Don’t Alienate Your Customers: 7 Mistakes to Avoid

So you spent a lot of time and money building your new website or blog. And you’ve been waiting for the business to roll in. It’s not.

What could possibly be wrong?

Here are a few things you might be doing to alienate customers without even realizing it:

  1. So what is it you do? It should be clear at first glance what business you’re in. If your site is full of stock photos and stale business jargon, customers will run away, fast. Focus your home page on simply and clearly communicating what you do, and why you’re different / special / unique / better than the rest. Then prospects will start digging deeper to learn more.
  2. No phone number. Sure, you’re busy. You don’t have time to talk to customers and keep your business running. WRONG! If you are in business, you must connect with customers. Add a phone number to your site. If necessary, outsource your support. But always, always list a phone number.
  3. Call for pricing. Really? Is your pricing so top secret that you can’t show it online? Maybe you need to work with a customer to develop a custom quote. If that’s the case, say so. Otherwise, it sounds like you just want to get people on the phone so you can give them the hard sell. If you sell online, offer pricing online.
  4. Copyright two years ago. Take a look at the footer on your page. Is the copyright notice out of date? Don’t shrug your shoulders and think, “Whatever.” Details matter. An old date signals that your site is out of date. Why would a customer want to buy from you, when has a current site with fresh content? It’s you or them. Update that date.
  5. No return policy. Or a “no return” policy. When you are selling products online, making a purchase is an act of faith. Customers want to be sure that if that product is not what they envisioned, they can return it. If your return policy is missing from the site, or worse yet, you tell people, “Sorry, no returns,” you immediately raise questions about your business. Stand behind your offerings, and spell out your policies.
  6. Keyword overload. You want to rank for all those great terms, and drive more business to your site, right? Well guess what. Too many keywords will hurt you in more ways than one. First, the search engines won’t have a clue what’s really important about your site, so it will rank poorly. And when people do find you, they won’t really know what you do. The solution? Pick 2 or 3 important keyword phases to work into the copy on your site. Write the copy for real people, and the search engines will follow.
  7. No social proof. Customers like to know that other people had a good experience with your company. Offer proof of your claims to greatness with testimonials, ratings and reviews. Include a “News” section with press clippings or articles that mention your business. Show that you are not the only one who thinks your business is awesome.

I could go on, but these few ideas should give you a running start on making your site more customer friendly. If you’re guilty of any of these mistakes, fix them and see how your business improves. Be sure to come back and share your story.

Image: Danilo Rizzuti /

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