The Website Frustrations Business Owners Share with Us Most (and how we solve them)

We talk with many small business owners each week who are looking for better ways to promote and market their business online. Many have spent money on websites that are causing frustrations for a variety of reasons. Probably most important is the concern that money was spent on something that is not doing what they want or need for their business.

Below we outline some of the common frustrations we hear most often, as well as our approach to these issues. We want to share that we understand these concerns and work to ensure they are addressed as we build small business websites for our clients.

“Our website doesn’t convey our company image.”

Studies have shown that visitors judge the quality of a company and its services by their impression of its website. Fair or not, this means that if your website doesn’t The 9 Common Website Frustrations We Hear Most From Small Business Ownersreflect the look, feel, quality, or culture of your company then you may be losing the opportunity to connect with new customers.

We often hear businesses share that they feel uncomfortable sending people to their website because it doesn’t give off the impression they want to portray or it doesn’t provide enough information on the full range of products and services offered.

How We Approach This Topic

At Sutherland Weston, our experience and expertise in this area includes:

  1. Designing custom interfaces to match your colors, brand and overall company feel. We integrate photos and graphics to help new visitors clearly understand who you are, what you do, and why it matters to them. Our graphics team is highly skilled in developing marketing materials and will put their skills to work for you in your website look and feel.
  2. Asking business related questions before we start developing the pages and content. We want to know how you make your money, what your seasonal business calendar looks like, and what customers are looking for. We’ll work to develop a flowchart and logical menu structure to ensure that not only is your company fully represented the way you want but that potential customers can find value quickly and get to where they need to be.

“Our website is not getting enough traffic.”

Building the website with purpose is one key piece of the puzzle. Getting traffic to it is yet another.

Website traffic can come from a variety of sources and can be the result of a number of factors.

Website traffic can be born from being found through keyword searches or paid advertising efforts within search engines.

Traffic can be a result of links shared in social media or paid promotional efforts to bring attention to your brand. Website traffic can be made up of existing customers or new customers.

How We Approach This Topic

At Sutherland Weston, our experience and expertise in this area includes:

  1. Knowing the current traffic patterns of your site is essential to understanding how your website is getting used. Sutherland Weston will review website traffic and analytic patterns to see where your current traffic is coming from and where the opportunities are. We work with you to develop traffic building plans once the site is built to help you evaluate opportunities to be seen by more prospective customers.
  2. Following core search engine optimization protocols with every site we develop to ensure your site follows the standards most respected by major search engines. Sutherland Weston integrates keyword-rich content into specific pages of your website to help increase online visibility and get your website in front of customers that mean the most to your bottom line.

Expanded thoughts on this topic.

“Our website does not do a good job of getting the phone to ring.”

The key to a website being effective is not only attracting visitors but connecting and enticing visitors to take a specific action. And for most business owners that would be to inquire about their products and services.

A website should be a sales tool and help your business earn leads and sales opportunities. Whether those leads are for service, request for information, sales of new products, or other meaningful inquiry types, earning new business opportunities should be the core focus of a business website.

How We Approach This Topic

At Sutherland Weston, our experience and expertise in this area includes:

  1. Covering the basics. One of the most reported key complaints of visitors to business websites is not having the contact information readily available on all pages. It may not seem like an advanced approach, but having your address and phone number prominently placed in a highly visible location will help users call you more.
  2. Providing visitors reasons to call. Understanding why your customers call you and what questions they most frequently have helps to create meaningful content for your website. Creating copy that helps to showcase your understanding of their needs helps to build confidence in making a phone call. We want potential customers to feel as if they can trust the expertise they are going to get when making that call.

“Our website is not helping us capture leads.”

All leads are not created equal. Some potential customers have an urgent need and are looking to engage promptly. Others may be talking to other companies as well to find different prices and options. Still others may be just starting out and investigating options for a future need.

To have a website work best for you and your sales process, you should consider how to connect and provide value to a full range of lead types.

How We Approach This Topic

At Sutherland Weston, our experience and expertise in this area includes:

  1. Reverse engineering the most important aspects, questions, and concerns of your target customers into valuable answers and advice to show your expertise.
  2. Engaging in business-related questions to better understand how your leads tend to develop, what processes your company takes to manage those leads and develop website elements to help you best match those needs.
  3. Delivering years of marketing expertise to your project to help guide and develop strategic calls to action and help you connect to more website visitors and build opportunities for more sales.

“Our website does not function the way we’d like.”

When business owners share that their websites do not function the way they wish they would, the problem is often a combination of the logical layout of the menu, the organizational structure of its pages, and how content is crafted and presented.

The ability for a potential customer to find the right page on your website, skim its content quickly, and easily understand its value is critical in having a website that functions well for your business.

Online content is read quite differently from printed content. The attention span is very short and if a message or meaning is not conveyed quickly, it may not matter how good the content is, it simply won’t be read.

How We Approach This Topic

At Sutherland Weston, our experience and expertise in this area includes:

  1. Designing your page blueprint and content flowchart with purpose. Our development process will help develop pages of copy that best showcase your company and your customer needs and organize them in logical formats.
  2. Working with you to organize your copy and content into web-friendly formats so customers can see quickly the value you provide and why they should do business with your company.

“Our website is difficult to keep up to date.”

One of the key complaints from online users is finding a site with irrelevant or outdated information. It not only sends the wrong message about your company’s attention to detail but it wastes people’s time when they do actually land on your website.

Many business owners share that keeping their site updated is not only something that they don’t have enough time to do but also something they don’t understand how to do. Because updating their site requires time and skills that they do not have, the website goes stale.

How We Approach This Topic:

At Sutherland Weston, our experience and expertise in this area includes:

  1. Developing each website using a content management system. This gives you easy and consistent access to your pages and content and allows you to add, edit, and manage your website from any computer with internet access.
  2. Training you on how to use the content management system to do the things you’ll do most.
  3. Supporting you with prompt answers and friendly service when you have questions.

“Our website doesn’t reflect all our products and services.”

Typically if a business owner shares that their website doesn’t really represent the entire scope of their business, we can assume one or more of the following:

  • The website is old and was built at a time when the company looked different
  • Updating the website is something that the business hasn’t had the time or ability to do
  • The website wasn’t designed to be part of the company’s marketing strategy
  • The person who used to be responsible for the website has left the company and it’s been a while since anyone has paid attention to it

There can be a variety of reasons why your website doesn’t represent your company well and we work to help you change that.

How We Approach This Topic:

At Sutherland Weston, our experience and expertise in this area includes:

  1. Looking at the website development process as more than just a computer project. It’s a marketing and communications tool and the discussions you’ll have with our team will be geared towards understanding how the website will fit into your greater communications goals.
  2. Asking business-related questions before we start developing the pages and content. We want to know how you make your money, what your seasonal business calendar looks like, and what customers are looking for. We’ll work to develop a flowchart and logical menu structure to ensure that not only is your company fully represented the way you want but that potential customers can find value quickly and get to where they need to be.

“We don’t know how to use the website as a marketing tool.”

Business owners often share that they know they need a website but do not understand how it can used beyond serving as an online brochure.

Building a website is more than just pages, pictures, and paragraphs. It’s a combination of strategy, purpose, and focus to your business, your customers, and your sales goals.

This area of expertise is the hallmark of the client experience at Sutherland Weston as we approach each website project from a marketing point of view.

This can include integrating your website with:

  • Social media strategies
  • Advertising campaigns
  • Search ranking and optimization efforts
  • Traffic and analytic reports to see where your opportunities lie
  • Content marketing efforts
  • Lead tracking and sales management efforts

How We Approach This Topic:

At Sutherland Weston, our experience and expertise in this area includes:

  1. Evaluating all your current marketing and communication channels to get the full scope of what you’re doing now and how your website can enhance your current efforts and goals.
  2. Discussing your seasonal business goals, trends, and opportunities can work with you to develop integrated campaigns to get more exposure for your business. Use the website as a lead generation tool for those campaigns.

“We can’t get timely help or support for our website.”

Not getting timely responses to your needs is a common frustration from business owners. Understanding that even the smallest task is important and valuable is how we approach service to our customers.

There are many reasons businesses feel a lack of support, including:

  • Website designer not understanding business or marketing needs
  • The website was built by someone no longer in business
  • The company that built the site has become too busy
  • The website was built by an employee who is no longer around
  • Paying for support and services that are not delivered
  • Having to ask for the same things over and over again

How We Approach This Topic:

At Sutherland Weston, our experience and expertise in this area includes:

  1. Connecting each client of Sutherland Weston with a key point of contact and an account manager for consistent and connected conversations about your business. We utilize project management tools so each phase of your project is logged, tracked, and measured to ensure our team is connected to yours.
  2. Cross-training our team to help. Should your account manager not be available we are ready, willing, and able to be responsive and helpful. It’s our goal to be a partner in your efforts and we want to ensure you feel you have help and advice to turn to, even for the smallest questions and needs.
  3. Developing each website using a content management system. This gives you easy and consistent access to your pages and content and allows you to add, edit, and manage your website from any computer with internet access.