15 Things That Could Be Frustrating Your Website Visitors
1. Page load times
Is your website loading as quickly as it should? These days, nobody wants to spend longer than 10 seconds waiting for a page to load. If your site is taking 20 seconds or more to load up, then you’re likely losing a lot of traffic.
There are many factors that could be contributing to slow load times including too many images, too many plugins, and trying to run too many scripts. Try not to over-complicate your site and minimize the amount of images, animations, and other rich media you use. This alone will speed up page load times significantly.
Chances are that you’re not overly familiar with the technical side of designing a website; so do not hesitate to get the help of a professional website designer or marketing consultant. They will be able to assess your site to find out exactly what is slowing it down and suggest ways to improve things.
Pop ups are definitely the bane of the website visitor’s life. Think about how annoying you yourself find pop up advertisements. There is nothing more infuriating than trying to get to the information you’re looking for while being bombarded with pop ups. It’s true that many people own ad blocker software, but it is still something you should avoid. After all, you may well gain the off subscriber from a pop up, but compared to the amount of traffic you’ll actually lose it’s a no brainer to avoid them at all costs.
However, some marketing experts will tell you that there are some instances where pop ups can be effective. The key is timing. Ensure you set any pop ups to load up after a specific amount of time. Don’t just bombard the visitor with pop ups as soon as they land on your site, for example. Let them explore your site for a little while and then present it. Timed pop ups are much more effective and far less annoying than instant ones.
3. Long, boring text
A key mistake many companies make is to create long, hard to read blocks of text. Yes, you want your site to be as informative as possible, but the days of long-winded copy are long gone. Now it is all about short, snappy content. Ensure your paragraphs are 3-4 sentences maximum. Split it up with subheadings and add the odd image where you can (though remember, not too many images).
If the reader has to scroll through what seems like endless content, they will quickly give up and move on to a different site.
A good rule of thumb is to cut your web content by 50% compared to what you have in any printed marketing materials. Remember, people looking for information online want to find it as quickly as possible. So they are less likely to read through long blocks of text than they would if they were reading printed material.
4. Automated multimedia
If you’re new to using the internet for business, you’ll quickly discover the key to good advertising these days is through video format. Therefore, it would clearly make sense to add a video or two to your website wouldn’t it?
Well a video could certainly help, but there’s one key thing you need to avoid if you do want to add multimedia style content to your site. That is, you should make sure it is not set to play automatically.
It’s very annoying for your visitors, especially if they were expecting a quiet browsing session and they are suddenly hit with a loud, automated video. If the mute or stop button is also hard to find, they will end up simply clicking off your site. So if you do want to add multimedia, make sure it’s not forced on your visitors and it will only play if they ask it to.
5. Generic images
When choosing a main image for your site, stock photos may seem like a great idea. They’re often free and come with a very professional looking design. However, if you take the very popular ‘model office worker’ image for example, it gives a more automated, impersonal feel.
Customers want to personally connect with you. That means they want to see real people and something that is personally connected to your company. So generic images are a definite no-no.
You don’t have to be incredibly skilled with digital design to offer realistic images; though obviously that would help. Instead, you can simply take pictures of your store, your staff and your customers and add those to the various pages on your website.
6. Not enough contact information
When a visitor wants to contact you, they typically want to be presented with various contact methods. Depending on your type of business, this could be a phone number, email address, contact form, etc. Just be sure that the contact methods you provide are a good fit for your business. If your visitors aren’t given a contact method they feel comfortable with, they will simply click off your site and move on to one of your competitors.
Most would agree that despite most things being digital these days, many people still prefer to contact a company via telephone. This is especially true for people looking for local businesses. If a customer finds you by carrying out a local search, they will usually want to see a local telephone number they can use to contact you (avoid using 800 numbers – always use local numbers on your website as consumers like to see those and for SEO privileges).
7. Making it too ‘salesy’
Making your content too ‘salesy’ will definitely slow visitors down when it comes to contacting or doing business with you. This is a mistake that is especially easy to make on the landing page of your site. Yes, you want to establish your business as one of the leaders in the industry. However, if you try to force how great you are onto your potential customers, it can send out the opposite message.
A good business doesn’t need to overly sell its products and services. By all means, mention that you’re one of the leading businesses in the industry, but beware of using overly enthusiastic words such as ‘incredible’ and ‘awesome’ when describing your company. You should also avoid making claims that sound too good to be true. Focus on content that is going to be valuable to your visitors, rather than empty promises.
8. Your content is too technical
If you operate in a technical industry, you need to remember that visitors to your site won’t have the same technical knowledge as you do. Therefore, you need to avoid using technical jargon. Always ensure the content displayed on your site is written in a way that the average consumer can understand. This is where great content really shines. Being able to provide easy to understand, simplistic content in a technical field makes your business a lot more approachable. It also widens your target market; therefore, increasing sales and revenue.
It can be difficult breaking out of the habit of using technical jargon; especially if you’ve been in the business for many years. That’s where hiring a freelance copywriter can come in useful. They will be able to set a more neutral, approachable tone of voice that your customers can relate to.
9. Obvious SEO derived content
Once upon a time, search engines rewarded you for using targeted keywords as often as possible. It didn’t matter how easy the content was to read; it just mattered that the keyword was easy for the search engines to pick up.
Those days are thankfully gone and now it is absolutely essential for you to make sure your content isn’t just focused on SEO. Google for example, looks at how useful and relevant the content is and actively penalizes sites that have keyword stuffed content.
You need to really put yourself in your visitor’s shoes. Will they find it easy to understand the content provided? Is it interesting? Will they learn something new and will it entice them into contacting you or making a purchase? These questions will help you to determine whether you are providing the right type of content and whether any changes need to be made.
10. It doesn’t have a blog
One way to really connect with your customers is by adding a blog to your site. Visitors like to get to know a company. There’s a real desire to build up a personal connection online and blogs are considered one of the best ways to do this.
If your website just has a simple fact based design with no personal content, it could be costing you some conversions. Of course, if you do add a blog you will need to pay attention to what you actually put in it. You’ll also need to update it frequently, at least once a week.
It should offer useful, informative content rather than just sales based information. It helps if you encourage participation too. For example, ending a blog with something like “We’d love to know what you think. Let us know your views by adding a comment below.” The more participation your blog has, the more popular your site will become. It will also be more likely to be picked up by search engines.
11. It is too basic
A great website doesn’t need an over-the-top flashy design. However, it also shouldn’t be too basic either. A key example of this is choosing to use a free website template. While it may save you a significant amount of money initially, these free sites tend to have a very basic, unprofessional design. This isn’t the look you should be aiming for if you want to advertise your company as an authoritative and successful business. Paying for a professional design is actually a smarter investment. Visitors will be much more likely to do business with you if they feel you are a respected company.
It isn’t just the actual design that shouldn’t be too basic. The content you put on it should also be informative and engaging. It is extremely frustrating when you load up a company’s website only to be presented with one or two sentences encouraging you to contact them. Think about what you would want to know if you were a potential customer. Then, make sure your website addresses this byway of short, helpful pieces of content.
12. Incorrect/outdated content
Having incorrect or outdated content on your site isn’t just frustrating for your visitors, it’s frustrating for search engines too. One of the most common reasons search engines penalize local businesses in their results is down to incorrect information being used. It’s really important to make sure you include correct, up to date information about your business and its products and services.
So why is incorrect information so damaging? Firstly, it misleads the visitor. A good example of this is if you are advertising a promotion that no longer exists. If your visitor reads about a great low introductory price on a product only to find the promotion hasn’t been added at the checkout, they are going to be incredibly annoyed. Providing incorrect information can cause all kinds of problems that you really want to avoid.
Another problem outdated information can cause is that visitors may not be able to contact you. If your contact information is outdated, you will miss out on a lot of sales. It’s fairly simple to avoid this problem by checking to make sure everything is correct and updating it immediately whenever anything changes.
13. Irrelevant and broken internal links
You’re often advised to add internal links to your content in order to boost your credibility. Linking to authoritative websites with relevant, useful information will both boost your brand image and make your site more attractive to search engines.
However, if those links no longer exist, or you make a mistake while adding them, it could cause damage to your reputation and rankings. It’s easy to add links on your site and then forget about them. The same goes for adding internal links to other pages on your website. Therefore, you should make a point of testing out your links at least every few months. It takes just a few minutes, but could make a massive difference in your visitors’ browsing experiences.
14. Confusing navigation
One of the most basic things you need to focus on with your business website is ensuring it is easy to navigate through. After all, if your visitors can’t find their way around the site how are they possibly going to find the information they need to make a purchasing decision?
You may think it’s a great idea to test out a new innovative and intricate design layout, when in reality, all your visitors want is a clean layout with simple navigation.
Search engines also use your sites navigation to determine how highly it ranks in their results. If you don’t have many pages on your site, it will be a lot easier to ensure straight forward navigation. However, if you’re selling a lot of different products and services, you will need to spend a lot of time carefully categorizing them and placing them into appropriate sections that both search engines and users will easily find.
15. No Social Media links
Social Media is big business these days and customers do expect you to have some form of online presence besides your website. It’s important to add links to your Social Media pages so visitors can get a sense of who you are and how reputable your company is.
It’s fairly simple to add Social Media links to your site. The most popular is to use share links which are typically located at the side or the top of a web page. When a visitor clicks on them, they are taken to their own profile and given the option to share your website with their friends list. You can also use the ‘Follow Us’ option which adds icons of the Social Media you use and takes visitors to your page. These Are just a couple of the most popular ways to include Social media on your site.
As you can see, there really are a lot of things that your website could be getting wrong. By following the advice above, you will notice a difference in not only the amount of visitors you receive to your site, but also in the amount of conversions you make. It really pays off to make sure your site is designed to the highest standards and that it is as user friendly as possible.