Small business owners often wear many hats. In the early days, solopreneurs and freelancers especially are responsible for creating and maintaining their websites and social media. When you look at statistics like bounce rates and time on page numbers, you may feel overwhelmed – but know that people are coming to your site and not staying.
There are several things your website could be doing that actually drive your customers away.
1. Pop Ups
Pop ups, generally agreed on to be a spammy, frustrating advertising technique in the early 2000s, have made a recent resurgence as companies use white papers and infographics as a technique to try and capture email addresses for newsletter lists. These can work, if they’re easy to dismiss, but many users find them frustrating and may quickly navigate away from a website using them.
While the instinct to try and capture a customer’s email address right away is understandable, remember that when your customer first clicks through to your website, they don’t know anything about you or your company. They aren’t going to subscribe to your newsletter when you are an unknown.
Instead of pop ups, create great landing pages and product pages that promote your white papers and ebooks in exchange for a customer’s information. Once they know who you are, they’re much more likely to do so.
2. Low Quality Images
One mistake that may make customers click away from your website as quickly as possible is low quality images. Pictures that are distorted, that don’t stretch properly, that are too low resolution and are pixelated, or pictures that don’t properly respond to a mobile device and make it difficult to read on a phone or tablet are all frustrating.
When customers see low quality images on your website, they assume that you’re an amateur. If they are willing to buy your services at all, they are probably not going to be willing to pay very much for them. Making sure your all images scale properly on mobile devices, show well at all resolutions, and are mobile responsive is a simple way to up the professionalism of your website.
3. Amateur Content
Writing is harder than it looks, especially writing for a website. Grammar and spelling checkers in word processing programs are helpful, but they won’t correct homonym errors (their, they’re, or there) and grammar checkers can sometimes do more harm than help. People also assume that they can just write down their verbal sales pitch and have that be fine. In truth, we speak very differently than we write. If you write exactly the way you speak, your webpage will read like it was written by an amateur, and will be unlikely to convert customers.
There are also concepts like search engine optimization that can be implemented in the writing of a website which will do a lot to help customers find your website and engage them in what you’re doing. The concepts are pretty simple, but implementing them naturally takes a while to learn. Hiring a freelance writer to create the text for your website can be hugely beneficial, even if you then design and maintain the website yourself.
4. Unclear Organization
Is it immediately clear on your website where a customer needs to go to learn more about you as a business owner? About your business in general? About the particular products and services you offer? To make a purchase? How to get help if they need it?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, you have a serious problem on your hands. If your customers can’t find what they need from you, they will go to your competition. They aren’t going to root around on your website trying to find what they need.
To find out if your website is clear, ask your friends and family to try and navigate your website. Ask them for real feedback about whether or not they can find what they need, and ask how the website could be easier to navigate. Take their suggestions into account and see what needs to be done.
5. Mobile Unfriendly
In 2017, almost half (49.7%) of users were accessing the internet through mobile devices. If your website isn’t responsive to mobile users, you’re potentially losing half your customers. Very soon, website designers will be at a place where they’re designing websites primarily for mobile users, with desktop responsivity.
Many premade website designs have a simple toggle switch in their settings to make the website mobile responsive; many are automatically turned on. If you are having a website custom designed, make sure the designer is familiar with the needs of mobile users and is taking responsiveness into consideration
Making just a few changes to your website can create a huge improvement in your conversions and your sales.