I was watching John Jantsch’s Duct Tape Marketing workshop on Creative Live last week and heard someone suggest an interesting headline titled “My Business Sucks”. I thought it was funny since “suck” meant that a business must draw in prospects and engage visitors to know, like and trust the business (and eventually try, buy, repeat and refer). This is why all businesses should suck!

Thinking along these lines it makes sense that a website should also suck. My Top 10 reasons why websites don’t draw in prospects are:

10. Looks nice but does nothing – Many websites look amazing but does little to create know, like and trust.
9. Too many distractions – Some sites are so busy the visitor forgets to notice what is really important.
8. TMI (Too Much Information) – The visitor gets caught up in reading so much information they suffer “analysis of paralysis”.
7. Difficult to navigate – Navigation is overly complicated with two many items and menus leading to a bad user experience.
6. No landing page – The visitor gets distracted because the website doesn’t have a dedicated landing page that focuses on just one thing.
5. Too salesy – The business starts pitching their products and services before they have created any know like and trust.
4. Out of date – The website looks like it was created back in the early 1990’s. Pages that haven’t been updated in years are a dead giveaway.
3. No free educational content – If there is no information on how a product or service solves problems or adds value, then visitors will go to another website to find it. If they do stay, then the only thing they can compare is price.
2. Inconsistent with brand identity – The website must aesthetically and graphically reflect your brand identity consistently.
1. No strategy – This is the biggest problem I see with websites. If it wasn’t designed with an “ideal client” (a client who is profitable and willing to refer) in mind then the website is not serving it’s intended purpose. In addition, it also needs to conveys the core differentiation of the business. If your website isn’t part of your marketing strategy, then it isn’t a vacuum, it’s a blower.

How does your website stack up? Score your website against this Top 10 list. Give yourself a 0 if your website is not at all like what the item describes or a 1 if it is.

0-3 points means your website is in pretty good shape.

4-6 means it could use some redesign.

7+ means you need to overhaul your website.

If you do need a website overhaul then be sure you find someone that is not only web savvy but also has good graphics skills, user experience knowledge and understands online marketing. I highly recommend the WordPress platform since it is fundamentally a CMS (Content Management System) and has a great software community of developers supporting it.

Contact us if you would like some advice on websites and online marketing. After all, we all want our websites to suck don’t we?

What do you think should go on this Top 10 list?