated to you. You will either have to pay extra or turn to real professionals who will likely have to redo all the work, meaning the money you’ve already spent will be lost.

I’ve seen countless websites that are still under construction due to poor budget planning.

This doesn’t mean a website has to be expensive. It just needs to be scaled to your budget, and that’s also the job of the agency that will assist you.

You can do better

Many factors can contribute to the failure of a website.

Whether it’s the importance of the first impression, the clarity of objectives, or common mistakes like blindly imitating competitors, each aspect plays a crucial role.

By understanding and addressing these issues, you can transform your website into a powerful communication and conversion tool. Take the time to review your strategy, prioritize the user experience, and invest in quality.

This will make all the difference for the success of your business online.

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