9 Ways Your Website is Driving Guests and Potential Customers Away
So your SEO campaign is working great, and visitors are coming to your site in droves. But there’s a problem… why are they leaving in less than a second? Why aren’t people contacting you after visiting your website?
Well, if you were a human being and you were being ignored, your first thought would be to ask yourself “Do I offend?” You need to do the same thing with your website and make sure you aren’t turning visitors off. Let’s face it… we are all pushed for time, have very short attention spans, and want everything we want instantly, so your website has to work hard to grab guests’ attention in a very short timeframe. Here are nine of the biggest things driving your guests and potential customers away from your website (in no particular order).
One of the biggest issues that cause guests to leave a website is the speed at which it loads. Most guests are probably fine if the page takes a while to load, but in the meantime they should not see a completely blank page. A website that has been properly coded by a professional web developer will ensure that main content loads, quick, so that guests can start reading right away. After your main content has loaded, move onto loading secondary content such as sidebars and images. And finally, load the tertiary content including social media bars, etc.This mimics how a guests will interact with the page, they likely won’t share the post until they are done reading it, so why delay loading their content so you can load a share on LinkedIn button?
2. Lack of Important Information
Where is your address? What is your phone number? Can I email you if I dislike using the phone? Unless a guest is already very interested in your product, they aren’t going to search all over for that info. I’ve seen many websites duplicate the information excessively, and I do wholeheartedly approve of the practice. Stick that phone number on the top, the bottom, and the side too while you’re at it. Just make it clear and easy to find.
3. Common Annoyances
Ugh, you don’t have automatic music playing do you? What is this 1990? Sure it was a cool fad in the early when web developers first learned they could do such a thing, but in the modern web, anything that occurs without user interaction is a big no-no. Music blasting on your website is distracting if someone were say, pulling your website up in a crowded office during a lunchbreak, or worse yet at a library! Know what else? I don’t have an unlimited data plan on my phone so to me it is downright criminal to make me download data and waste my money without giving me the option against it! Besides automatically playing music, the same goes for any video, animations, etc. that start on their own. I don’t care how proud you are of your business’ first radio spot (congratulations, by the way!) but your guests won’t want to hear it every time they refresh your homepage.
4. Popups or Ads
Do you have advertisements on your website? If you do, you should be aware that they probably also show up on mobile devices. Do you know just how hard it is to press that itty bitty “X” in the corner while on a phone? Next to impossible, I can assure you! It’s great if you are able to monetize your website using advertisements, but make sure that they are not intrusive or impossible for visitors to dismiss.
Some websites think it a good idea to instantly ask for an email address. Imagine if the second you walked into a department store you were immediately asked for your home address before you’d even grabbed a cart. The concept is the same. Let the user decide if they are actually interested. When I see those popups (if I don’t instantly close the website) I always give a fake email address. Poor email@example.com probably hates me from all the spam he gets.
5. Expectation Mismatch
Maybe they’re just not that into you. While obvious, I did want to include this in our list because it is another reason why guests might leave. Perhaps they arrived at your site thinking you were someone else, maybe they just didn’t like the look of the website, they heard bad things about you, they don’t like the company name, or the logo, or any number of reasons. Everyone has differing opinions and tastes and you just can’t please everyone.
6. Poor Design
If your website has not been professionally designed, and the colors are in shades of neon on a bright pink background, or if your overall website is just visually off-putting, guests may immediately be turned off and leave. Poor quality grainy cellphone pictures of your products are not going to make your product look appealing or professional. Most anybody can throw content and colors onto a page, but arranging them into a matter that is not only appealing, but based on proven experience of how users think and interact with the website are things a professional website designer and developer will assist you with.
7. Poor Writing
Make sure your content makes sense and if you aren’t a writer yourself, know when to get help. Misspellings are just the tip of the iceberg; poor punctuation and grammar, writing in different voices and tenses, and overly conversational tones (depending on the website) are all big turnoffs to guests. If your content is confusing, guests are going to be confused. Website content that is written as if your son or daughter in kindergarten wrote it will not reflect positively on your business. There are dedicated content writers out there for a reason -not everyone is capable of pulling it off.
8. Too Sales-y
Your sales force is great at what they do, but do not let them work on your webpage; lean on your friendly marketing or content writer to complete that task. This individual will know how to take all the benefits of your product and compile them into informative descriptions that are actually interesting and descriptive without saying the word “buy” once. Websites that give off a “sales-y” vibe will put guests on edge right away, we’ve all had that experience with a pushy over-the-top-fast-talking sales guy. Nobody wants to be sold to.
9. Too Much Writing
So as I approach 1,000 words in this blog, I do realize the irony in this statement, but hear me out! Many of the websites that perform the worst are those that say far too little with far too much. When you know your product and service, it can be tempting to talk about it all day long. You can go on and on about your products and services and list every feature and every potential use scenario there is. But you need to curb your enthusiasm at a point because your typical guest isn’t going to care.
I like to read, but when someone shows me a book that’s over 1,000 pages I politely ask when it is coming out on video. Unless really interested in the subject matter, guests want the flash card version of what your products and service are, how they work, why they are different, and why they need them.
So, is your website driving visitors away? Do I hear “Born This Way” blasting out of your speakers as you pull up your website? Consult this list and chat with your friendly web designer or web developer about why things are a certain way on your site and if there may be cause for changes.
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