Is Your Dysfunctional Website Scaring Away Your Visitors?
Written by: Advantage IM
November 4, 2014
Halloween might be over, but is your website still on a scaring spree? At least once a day, while browsing the web for work or for leisure, we come across one of those business websites that make you want to reach for the “back” button after a quick glimpse. This behavior—when someone comes to your website only to exit it after a few seconds—is called “bouncing.” Potential customers may bounce off your website for many reasons, and fortunately most of them are easy to fix—just let us know if you need help!
You Look Unprofessional
Are internet users so superficial that they won’t look past your dated or unattractive website design? The answer to this question is “no” yet there is a “but.” You see, dated design, while it’s not helping, is in itself not a big enough reason for someone to flee your website. However, an unattractive website packed with outdated content implies that you don’t care about your business’s appearance and reputation. And if you don’t care about your own business, your customers have a reason to think you won’t care about theirs either. Keep in mind that 94 percent of first impressions are design-related. What kind of impression is your business making?
Another negative aspect of having a visibly dated or unprofessionally-looking site is that your potential customers may think you ran out of business. There is probably a number they can call to verify, but that’s an extra step no one’s willing to take these days. The bottom line is, if your website is giving off a 90s vibe and has not been edited in the past five years, it could be hurting your business rather than helping.
Negative User Experience
Broken links and error codes = bad user experience. And 88% of internet users are less likely to return to the website after a bad experience. When things don’t work on your website as intended, people tend to leave and search engines tend to demote your website and show it less in the future. It’s important to regularly monitor your website’s health, check for broken links, misaligned formatting and missing content. There are dozens of things that could go wrong when you are not looking, from webhost issues to malware attacks and plugin conflicts. If you don’t have time to keep track of all these things, it might be wise to hire a local Westminster web design company to help you with website maintenance.
You Look Shady
Does your website look trustworthy? Building trust with your customers is important for every business, especially an eCommerce store that involves indirect money for goods exchange. Here are a few signs that your website might look shady to an average consumer:
- No “about us” page
- “About us” page that talks about anything but the company information
- No physical address listed on the site
- Sneaky automatic redirects to other websites
- Spelling and grammatical errors
- Generic look and feel of the site
- No social media presence, testimonials or reviews
- Too “salesy” approach to copy
According to the recent Web Credibility Research by the Stanford University, 75 percent of internet users factor in website design when they make a judgment about a company’s credibility. When your website fails to make a personal connection with your visitors or convince them that you are a real, established business, it’s doomed to be labeled shady and discarded.
Your Customers are Confused
Your site should be built with your customers in mind, placing all the information they need to make a purchase or contact you at their fingertips. All content should be organized and labeled the way your customers are familiar with, which might not be the same as your inventory or business plan. If it takes longer than two clicks to find out who you are and how you can help, assume that your potential customers won’t make the extra effort. In fact, a 2011 study by the NN/g has established that it takes just 10 seconds for your website visitors to determine whether they are staying or leaving.
Besides, don’t forget that you are competing with dozens (if not hundreds) of other businesses. Why would anyone waste time trying to find something on your site when they can go to your competitor and get information fast? Remember that many modern consumers like to research and compare both products and businesses online before they make a commitment. No matter how well your website ranks, it won’t make the consumer’s cut with confusing navigation.
Your Customers are Overwhelmed
Too much information can hurt your website. When there are lengthy paragraphs of text to read, distracting ads to look at or a dozen of buttons to click, people get overwhelmed. When everything is important, nothing truly is. You need to choose a path you want your potential customers to take and lead them through it via intuitive navigation and relevant calls to action. If you are selling service plans, make sure you offer a reasonable amount of options—typically no more than three—and offer suggestions regarding who each plan might be perfect for. All in all, website design, layout and content require a lot more thought than you might originally expect to put in it. That’s why an experienced Maryland web design company can make a big difference for your website and your business.
Is your website not bringing you as much business as you expected? Do you want a professional opinion about what could be causing your visitors to run away?
Call Advantage Internet Marketing at 410.848.4737 or fill out the form below to request a free consultation.