Are You Losing Customers Because of these 5 Small Business Website Mistakes?

Mistake 1 – Failure to Quickly Identify Your Audience

Who is your target audience? When you know who you’re talking to, you can determine the best way to talk to and take care of them. When you immediately clarify who your website is for, you’re telling those ideal customers to pay attention. You’ve got something specifically for them.

Very few business owners do a better job of this than my colleague Kyle Hunt.

Marketing and Sales Problems Web Screen Shot

As you see, he wastes no time establishing exactly who his audience is. Not only does the domain name ( identify who will benefit from what he has to say, but immediately upon arriving on Kyle’s site, he tells his audience “Hey, this is the place for you.

How can you quickly let visitors on your site know that they’re in a special place just for them? How can you convey the idea that you “get” them, that you understand their unique challenges and that you’re their advocate and champion?

Mistake 2 – Lack of Clarity about What’s In It for Them

Diamond Website Conversion Home Page Screen Shot


People generally decide whether or not they’re interested in your website within a matter of seconds. “Is this site worth paying attention to? Is it dealing with issues that matter to me?”  In other words…

Why the heck should I care?

People ask that question when they arrive on any given website. If they can’t find a compelling answer within the first few seconds, there’s a good chance they won’t keep looking.

It’s not your visitor’s job to investigate the site, hoping to find something useful. Rather, it’s your job to tell them what’s in it for them, what they can expect to gain by reading (and eventually buying).

Make the biggest claim you can honestly make, as soon as you can make it. That’s what headlines are designed for, after all. You want to immediately seize the attention and interest of your readers. Immediately begin creating emotional momentum: there’s something they want (or something they want to get rid of), and you are the one who will make sure they get it.

What do you have that other people want? What skills do you have that can change their lives for the better? What problems have you successfully resolved for past clients? That information is much more interesting to your visitors than a job title, position or generic tagline. So why not make your big bold promise the first thing they see?

Mistake 3 – Not Building Credibility

Why should your readers trust you? How can you demonstrate your trustworthiness to them?

Testimonials, credentials, certifications, awards, mentions in the media, even the length of time you’ve been doing business or a list of big-name clients you’ve worked with can show that you deserve to be trusted. Having thousands of Facebook likes or Twitter followers can have the same effect.

When an unknown band opens the concert for famous rock stars, that boosts their “street cred.”

What is it about you that can instill confidence in your readers? Remember, people who don’t trust you won’t buy from you.

Mistake 4 – Failure to Demonstrate Value

Look at your website from the perspective of brand new visitors. Is it clear to them that they’ll find valuable content on your site? How quickly can they see that spending time on your site will be worthwhile?

Even more importantly, you have to demonstrate the real-life value of the products or services you sell.

A good example comes from War Room Studios:

War Room Website Screen shot


War Room Studios uses their website to demonstrate the quality of their marketing and video production services. This photo above shows some of the high-quality equipment they use, showing potential customers that they’re not dealing with amateurs or corner-cutters, but true professionals with the best tools. Prospects don’t have to worry about the quality of the end product.

What can you do to show off your ability to deliver people/organizations you work with?

Mistake 5 – Not Capturing Contact Information

One of the main purposes of a website is to start an on-going conversation with people who may someday become clients. Having web surfers visit your site is nice, but if you really want your website to work for you, you have to start converting traffic into leads. That starts by collecting contact information from visitors who are interested in going a little further with you.

Kick Start Locations, a Diamond Website Conversion client, shows how it’s done.
Kickstart Locations Screen Shot

Visitors give you their contact info in exchange for something useful and relevant, such as a free e-book, consultation or price quote on a potential job. When they do that they 1) express their interest in your product or service and 2) give you permission to market your product or service to them. This is where you can really start building and growing your business.

So, do you have a signup form on your website? Is it easy to find and fill out? Are you giving away something valuable to entice potential customers to sign up?

If not, do it ASAP!


  1. CarolLynnRivera says:

    What a  great list that I think a lot of people overlook in their desire to get the website done A) fast and B) inexpensively (usually with an emphasis on what it “does”, like having cool Flash or graphics instead of how it works). The common thread in your examples speaks to another point which is to keep the site uncluttered. All those ads, all those links, all that content jammed into one place so it’s “above the fold” is a recipe for disaster.

  2. Jessica Bern says:

    This was great but I have a huge issue when I have to give my email to a site. Why? Because I have found that the “unsubscribe” button is more of a “hey, unsubscribe but we’ll be bak whether you like it or not”.  It’s very frustrating.

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