You’d have to be living under a rock not to appreciate that just about every business these days can benefit from a website. But simply slapping up a site and calling it a day is not the answer. Perhaps you’ve recently set up a website of your own and have been dutifully promoting it for months—with little success. Wondering why you’re not enjoying the conversions you expected? What makes a bad website? Here are eight common mistakes you could be making that are likely to scare away potential customers!
1. You have poor or no content.
Imagine arriving at a website and there’s nothing (or almost nothing) there. Maybe you see a picture or two and a smattering of words, but nothing of value. Are you going to stick around? No way. As the master of your site, you don’t just need to get your potential customer there; you need to capture their interest and provide them with what they want. Most people will be looking for information, so give them some substance. If you’re a business, this means letting visitors know what you do and including descriptions and pictures of the products and services you offer. Reviews or testimonials make it even better! A lack of content will not only frustrate your visitors but will hurt your SEO. Google goes so far as to state,
So get working on filling your site with quality, relevant content.
2. Your site loads painfully slow.
People are inherently impatient. Even if you have gripping content and a gorgeously designed site, they’re not going to sit around and wait for it to load. According to one study, 40% of people give up and abandon a site that takes more than 3 seconds to load. That can translate to big losses. A 1-second delay in a page’s response time can result in a 7% drop in conversions. Ouch! Things that can easily bog your site down?
- Too many images
- Large files
- Bits of unnecessary code
3. Your contact information is buried or missing.
Both a pro and a con of the Internet is that it can be an anonymous place. If customers aren’t familiar with your company, they need some reassurance that there are real people behind your website. They need to feel confident that when they place an order for something, they’ll get what they expect. Something as simple as having your (clear) contact information in an obvious place can add legitimacy to your site and go a long way in building trust with potential customers. Be sure that your phone number, email address, and physical address (if you have one) are easy to find.
4. You lack clear organization.
People visit your site to gather information about your company or products. Don’t make them work too hard to find what they need! Two things that make for simple organization?
- An easy-to-find search box — This allows customers to quickly hone in on exactly what they’re looking for.
- Headings – They should let the visitor know what kind of content they can expect to see in every section. This is beneficial for SEO purposes as well!
5. Your design is uninspiring and/or not user-friendly.
While substance and organization are essential, it’s also important to keep in mind that appearances matter! If your website looks outdated, clunky, or is using clashing color combinations, people will quickly move along. Sometimes it’s the little design elements that get overlooked. Even a minor tweak can have a significant impact, so don’t neglect to take into account details such as font styles and size. Sans-serif style fonts are best, since they’re easier to read on computer screens. Also, don’t be afraid to go big. Numara Software increased their website’s font size from 10-point to 13-point and enjoyed a 10% decrease in bounce rate and a 133% increase in conversions. Not sure what your customers will like? Test it out on them! Ask for their feedback on Twitter or Facebook, so you can be sure you choose something that works.
6. You have no call-to-action.
This one seems pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many websites fail to have clear calls-to-action. As recently as 2013, Small Business Trends found that 70% of small business B2B sites lacked calls-to-action. You may be thrilled that someone is visiting your website, but that’s not the end goal. Your aim is to push the visitor further down the conversion process. You can accomplish this by having a specific action you’d like them to take, whether that’s signing up for your newsletter, downloading an eBook, or, better yet, making a purchase. So, don’t forget to include a prominent call-to-action. You don’t want to miss a golden opportunity.
7. Your site is not responsive.
The number of people using mobile phones keeps ticking upwards and needs to be taken into consideration when you design your website. It’s predicted that by 2019, there will be 5 billion mobile phone users in the world, and roughly half of these (2.6 billion) will own smartphones. A large segment of your customers will likely reach your website from some mobile device, and you can ill-afford to give them a lackluster experience. Your site may look great on a desktop computer, but if it takes forever to load on a phone, or the images and content look funny, people will quickly ditch your site and move to your competition. Nowadays, people tend to do their research in chunks. They might start researching your product by browsing on their laptops but jump over to their smartphones (or tablets) later. You want your site to look consistent, no matter the device they’re using. This is why it’s imperative that your site is responsive.
8. It’s filled with little annoyances.
You know the ones:
- Music blaring as soon as you click on the site
- Automatic videos that start rolling without clicking on anything
- Pop-up ads that fill the screen
These types of bothersome intrusions make most visitors want to flee. Your site should be welcoming and allow people to choose their experiences by visiting specific pages, clicking on specific videos, and opting in to music. They’ll respond so much better to this than having a multimedia extravaganza chosen for them. To see meaningful results from your website, you don’t necessarily have to invest in an expensive web designer or go all out with a complicated design. Remember, the aim of your site should be to benefit those looking for information about your business and products. Keeping it simple is sometimes best. By keeping in mind what makes a bad website and implementing a few of the tweaks above, you’ll be one step closer to converting those site visitors to customers.