It’s time for some tough love. Your website sucks. No… really. It really, really sucks! But that’s OK, because it’s fixable. You think famous artists, athletes or anyone who’s ever done anything important got it right on the first try? Not likely. Your website’s in good company, but we need to start making it better. If you’re thinking, “He’s not talking about me,” then I hope you’re right. However, if any of these points hit home, I hope you take the time to reconsider your approach to your website, for the better. Without further ado, here are the 10 reasons your website sucks:
1. It’s a fancy brochure.
You’ve seen a travel brochure, right? What do you remember about it? Not much, probably. There were pictures, some words and maybe it was even a good read. But did it sell you on going to that location? Did it make a lasting impact? Probably not. You probably put the brochure down and then went on with your life without a second thought. If your website is just a fancy billboard or brochure, and you’re not actually connecting with visitors and directing them toward something of value in your business, why have a website at all? You should be using your site as a sales funnel to bring new customers into your laundry business. It should have relevant content and imagery, calls to action, and provide value to visitors. If it’s lacking those elements, it’s little more than a digital pamphlet.
2. You’re praising yourself – and not speaking to your audience.
No one likes to listen to someone who talks only about themselves. Now don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying you shouldn’t talk about yourself. It is your website after all! What I’m saying is that you shouldn’t talk about yourself so much that you neglect your audience. Here’s a test for you. Go to your website and read through everything on it. Try to find how many times you use the words “you” or “your” or some other second person wording in the entire site. Then go back through and look for all of the “we” or “I” mentions. How do they stack up? That’s a simple illustration, and there’s more involved in speaking to an audience than writing in the second person. However, it’s meant to prove a point. If you’re only singing your praises on your website, you’re driving away customers. For better results, take steps to create a customer-centric story that has your business as the foundation. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you find.
3. Your machines are the highlight.
This is always a tough point. There’s nothing wrong with being proud of your business, your accomplishments or the equipment in your store. What is bad is when you display those elements as your crowning achievement and promote them to be the best reason for people to come to your laundry. Here’s the issue: Your competition very well may have has good machines, too. What’s more, some of your customers may even have high-end washers and dryers at home, which are much more convenient than the ones in your store. Therefore, you have to give people more than a technical reason to use your services. The other point here is that your laundry equipment really shouldn’t be the highlight of your business. You should be selling people on why you do what you do. You’re here to be involved in your community, to provide a gathering place and to be a friendly part of your customers’ everyday lives. Don’t focus on what you have in your equipment mix – instead, focus on what you can do to make people’s lives better.
4. Your content is weak.
Content is ubiquitous throughout every stage of digital marketing. It’s the blog post (or magazine article) you read, the email you glance at and the social caption that draws you to a post. It’s also what builds trust between you and your audience, which means it can hurt you if it’s done poorly.No one wants to read bad writing. Just ask any high school English teacher! In a professional setting, you shouldn’t have social captions and articles that are riddled with misspelled words, grammar errors and the like. If you do, you’re turning people away from your business.On the other side of that coin, content plays a large part in long-term SEO strategies. If you don’t have readable, shareable and trustable content, search engines will keep ranking you low. Content is important in both the short term and long term, so do your best to get it right the first time.
5. It’s not mobile-compatible.
The other thing to consider with your website is how it looks on your phone or tablet. Most internet users aren’t using their desktop’s browser much. They’re using mobile. If you have to squint when you’re looking at your site on a phone, you’re way off the map. Google actually ranks mobile-compatible sites higher than non-compatible sites. It also will help you stay true to your brand image and dedication to your customers. Make your site more approachable and easy to use by having a mobile-friendly option, plain and simple.
6. It looks old (period).
You remember how websites looked during the dotcom boom? Everything was stuffed onto one page, with slightly relevant imagery taken on a digital camera and capped off with a weird moving background. If your site even looks remotely like that, get some help. Now! Please. Even if it doesn’t look like that, it may still have some outdated features. Your brick-and-mortar store may look different now, your logo may have changed or you simply have outdated information about your business. Whatever the case, most experts recommend a site refresh every two to three years. I know you’re thinking, “I got my site done in 2014, and it looks and feels great!” However, I can guarantee that there are ways it can be improved. Digital marketing has changed since 2014, and it will change again. Taking steps to simply update the look of your website can yield some positive results.
7. It’s not SEO-friendly.
How far down the results page does your site rank? Are you on the front page? What about the second? This type of result matters for your business, so it’s important to know. Most search engine users don’t make it past the first page of results when looking online. If you’re not on the first page of Google, it could be that your site isn’t SEO-friendly. When this is the case, you need to work seriously on optimizing your site, developing high-quality content, and then building backlinks from other reputable sites. It takes time and energy, but using some SEO best practices will take your business to new heights.
8. It doesn’t match your brand image.
Who you are is everything. If you have nice, updated locations with top-notch service and an awesome track record, make sure your website conveys that. The worst thing you could do to yourself is have an awesome business and an off-brand website. Think of how much care and attention you put into your physical location. You want everything to have a place, to be clean and to give off a great image for your business. Why not have the same approach to your website? Use clean imagery, a modern design and content that’s on point. Make sure your logo looks good, you have a URL that’s easy to remember, and the overall look and feel is inviting.All of these elements – and more – play into your brand. Your website can and should contain them all.
9. There are no calls to action.
When people land on your site, what are they supposed to do? Your goal here isn’t to simply educate and hope that visitors contact you on their own initiative. You need to ask them to contact you. Better yet, you need to propel them to contact you.If you have a link to your contact page or a dedicated sales page, is it formatted to include a clear and concise call to action? Are you providing value that motivates a call to action? If not, it’s time to hit the drawing board and reconsider your approach.
10. You don’t know why you really need one.
Would you buy a new machine from a salesperson without knowing how it fits into your business plan? No, you wouldn’t. Then why take the time to set up a website when you don’t know what it’s doing for you? I’m not saying don’t get a website. I firmly believe in websites and what they do for businesses. What I’m saying is take the time to know why you need a website before you have just anybody create one. If you start with why, you’ll learn from the ground up how your site should be used, which will minimize the mistakes you make. There are plenty of resources out there – so go find them! Wherever you’re at with your website, you need a good one. There’s no getting around that fact. I hope you’ve found something here that motivates you to improve your approach to the digital world – which, in turn, will ultimately help your laundry business.