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Is Your Website Killing Your Business?

Profile photo of Laura Donovan Submitted by Laura Donovan March 21, 2016



A study published in 2011 found that 70% of people would not buy from a company with a poorly designed website. And that was before the mobile revolution. Today, most people are accessing the Internet from mobile devices, and 57% of them would not recommend a business after a disappointing mobile experience; 52% said that they would likely make their purchase from another company.

So what makes an experience “poor?”

Have you ever walked into a room that made you feel on edge? Even if we can’t immediately put our finger on the problem, most of us have felt uneasy or uncomfortable when walking into certain rooms. Maybe it was the clutter on every flat surface … or the color scheme that clashed … or too much furniture that felt claustrophobic instead of cozy … or the “cold” stark feeling of a sparsely furnished room.

While not everyone has the same sense of style, most of us know when something just feels “off.”

Website Design

Today, there are a lot of do-it-yourself opportunities to build your own website. They make it sound so easy. The reality is that there are a lot of “moving parts” to a website and if you get it wrong, your audience will punish you for it.

Outdated technology, confusing navigation and poor content are some of the reasons websites fail, but there are many more.

Is Your website Dead?



Has your website remained the same for years? If a past customer re-visits your site, will they think you have gone out of business? Nothing turns off visitors faster than an outdated website that never changes. Technology changes fast and people expect a flourishing company to keep up. Websites must be mobile friendly, of course, but they should also be updated with new information and images and maybe a new “look.” Keep your website fresh, relevant and exciting.

Website Content

While you should be updating your website often, including adding pages and a blog to keep customers AND Google interested, there are a few basic questions that must be asked even before a website is published. If you have a website and it doesn’t answer these questions, it might be time for a do-over.

  1. Who are you? I can’t tell you how often I have seen a website that doesn’t really tell me anything about the company or the people behind it. The information is so generic that it could be from anyone or so confusing I’m not sure what they do. Your website is no place for business jargon and generalities that don’t let people know who you are and exactly what you are offering.
  1. What’s the plan? No matter how beautiful and easy to navigate a website is, you must make a decision about how to integrate your website into your overall marketing plan. Branding the website to match other marketing materials is important, but so is a consistent marketing message.
  1. Will people find you online? Most people start their search for a product online. It is important to be found on a Google search, but Google’s algorithms change often, and isn’t easy keeping up with those changes. If you are a local company, make sure you are on Google Maps. Verify your site with Google. Make sure to use the keywords that people are looking for. Register with directories that make sense. Add links to your website from your email. Cross post to Social sites. Ask for Facebook “likes” on your website and add your web address to all social sites.
  1. Will people find you off line? I am always amazed when I develop a website for a client, and then see brochures, business cards, and other marketing materials without the web address. If you want people to see your website, never miss an opportunity in the real world to tell them where to find it.
  1. Who is the Website for? If you are only focusing on what a great company you have, you are missing the point. Focus on what your customers are looking for. Most searches today are framed as questions. Google’s new algorithms favor websites that provide answers to questions. Siri and other voice activated search assistants are designed to answer questions. Make sure your website has the answers to the right questions.
  1. What is Your Call-to-Action? Once people have made their way to your website, don’t let them get away without a fight. Capture their email addresses. Ask them to give you a review, like your Facebook page, follow you on Twitter, sign up for a newsletter or even make a suggestion. While the ultimate goal may be a sale, your website may only be the first step on a longer customer journey. Always try to open the door to further communication.

This post was originally published in by Laura Donovan

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Laura Donovan is the President of The Word Pro, a national digital marketing company. She is a graduate of North Central College with a degree in Organizational Communications, a discipline that has proved valuable in her Social Media endeavors. Laura been managing Facebook, Google+ and Twitter pages for small and medium-sized companies since 2008. Besides being hands-on with clients’ pages, she is also in demand as a speaker and trainer on all things “Social.” Her background as a Human Resource Manager for companies like Home Depot and Sharp Electronics has made her a valuable asset to colleges and universities, where she has served on panels and given seminars on social media best practices for students, including ways they can turbocharge their job searches – and how inappropriate behavior can negatively impact their future careers. As an inbound marketing specialist, however, Laura’s focus is on helping small businesses leverage their presence on social sites to attract more customers and increase their bottom line. She considers herself as much a student as a teacher – learning all she can from others in her field. She writes extensively for her blog at The-Social-Pro. Friend her Facebook Page at or follow her on Twitter @TheWordPro. Articles originally posted on Laura's Blog at
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10 Responses to “ Is Your Website Killing Your Business?” Leave a reply ›

  • Profile photo of Sunday William Profile

    Hi Laura,
    Its one thing to have an online presence via a website but its entirely another ball game having a website that is viable and marketable. In other words, it is important to have a website that would help a business to grow.
    Ignorance of what makes a website appealing or negligence of what is necessary to make website the website successful is faced by most failed online businesses.

    The design of a website, the content shared, and the marketing strategy put in place could kill a business quick!

    Therefore, apart from the above advice, marketers must ensure they readily understand the basics of the technicalities involved in good web design, SEO, and digital marketing!
    Sunday William recently posted…Timing is Everything! How Does It Affect Your Email Open Rate?My Profile

  • Profile photo of Ivan Bayross Profile

    Hi Laura,

    The title – Your website is killing your business – is brilliant, drew me right in. BTW, I would have found the title even more intriguing if it were crafted as a question – Is your website killing your business?

    The statistics you’ve delivered in your opening paragraphs is very eye opening. Where did you get the statistics from? Just curious really.

    It appears that more than 50% of site visitors would not recommend a website after a disappointing mobile experience and roughly the same percentage would make their purchases elsewhere in the website did not give them a delightful mobile experience.

    If a website can lose approximately 55% of its income because its not responsive, should give all website owners reason to stop and check their site for responsiveness.

    Losing 55% of business because your website is not responsive is actually paying for a website to be created focused on – business suicide.

    As website owner myself, I wonder what would be the website attributes to check up on regularly to ensure that my website is not outdated.

    How often, per year, would you recommend changing the look and feel and functionality of a website? I know changing the look and feel and functionality of a website is a measurable cost to company, but if the returns generated far offset the cost of change, I’d change in a flash.

    Point 1: I quite agree with your opinions about the Who Are You / About Us page. Too often website owners seem to ignore the fact that sales (i.e. income) is generated between people. Especially after some trust has built.

    As you’ve so rightly pointed out having a great About Us page, which features key personnel of the website in images and write up is an absolute must.

    My website experiences tell me that the About Us page is the second most visited page on any website. Its content, goes a really long way in converting a site visitor, to a lead, and from there to a paying customer.

    Point 5: Too often website owners seem to think that a website is for only show casing – The Business – and forget completely about the customer’s wants and needs. Whereas it should really be the other way around as you’ve so correctly pointed out.

    Point 6: Call To Action. WOW! There are just too many websites that have a wimpy or No Call To Action anywhere, even on their – Landing pages – I’m often taken aback by this completely.

    I can never figure out how they make an income, until I realize – They Don’t.

    Terrific blog post Laura. Lots of Why and How To type information included. Enjoyed the read. Thanks for sharing.
    Ivan Bayross recently posted…Understanding User Intent The Way Search Engines DoMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Freedom Blogger Profile

    Hi Laura!

    What an interesting post!

    Just like Ivan (above) – the title drew me in as well! lol 😀

    You hit some great points here – when it comes to Business Websites.

    Thank you for the useful and interesting statistics, by the way. :)

    This is something I always talk to new bloggers and website owners about!

    Yes, Content is King Online but User Experience is the new Queen in town!

    It is SO important to REALLY care about the User Experience of your website. Your visitors are your potential customers – and they are the ones who make or break your business.

    You need to really make sure your visitors not just like your site but LOVE it. You want them to Bookmark your site and comeback and even recommend it to others.

    High Quality Content can help a lot – but the design and user experience gotta go with it. It just gotta!

    I really like the point number two that you made here. I totally agree with you that you should a Marketing Plan behind everything you do on your site. It is very important to set the right marketing intentions with the smallest details. It does make a big difference in the long run.

    One point, that I see you have missed here, and it is very crucial to pay attention to – is SPEED.

    Your website’s speed is Critical!!

    You could have the greatest design, and the latest technology on your site – and the best of the best user experience – but if you make your visitors wait longer than 10 – 20+ seconds for them to load the entire page – all of the previous does not matter.

    People love speed.

    And this “speed” is onkly getting faster and faster as technology evolves.

    Right now, you have about 3 to 5 seconds to capture your visitor’s attention – that is it!

    Imagine how much lower that number will get in a few years!! LOL

    Anyways, great post, Laura!

    Thanks for sharing it with us!

    Keep up the great work!

    Cheers! 😀
    Freedom Blogger recently posted…Why Are You Not Making Money with Your eCommerce Site?My Profile

  • Profile photo of Celine Profile

    Hi Laura,
    Indeed, the design of website and the nature of its content could be killing it. Therefore, it becomes important to get a hold of what works with it.

    The questions to be asked before publishing a website are in order. At least, it is important that the webmaster addresses the questions of who to publish for, when to publish for, and why publishing in the first place.

    One thing that is important consider here is that information about a website that will succeed should be accessible online and offline!

  • Profile photo of Sarah John Profile

    Hi Laura,
    Yes, today, there are a lot of do-it-yourself opportunities to build your own website.

    However, if it warrants using expert knowledge to build a website, an entrepreneur should embrace that option – of course, this will be perfect if has the finances or resources to employ professional hand.

    A well-designed website is an asset to your business, so why not take your time to ensure you have well deserved website.

    The questions to be considered before doing over your website as discussed in this post are on track. In the very least, webmaster will find it useful to make instant decision.

  • Profile photo of Chery Profile

    Hello Laura!

    Just like the others have stated YOUR TITLE ROCKS! As well as that opening Picture! Great job all around. I don’t even know where to begin!

    I do know that my website is and I am sure will always be a work in progress. I could even imagine not changing things up once in a while.

    I can see how all your questions can be beneficial.

    Great Share


    Chery :))
    Chery recently posted…What Is Your Most Horrific Weakness And Why?My Profile

  • Profile photo of Winford Moore Profile

    Hi Laura,

    You have some very good incites on web design and usability in this post, I agree 100% that a good website should be easy to navigate as well as letting you know what the website is about at a glance.

    I also agree with your point that you should have good content and update your website often.

    I can’t believe how many businesses are still using web designs from the 90’s and most don’t even have a mobile version of their website as of yet. They all need to read your post to get a better understanding that their website can affect their bottom line and reputation as a business owner.

    Great Post!

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