Most of the new clients we meet with come to us because they want a website that will enhance their credibility and help them to attract new customers. But what if your pages were doing just the opposite – what if your web presence were making buyers think less of you, and actually turning them away from your company?

Believe it or not, that is a problem that’s more common than you might think. And it often comes down to one or more of five simple mistakes that kill customer confidence in seconds…

#1 Outdated Copyrights and Content
If it takes you a few fingers to count back to the number of years since your site was designed, then it probably looks and feels out of date. The same goes for content that refers to trends, events, or people that aren’t a part of your business anymore. These kinds of issues tell visitors that your company isn’t around anymore, or that it has problems keeping on top of details. Either way, you’re sending the wrong message.

#2 Typos and Bad Grammar
People tend to be more forgiving of typos and grammatical errors on the internet than they are anywhere else. Still, if your web content is hard to read and understand, or if it contains obvious mistakes, you don’t exactly seem like a credible professional, do you? It doesn’t take much, in terms of time, effort, or money, to run your writing through a good proofreader. So, save yourself a bit of embarrassment and get someone to look through your pages before they go live.

#3 Images That Aren’t There (or Shouldn’t Be)
Missing website images are the online equivalent of shuttered windows on your retail storefront. They are a sign that your business is long gone, or has seen better days. In the same way, low-quality pictures, or graphics that have nothing to do with your company, undercut your credibility and make it seem like your website might be a scam. Look at the visuals on your website from a customer’s point of view. Are they making you seem more or less trustworthy?

#4 Missing or Broken Links
When you visit a website and find a link to a page that no longer exists, that sends a subtle signal that you can’t count on the information you’re finding on the site (or the people who posted it). After all, if they aren’t taking the time to update their pages and clear out dead ends, would you really want to trust them with your money? Broken links also hurt your search engine visibility, making it less likely that buyers can find your website in the first place.

#5 Hosting and Connection Problems
There are a lot of ways hosting can go wrong if you sign up for a bargain-basement package. Slow-loading webpages, a lack of online security, and even nonfunctional SSL connections all tell potential customers that your website isn’t one where they should feel safe sharing information like email addresses and credit card numbers. Upgrading your hosting is one of the least expensive ways to improve your website, and it can make a big difference in the way people view your online home.

Your website should be a cornerstone of your marketing efforts, and something that makes buyers interested to learn more. If any of these five errors are present on your pages, though, you’re probably seeing the exact opposite effect.