Your website is a marketing tool, not an online brochure. You probably already heard that a countless number of times in the last year or so that you’re ready to throw a rotten banana at the next person who will say it again. But you know what they say about clichés. No matter how trite they eventually become from overuse, there remains a grain of truth in them.
Still, if you’ve failed to receive the memo – the probability of which is, I believe, pretty nil, but we’re erring on the side of caution here – allow me to remind you that your website is not always about you or the products and services you offer. A good business site should also be about your visitors’ browsing experience. After all, they’re the ones you want to convert into leads, and ultimately, paying customers, right?
Let’s review some of the factors negatively affecting your site visitor’s experience:
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#1. Bad site design and appearance
The following are some of the elements of bad website design:
- Too much flashing ads
- Long paragraphs
- Forced registrations
- No contact form
- Difficult navigation
- Font color that’s too light
- Font size that’s too small or too big
- No images
- Very long forms to fill out
- No social media sharing buttons
- Too much advertising
- No disclosure policy
- Auto-playing videos/audios
When designing your site, put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What you find annoying on a site, there’s a likely chance they’ll find annoying, too.
#2. Obnoxious call-to-actions
CTAs are important, but too much of a good thing can be bad, particularly for your brand’s image. Remember not to bombard visitors with call-to-actions here, there and everywhere – it’s like shouting for them to “buy, buy, and buy some more!” Also, don’t make them jump through hoops by working their way around sign-up boxes or obtrusive pop-ups just to read what you’ve written. Until they’re ready, you can’t force visitors, especially if you haven’t yet convinced them that you’re trustworthy, to buy.
#3. A zero on the WIIFT scale
That’s short for “what’s in it for them?” Similar to an email list, website visitors linger only if they know there’s something in your site for them. It’s so easy to click the unsubscribe and back buttons that the challenge is to make sure you deliver what they’re looking to find – be that information enabling them to make an informed decision or purchase, an answer to a pressing issue, or perhaps a sampling of an e-course, product or service you’re offering.
To effectively get and keep a prospective customer’s attention, appeal to their self-interest. To do otherwise is to defeat the purpose of a business site.
#4. Loading speed that’s painfully slow
Elevator pitches normally take about two minutes. Website visitors, however, do not always have two precious minutes to want to understand what you’re about, what you offer and what you can do for them.
According to an article from SmartBear Software, in 2001, a study showed that people were willing to wait eight seconds for a website to load, a second less than what Neil Patel refers to as the attention span of a goldfish. In 2008, that went down to 5.1 seconds. In 2009, the average threshold for online shoppers decreased even further to two seconds. And then just last year, in February, New York Times published a discovery by Google engineers that for impatient users, even 400 milliseconds, which is equivalent to the blink of an eye, is too long.
Every millisecond literally counts, so that alongside your preferred hosting solution, the bells and whistles you add to beautify your website, particularly if they help prolong loading time, can negatively affect user experience.
Is there anything else you want to add to the list?