In the complicated world of the great online, there is no point to having a functioning website if people are going to leave it immediately. Appealing to a potential consumer can be hard enough, it’s important that online user frustration is kept to a minimum. The last thing you want for your business is people ‘bouncing’ (as defined by Google Analytics) away quicker than they arrived.
It can be easy to make simple mistakes for your website that may cost you a sale or enquiry, if you’re struggling with getting buyers to stick and stay, contemplate whether making any of the following changes could help you to prevent this from happening.
1. Your site is not responsive
As the world moves along and technology life is modernised day by day, the majority of social media and online engagement comes from a mobile, there is now every reason to make your website device friendly. Two in three adults in the UK now own a smartphone. The truth is, people are lazy and they would like everything to be as accessible as possible – including online information. The main problem with unresponsive sites (as I’m sure most of us have figured out from dealing with certain websites on our mobiles and tablets) is that they are difficult to navigate. People don’t know where to click and how to find something if they cannot see the entire site within their screen, causing them to pinch and zoom (which we know they’ll eventually get tired of) meaning they are likely to click away and find a website that IS responsive. Responsive design is highly recommended by Google as it doesn’t just cause user satisfaction, but it also helps your optimisation rankings and moves you further up the ladder in the search engine. If your website is not currently responsive, this is definitely an important factor to consider.
2. Unclear navigation structure
Let’s face it, heading to a website with disorganised and unhelpful navigation is like driving somewhere with obscure directions – you don’t want to take the long way round, you want to get there straight away. Browsing people are looking for information and if they don’t find it quickly, they are likely to get frustrated and set their sights elsewhere. What a user wants from a website is important to consider, when readers don’t like what they see, they click away is fast as the mouse can take them. Your navigation plan must be simple, informative and accessible – if it’s not, this is something you may want to consider changing. This User Testing Tool is a great way to figure out if and where your visitors are having trouble to find what they’re looking for on your site.
3. Outdated website design
If your website is aging, it’s definitely time for a refresh – this could be the main factor that initially keeps a user on your website. The majority of online customers who visit your website will actually spend less than 15 seconds on the homepage before clicking off; this means that you have just a quarter of a minute to capture their attention and present them with information that will help them to become interested in your brand. Unfortunately, vintage and retro just doesn’t apply to the world of web design – users are looking for something modern and fresh. Remember, web design is consistently growing and developing.
4. Your content is difficult to read
In terms of choosing a font to use, there are no set guidelines, as often it depends on the type of brand you’re representing. Web design is not just about colours and impressive visuals. The clearer your text is to read, the more likely people are to stick around on your website, this is why fonts, spelling and grammar are key factors of your website. It’s about a clear typeface that is easy on the eye and can appeal to customers in the right way to reflect your particular brand. Choice of colour can also play a part, depending on the tint of your background.
5. Too many ads
Extensive use of pop up adverts are enough to get on anyone’s nerves. Although many well-known sites use pop-ups, people do get frustrated with these as it prevents their reason of action when clicking through to a site. If you use a range of adverts, it may be time for a re-think as this is a significant cause of users moving away from a website.
6. Automatic playing videos
Not only do they cause an interruption to browsing, but they are bad for accessibility and usability. For example, if a user is listening to music at the time of them entering your website and a video automatically plays – this will conflict with their music and may cause them to abruptly click away from your site. A click-away could also be instigated if the user does not have the right or updated software to continue browsing the page until the clip has finished. If a user is obstructed by what they are trying to do on your website – the chances are, they’ll bounce.
7. No “About Us” page
If your website has successfully interested and engaged potential customers, many will indeed direct towards your ‘about us’ page. The information page is the most frequently reviewed on any website as a user wants to know that they can trust a website, that it is credible and valid – and there’s no better way to sell yourself and make yourself known than with a great ‘about’ page. The page can provide your best chance to convince potential consumers that they are making the right choice with you. If you do not have an information page – it is definitely wise to create one.
8. Your site lacks personality
It’s arguable, but perhaps the main thing needed for a successful website is personality. You must have a strong idea of how you would like to appear to your potential clients – so they get an immediate feel for how you are and what you represent. Whether your business is strictly professional or light hearted and warm, you must attempt to convey this with your choice of words as well as your web design.
9. Slow loading
A significant factor of the success of your website is how fast it loads – this may be something that is overlooked. You may have an attractive looking website with all the information that it needs, but the chances are if it takes longer than three seconds to load, users will quickly move away from it. Although three seconds isn’t a long time, it is in the world of internet when people are automatically expecting something to load and appear almost instantly. Page speed can make or break your website, so if your website is lacking in speed, this is something you may want to look in to, as it could just lead customers to stay on your website that much longer. Google developers have formed a page speed insights tool to help provide information that you need to fix pages that are lacking in speed. Check the tool out to make sure!
10. Unclear product benefits
A top tip is to sell benefits, not features. Benefits are what people are interested in, users want to quickly discover what is going to be helpful to them, and if your website is focusing on selling products and describing complex features, users are likely to click away as they cannot identify with what they don’t know. You need your selling point to be understandable, and the complex stuff available for the customer if and when they need to find it out. Although this may seem like a simple step, it is absolutely one that could save your website.
The best thing to do in a website situation is imagine you’re the customer, visualise yourself looking for something, find out what you like best about a website and what you find helpful when online browsing and integrate it in to your own website.