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Why Your Web site Sucks … and How to Fix It

Jonathan Blackwell
Oct 13, 2014

Your Web site sucks. I say this with a high degree of confidence even though I haven't seen it. And just how can I make such a blanket statement? Because it is generally true of most Web sites. They do, in fact, suck!

Don’t throw in the towel just yet though. You can fix your site. You might even be able to get leads from it for once.

1. You have not updated it in more than five years
Much has changed in Web design and the way users experience a Web site visit in the past few years. One of the biggest changes is HOW users access your site. Five years ago, it was from their desktop or laptop. Today, more than half of your visitors likely come from mobile or tablet devices.

If your Web site isn’t responsive and does not adjust to the device it is being viewed on, then you are losing visitors fast. Make your Web site responsive. While you are working on a new and responsive design, ditch any dated flash intros and, for Pete’s sake, do not have any atrocious music that plays while your visitors navigate the site.

2. It is static
Static Web sites are just that … static! They do not get fresh, useful content that continually adds value and helps boost your search rankings. If you are not blogging consistently, then start if you want to see repeat visitors or any quality search rankings. Add useful, valuable content and do it with greater frequency.

3. Your on-page SEO sucks
This is a blanket category. It includes lots of individual aspects. The biggest three being slow load times, poor internal linking and poor navigation. Other culprits are poor use of header tags, keyword stuffing and poor formatting of your content making it hard to read. All of these factors will kill your search rankings, which is probably good. If a customer did find your site, they are not going to sit and wait 10 seconds for it to load. They are probably also looking for specific content. They might even check out a few pages … if they can find them.

Your job is to facilitate their journey through your site with clear internal linking and menu navigation.

4. Your site lacks trust and/or security
It goes without saying if a visitor hits your site and gets a malware warning, then they are going to bounce quickly. Visitors also like to see trust symbols. If you are a member of the Better Business Bureau, then display the BBB seal. Have the Equal Housing Seal and any other signs and symbols for certifications or organizations you are a part of. Have a phone number available prominently as well.

5. Lacks a clear call-to-action
You may have done everything right. The visitor found your cleanly designed, malware-free, quick loading site and read several of your value-adding pieces of content. They’d like to connect with you, but they are not sure how. The only form you have is an application which they are not ready to complete. They try to call, but get voicemail, so they move on to the next Web site.

You need clear, frequent calls-to-actions through your Web site. You should have one after every post and on the sidebar. Wherever that visitor goes, they should be able to quickly locate a way to contact you.

The contact form should be short too and no more than six fields. The fewer fields, the higher the conversion rate.

6. No social proof
It gives your visitors the warm and fuzzies to see your testimonials. They also like to see social sharing buttons. Other people are reading and sharing your content. Some are doing business with you and are thrilled with the results. You are a real, living and breathing loan officer that they want to do business with.

Having a lead generation Web site is a great way to drive business. Sadly, it is not as easy as just sticking up a cookie-cutter site and praying. Producing a good, quality product takes effort, time and some work.

I know from experience that the last two, time and work, don’t come easy for most busy mortgage professionals. If you do fall into that category of “busy mortgage professional,” then I hope that “busy” is also producing commission revenue. Don’t be scared to use it. There are plenty of talented, yet affordable, Web designs, developers, writers and designers who will be more than happy to take the lead.



Jonathan Blackwell is chief engagement officer for BoldCopy.net. Jonathan may be reached by phone at (404) 551-3845 or e-mail jonathan.blackwell@gmail.com.

 

 

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