First of all, there is no such thing as a perfect website, and you don’t need to invest $25K to develop a clean, professional-looking site (with a solution such as WordPress, website development has become affordable).
But in this digitalized world, your brand can’t rely on a weak website.
Unfortunately, In Vietnam, we still encounter absolutely awful websites on a daily basis.
That’s a problem.
An awful website can hurt your business much more than you think.
In fact, a bad website hurts your brand credibility & sends potential prospects far away from your company.
You should consider your website as the most important extension of your brand, it’s often the first touchpoint between a Vietnamese prospect (potential customer) and your business.
Your website is the first thing this prospect will notice about your company.
You only have 1 opportunity to make a great first impression.
This is the reason why we’ve decided to compile the 5 most common – and deadly – website mistakes we witness every day in Vietnam.
You can use this article as a checklist and find out if you’re currently hurting your brand in Vietnam.
All right let’s go.
Based on our customer data, on average more than half of Vietnamese website traffic comes from mobile devices – usually about 70%.
Even though the quality of leads generated by mobile traffic in Vietnam is often discussed (I’ll soon write an article about that topic), you should not dismiss those users.
These are the most common mobile website mistakes we observe in Vietnam:
- The mobile site is too heavy (takes too long to load)
- The content is too packed
- The mobile menu does not work
- The buttons are too small, can’t hit them
- A general broken layout
Make your mobile website simpler, and remember that not all Vietnamese own a large-screen smartphone.
Many users browse the internet with a 2 to 4 million VND phone with pretty small screens, it’s more difficult for them to click on links and buttons.
Make your website easy to use for every prospect.
Once again, your mobile layout does not need to be perfect but don’t make it impossible to navigate for mobile users.
Your website is not optimized for conversion
When I visit local websites, it often looks like some random information and text was dropped there with no clear strategy.
That’s killing conversions, visitors get confused and become less likely to contact you.
Each page of your website should be built with conversion in mind, convince the prospect to do business with you.
When a visitor lands on your page, you’re in for a written sales speech. You have only a few seconds to grab their attention and attract them to your copy.
- You need a compelling headline
- You must clearly explain your product or service features
- You must link those features to relevant benefits
- You must tell the prospects what to do next, shall he fill out a form? Shall he call you or even chat with a sales rep?
I personally like to follow one of Victor O. Schwab’s – a marketing and copywriting genius – structure. He used it for print ads, but it can be adapted to website content structure.
- Get attention
- Show people an advantage
- Prove it
- Persuade people to grasp this advantage
- Ask for action
(This is not the only option, you could also focus on problem/solution stories as well as many other copywriting & influence techniques).
On top of the content, the visuals, color contrast (call to action buttons should clearly stand out) and many others also impact your conversion rate.
Driving traffic to your website with a marketing campaign is only half of the job.
You still need to prove to them you’re the right match for their needs and that you can solve their problems. Otherwise, you are just another fish in the pond, you don’t stand out from the crowd.
Awful user experience
Every second that goes by makes it more likely that your visitors bounce, which means that they leave your website (hit the back button of the browser or closes the tab) before your page even had a chance to load.
Your Vietnamese prospects have better things to do than wait for your website to load. This is especially true for online stores.
Check this infographic from cloudflare. It shows how badly a slow website hurts conversions.
Fortunately, your website speed problems can be fixed by implementing some easy fixes, such as reducing image sizes, optimizing your databases… We can help you with that 🙂
Broken links make the navigation on your website miserable, your visitors can’t access key pages and they get quickly irritated. Guess what happens next? They close the tab and pay a visit to your competitor’s website.
This is a common mistake with multilingual websites (Vietnamese/English). Most of the time, you’re lucky if 50% of the English links work. The other half takes you to that doomed error 404 page.
If some pages are missing or not translated, make sure to remove links pointing to them.
As said before, your website is your business card. You won’t appear as a reliable, trustful company if your pages are filled with low-resolution mobile phone photos taken in 2008.
Bad images and photos kill trust.
Even though their inventories are not as big as Shutterstock’s, you’ll likely find really nice professional photos and pictures to decorate your Vietnamese website.
If you want to look as authentic as possible, you should hire a professional photographer to take nice shots of your store, team, products… It’s much more affordable than you think in Vietnam.
Missing contact information
Too many local websites make it difficult to contact the brand, that’s how :
- The contact form is glitchy, for some reason you get an error message
- The phone number & email address are obsolete.
It’s incredible how many good Vietnamese companies miss great business opportunities because of such basic mistakes.
I’ll give you an example:
A few months ago, our second family business (Finnsea) was working with an international customer on a factory search project.
Finnsea’s customer was looking for a local manufacturing outsourcing company.
So our consultant started searching for suitable Vietnamese manufacturing partners online, a partner that could work to international standards.
We found a potential one. A really nice looking factory near Ho Chi Minh City.
Based on the website, they seemed to have required ISO certificates, modern machinery and so on… So we decided to shortlist it.
It was simply impossible to find any contact information on their website, the phone number was not up-to-date, no contact form and no email address available.
It was like they did everything that was humanly possible to prevent prospects from starting a discussion with them.
So what happened? After failing to contact them by other means, We had to drop that factory from the shortlist, SIMPLY BECAUSE WE COULD NOT CONTACT THEM.
Believe me, they lost a potentially huge manufacturing deal (we are talking many hundred thousand USD) and a long term customer.
Make sure that you have up-to-date contact information on your website, and that you receive emails submitted over contact forms – and make sure somebody reads those submissions on a regular basis.
These are the most critical and easy-to-fix website mistakes. We can help you to fix them all.
And remember, you don’t need a $25k website, you just need a nice website that won’t hurt your brand or scare away prospects.
If you need help with optimizing your current website or building a new one from scratch, drop us a message. We develop modern nice looking website for numerous b2b and b2c customers in Vietnam.