You’d have to be living under a rock these days not to recognize that almost every business can benefit from a website. However, simply putting up a website and calling it a day is not the solution. Perhaps you’ve recently launched your own website and have been diligently promoting it for months—with little success. Are you wondering why you aren’t getting the conversions you expected? What factors contribute to a bad website? Here are eight common mistakes you may be making that will turn off potential customers!
WHAT MAKES A POOR WEBSITE?
1. You have little to no content
Consider arriving at a website that has nothing (or almost nothing) on it. Perhaps you see a picture or two and a few words, but nothing of value. Are you planning to stay? No way, no how. As the master of your site, you must not only get your potential customers there; you must also pique their interest and provide them with what they desire. Most people will be looking for information, so provide them with some. If you own a business, this entails explaining what you do and including descriptions and images of the products and services you provide. It’s even better with reviews or testimonials! A lack of content will not only annoy your visitors, but will also harm your SEO. Google even goes so far as to say,
“One of the most important steps in improving your site’s ranking in Google search results is to make sure it has a lot of rich content…”
So get to work on populating your website with high-quality, relevant content.
2. Your website is painfully slow to load
People are naturally impatient. Even if you have compelling content and a beautifully designed website, they will not wait for it to load. According to one study, 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. This can result in significant losses. A 1-second delay in the response time of a page can result in a 7% drop in conversions. Ouch! What are some of the things that can easily slow down your website?
- There are far too many images.
- Files that are large
- Code that isn’t needed
3. Your contact information has been buried or removed
The Internet can be both a pro and a con in that it can be an anonymous place. Customers who are unfamiliar with your company may require some reassurance that the people behind your website are real. They must be confident that when they place an order, they will receive what they expect. Something as simple as displaying your (clear) contact information prominently on your website can add legitimacy and go a long way toward building trust with potential customers. Make your phone number, email address, and physical address (if you have one) easily accessible.
4. You don’t have a good sense of organization
People come to your website to learn more about your company or products. Make them work too hard to find what they require! What are two factors that contribute to easy organization?
A simple search box — This allows customers to quickly narrow down what they’re looking for.
Headings – They should inform visitors about the type of content they can expect to see in each section. This is also advantageous for SEO purposes!
5. Your design is uninspiring and/or unusable
While substance and organization are important, it is also important to remember that appearances do matter! People will leave your website if it appears outdated, clunky, or has clashing color schemes. It is sometimes the small design details that are overlooked. Even minor changes can have a significant impact, so don’t overlook details like font styles and size. Sans-serif fonts are preferred because they are easier to read on computer screens. Don’t be afraid to go big. Numara Software increased the font size on their website from 10-point to 13-point and saw a 10% decrease in bounce rate and a 133% increase in conversions. Are you unsure what your customers will enjoy? Put it to the test on them! Solicit their feedback on Twitter or Facebook to ensure you choose something that will work.
6. There is no call to action
This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many websites lack clear calls-to-action. Even as recently as 2013, Small Business Trends discovered that 70% of small business B2B websites lacked calls-to-action. You may be overjoyed that someone has visited your website, but that is not the ultimate goal. Your goal is to move the visitor further down the conversion funnel. You can do this by directing them to a specific action, such as signing up for your newsletter, downloading an eBook, or, even better, making a purchase. Don’t forget to include a clear call to action. You don’t want to pass up a fantastic opportunity.
7. Your website is not mobile-friendly
The number of people using mobile phones continues to rise, and this must be considered when designing your website. It is expected that by 2019, there will be 5 billion mobile phone users worldwide, with roughly half of these (2.6 billion) owning smartphones. A sizable portion of your customers will most likely access your website via a mobile device, and you cannot afford to provide them with a subpar experience. Your site may look great on a desktop computer, but if it takes forever to load on a phone, or if the images and content look strange, visitors will quickly abandon your site and go to your competition. People nowadays tend to do their research in chunks. They may begin researching your product on their laptops but later switch to their smartphones (or tablets). You want your site to look the same regardless of the device they’re using. This is why it is critical that your website is responsive.
8. It’s riddled with minor annoyances
You’ve heard of them:
- As soon as you click on the site, music begins to play.
- Videos that begin automatically without the need for a user to click on anything
- Ads that fill the screen with pop-ups
Most visitors will flee if they encounter such vexing intrusions. Your website should be welcoming and allow visitors to customize their experiences by visiting specific pages, watching specific videos, and subscribing to music. They will respond much better to this than to a multimedia extravaganza that is chosen for them. You don’t have to hire an expensive web designer or go all out with a complicated design to see meaningful results from your website. Remember that the goal of your website should be to help those who are looking for information about your company and products. Sometimes it’s best to keep things simple. By remembering what makes a bad website and implementing a few of the suggestions above, you’ll be one step closer to converting those website visitors into customers.