6 Not So Obvious Issues Keeping You From Getting Customers
Your ideal customers are fussy. When they're looking for information online, the smallest thing can ultimately determine whether they spend money with you or with someone else.
The problem is, you probably don't know what it is that's sending customers away! I'm going to fix that.
In this guide, I’m sharing six not-so-obvious issues that are preventing you from getting customers, and what you can do to fix them. From SEO to branding to website design, I’ve got you covered!
1. Your company has zero social proof.
When people are making purchases, they want to know the brand they’re purchasing from is trustworthy. No matter how incredible your product or service is, you still have to earn customers' trust before they hand over their hard-earned cash.
That's why social proof is so important. It's small, and relatively easy to get, but critical. Social proof is basically a true story of someone else having a good experience with your brand.
You can earn it through:
- Online Reviews
- Customer testimonials
- Awards and recognitions
- Influencer endorsements
- Publications you’ve been featured or quoted in
- Logos of brands you work with
You can use any of this social proof on the most important pages of your website, like your home, product, pricing, or contact pages. Check out the bottom of Text Request's home page, as an example.
Once potential customers see how much others trust you, they begin to trust you more, too, which makes them more likely to spend money with you.
Here’s a fantastic example of social proof on Fitbit's Why Fitbit page (pictured below). It details everything a visitor would need to know before buying a Fitbit product.
How important is social proof, really? Well, 90% of people check out reviews before deciding who to buy from or work with.
Without using social proof, you aren't showing potential customers that they should trust you, or why they should. So they don't, and they move on to one of your competitors.
2. Your branding is mismatched (inconsistent).
Branding is more than just a logo.
Branding is everything that comes together to make up your company's image and identity. It weaves its way through your tone of voice, color palette, messaging across advertising channels, and customer experience.
A major problem for most organizations is inconsistent branding. What you say and do in one place is different than in another. It's a small sign that tells people we don't really know what's going on.
And whether you're a restaurant, boutique, service business, non-profit, or anything else, consistency is key to establishing an identity that people understand and want to work with.
Consistent branding doesn't have to be tough, either. You can make your branding consistent by:
- Creating a brand guidelines document to follow
- Holding a branding masterclass for everyone in your company to learn more about your brand
- Creating pre-designed marketing materials for staff to swipe and go
Did you know the average revenue increase attributed to consistent branding is 23%? That’s why some of the world’s biggest companies have strong brands.
You know that's McDonald's, and you know that any McDonald's you go to is going to give you the same experience with the same food.
No one will argue that McDonald's is the best tasting or highest quality food in the world. But they're consistent, and that's played a large part in their success.
You want customers to have the same recognition of your business. However, mismatched branding will make that impossible. You need a solid set of branding foundations already in place to snap-up potential customers.
3. You’re making it difficult for customers to reach out.
Is your online checkout process long? Are you making it difficult for customers to click and call your store? Is your online contact form full of glitches? Does your site function poorly on mobile devices?
All these things and more could turn away potential customers simply because it's more difficult for them to reach out to you than to a competitor.
When customers have no easy method of contacting you (or your website makes it hard to find the information they need), they are going to give up and leave.
But you can make things easier and more helpful for potential customers by:
- Installing live chat (now the leading digital content method!) or SMS chat on your site
- Including key contact information (like phone numbers and email addresses) on high traffic pages
- Pushing online visitors towards a store visit by embedding a map to their closest store on your site
- Making sure your online listings are up-to-date and accurate
Fancy an example? ConvertKit, an email software for bloggers, uses live chat on their website to quickly engage any viewers that have questions.
Should a potential customer want to compare products or run into any issues that prevent them from purchasing, someone from ConvertKit's support team is always on hand to help.
This has been proven to boost on-site conversions.
4. Your website is littered with errors.
You might not be aware of website errors that affect your potential customers - especially if you always view your website when signed into your content management system (CMS).
Common errors include:
- Duplicate content
- Faulty contact forms
- Broken internal links leading to 404 pages
- Long page load times
Any of these could prevent a customer from making a purchase on your site, but you might not realize the problem exists - nevermind how many customers you’re losing!
Luckily, there are things you can do to test and solve these problems. You could:
- Use Siteliner to check for duplicate content
- Ask customers for feedback on your site’s usability
- Double-check for issues on various devices, including mobile phones and other internet browsers
- Make sure each page is optimized for SEO, while avoiding key mistakes like keyword stuffing
- Run your website through Google's PageSpeed Insights, and follow their recommendations
As many as 20% of online cart abandonments happen because the website had errors or crashed. You don't want that!
What goals would you meet if you saw a 20% increase in sales?
5. You're missing a security certificate.
I often try to go to a website, only to have my browser tell me it's unsafe to visit that site.
You don’t want an ugly message like the one below being splashed across your customer’s screen when they try to view your website!
These ugly landing pages happen because Google is penalizing sites for not making their site secure. In other words, they aren't using HTTPS certificates (the S stands for Secure).
And, starting from July this year, they will be naming and shaming unsecure websites.
These online certificates prove your website is using a secure connection. The best thing about them? The general public - including your potential customers - have eyes like a hawk, and will be on the lookout for sites that use HTTPS when making purchases online.
That’s why 19% of all online cart abandonments happen when the site isn’t trusted with credit card information.
So, grab yourself an HTTPS certificate and prove that your website is safe, secure, reliable - and trusted with their private information - if you want to see an influx of customers.
(Hint: Both you and your customers will know your site is secured with an HTTPS certificate when a green checkbox is displayed next to your URL.)
6. You’re not communicating your value to your target customers.
The content you’re posting to your website and social media profiles needs to resonate with your buyer persona. But striking the perfect balance between professional and friendly can be a tough job - especially when you’re writing about a dry topic.
Whatever industry you’re working in, though, there’s one important thing to remember: You’re writing for humans.
So ditch the industry jargon that nobody uses in real life. Not only does it prevent potential customers from relating to your brand, but it doesn’t set you apart from competitors, either.
As Jason Fried, Co-founder of Basecamp, said:
When you write like everyone else, you’re saying, ‘Our products are like everyone else’s, too.’ …Would you go to a dinner party and repeat what the person to the right of you is saying all night long? Would that be interesting to anybody?
Keep your on-site content from being the boring dinner guest by getting to know your customers and writing in a way they can relate to.
Everything from product descriptions to social media content needs to be consistent (remember what we said about branding?), especially as voice search continues to grow.
Constantly monitor your potential customers on social media and in your keyword research. Are they using specific words and phrases? Do they love a certain hashtag?
PrettyLittleThing, an online fashion retailer, nailed their online messaging. Targeting a group of young, fashionable teens, take a look at how their product descriptions mimic their customers' own language.
For young girls, I’ll bet that’s much more appealing than overused fashion jargon like “strut your stuff” and “pop of color”.
As you can see, there are many less-than-obvious issues that could be preventing your business from getting more customers, both online and offline.
Through all of it, remember: Consistency is key.
From your overall branding to your error-free website, consistency is what makes these six changes really make a difference for your conversion rates.