Don’t you love this website? More about it soon.

Very few of us would simply ignore a customer at the front counter. Yet when it comes to websites – our digital ‘shopfront’ – it is simply astounding how much business gets pushed away.

So, in case you didn’t know, here are five sure-fire ways to turn away your customers

Keep broken links nestled in your website

Broken links “in real life” are like pointing your customers towards the door that says “fitting room”, only for them to find that the door is no longer there. What happens to that customer? They leave.

If you want to keep that customer, check your website links every few months to make sure they still work, particularly if you point to other websites, who may not have let you know that they’ve moved or deleted the door – ah-hem – page. If you’re deleting or renaming pages, then point them to another.

Or, create a fun “404 error” message, to let people know the page no longer exists and suggest a page that’s the next best thing. Just like an “real life” shop owner would do.

Slow your site loading speed right down

Hands-up who loves a nice, slow website? Exactly. The example above is the worst I’ve seen.

Your customers have better things to do, so don’t let your lazy website get in their way.

A site speed check is your first step, to find out where what’s behind the lack of pace on your website. There are plenty of places to do that but Pingdom is free and comprehensive – Website Speed Test | Pingdom Tools.

Chunky images are often the culprits (compress them – Windows has a free tool but there are plenty on the internet), along with unnecessary plug-ins and coded scripts that distract your website from providing speedy customer service.

Leave your website looking like someone’s vomited all over it

Carrots everywhere, it’s a mess. You’d be surprised how many businesses ignore their messy websites.

Too much or too little text. An outdated “look and feel”. A navigation with drop down menus that confuse your customers and search engines – just some of the ways that you could be #throwingup instead of #showingup.

In this digital age, how you show up online reflects heavily on your brand. Investing in your website is one of the best things you can do to improve your customer experience and your reputation.

Camouflage your “About” page as a sales page

If I was to say, “tell me about yourself”, would I be expecting you to tell me about why your product or service thing is the best in town? Not really.

And I’d probably walk away.

Did you know, that an “About” page is the second most visited page for most websites? Well, it is.

Your customers want to know about you and why they should feel good about doing business with the person or team behind the brand. Many websites fall into the trap of hiding behind their logo and missing the opportunity to share their story. Everyone has a relatable reason for being in business. So, use that as another way to attract the right customers.

Don’t put a map on your website – it will only attract customers

Everyone loves a mystery, but your location shouldn’t be one, especially if you want to serve your local area. Google My Business makes it very easy for business owners to serve customers locally. It’s a resource that every business should pay attention to.

Once you’ve poured your heart and soul into filling out all the fields in Google My Business (it’s not really that hard), then place a Google map on your footer, along with your business name, address and phone number, and you’ll increase your chances of being placed in the esteemed “local pack” in the search results. But, if you’re not interested in “being local”, then don’t bother.

Carry on as you were.

So, there you have it. Five sure-five ways to turn away customers. How many are you guilty of? Let me know if you have any other great ideas to share – would love to hear from you.

Over to you

Need help to get the words right? Book a planning session and shift up your goals.

Amy Annetts, a marketing strategist in Melbourne, has been practising marketing for 25 years.  She creates marketing roadmaps for businesses that need to know where they’re going. Amy blends her corporate and traditional marketing experience with the latest digital techniques. Using a full-scale marketing toolkit, Amy’s clients use campaigns that earn them more customers.  And she loves red dirt and travelling Australia, having done ‘the lap’ twice and many outback trips in between.

But that’s another story.

Get in touch to see how Amy can help you.