Hate is probably a strong word to use but we spend so much time online during our work and personal lives that when we come across an awful website we really do hate it for wasting our time.
Here’s five reasons why people will quickly surf away from your website and never return.
Not Mobile Friendly
Many recent surveys I’ve read have said that over 50% of Business to Consumer (B2C) web visitors are viewing pages on mobile phones and in the Business to Business (B2B) sector mobile usage is also increasing. A year ago this website, which is B2B, had around 8% mobile users, now it’s 22%.
Mobile usage is very much on the increase so you need to be mobile friendly.
What does mobile friendly really mean?
Your website should be designed so that it fits different screen sizes correctly and you don’t have to pinch-to-zoom with your fingers to read text and click on things. This type of design is usually called Responsive.
Mobile friendly also means having a navigation menu that when clicked on stays open and contact pages/shopping carts have forms with big enough text fields to stick our fingers in.
Here’s a couple of examples. The first is the Amazon UK home page desktop version on a mobile phone and the second is the same page but mobile friendly.
The desktop version on the left, when viewed on a mobile phone, has very tiny text for the navigation, some images are cut off and you can’t read or thumb a link very well without zooming in. The mobile version on the right is perfectly legible and clickable.
Have a chat with your web developers to make sure your site is responsive to different screen sizes and then test things out by thumbing away on your own site.
You wouldn’t open a bricks and mortar store with huge gaps on your shelves so you shouldn’t launch a website with virtually no content.
It’s always to good idea to have at least 400 – 600 words on a page and over 1000 on a blog post but in practice this isn’t always possible so make sure your content arrives in different formats.
For example, you don’t want a 500 word product description on your ecommerce store but using 150 words of text, a short video, a social media recommendation and a few reviews can help create a meaningful page that offers information and value to your user.
Always remember that content doesn’t have to be all text, although it’s a good idea to use plenty. Content can be embedded slides from SlideShare, video from YouTube, Infographics or embedded Tweets.
Content is the stuff that answers your clients questions, puts them at ease and helps them make the step from browsing to buying.
Give the people what they want and make it easy for them.
I visit so many websites that make life difficult to consume the content. It’s could be interruption marketing with lots of pop up windows asking questions, it could be a full screen advert or some box asking me if I want to download an app….. I really hate this, it drives me mad.
We hated pop up windows in the 90’s and just because they look pretty now doesn’t mean we like them so make sure you get rid of the darn things….. just give people what they want.
If you want someone to sign up to your mailing list then build the form or call to action into the page instead of waiting until someone has scrolled down the page and open a bloody great pop up when they’re half way through a sentence!!! It really gets on my nerves.
I’ll stop there. I’m using more than one exclamation mark and can feel a rant coming on…. don’t make people jump through hoops & click on stuff just to read your page.
Very Slow Website
Making sure your website is super quick is really important. Google even ranks you on how fast your site is and gives you a little boost in the search results if you’re nice and quick.
From the web visitors point of view we want our content quickly so no Flash, no HUGE images and don’t include lots of widgets that will slow things down.
Remember it may not be your website slowing things up, it could be an embedded service that you use so make sure you do as much as you can on your own website.
Google has a really useful tool that measures your website speed on desktop and mobile and gives you lots of advice on how to improve things. Try it out.
No Contact Information
This is another big irritation of mine. Make sure all your contact information is easy to find on your site. Place it in the footer or have a ‘proper’ dedicated contact page.
You MUST have a phone number. If you use your mobile phone for business and don’t want it on your website then head over to Skype and get a local phone number for around £10 a quarter. This is what I do, it works really well and offers voice-mail and mobile access.
You MUST have an address if you are a physical business. Again, I understand if you work from home. I do and don’t have an address on my website but I do include my area location. One thing you can do is have a word with your accountant and see if you can use their address as a ‘registered office’.
You MUST include all your Social Media networks. A lot of people prefer to contact companies via social media instead of phone or email, especially for support, so make sure every platform you use is on your contact page. It will encourage new followers and make it easy to people to get in touch.
Finally email. Set up a form and email address on your contact page.
There are many other pain points that exist on websites but I think these are pretty much my top 5. Have a good browse through your own site on desktop and mobile so you understand how others see things. If you spot problems, write them down and have a chat with your web developers.
Creating a friendly, positive and professional experience is a great way to build trust and give your visitors even more of a reason to buy something from you.