Is Your Outdated Website Killing Your Sales?

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People are superficial.

In fact, a human’s attention span is actually shorter than a goldfish. I wish I were making that up but I’m not. Apply these facts to your website and you only have seven seconds to grab your potential customer’s attention before they click away.

We’d have a few extra seconds to WOW a goldfish before they swam away…

Photo courtesy of Canva

There are lots of reasons people “bounce” off your homepage never to return. Sometimes they mistakenly clicked on your site and sometimes they just don’t like what they see. Accidental users aside, it’s a real problem when potential buyers leave because something has turned them off.

With only a few short seconds to convince a potential customer to stick around, here are a few ways you may be unintentionally driving potential buyers away.

Customers Don’t Trust Bad Design

No one buys from businesses they don’t trust.

Think of a run down storefront with broken windows in a sketchy part of town. Your first impression would probably be distrust. The same goes for online businesses. If your site’s design is outdated and things don’t work properly, potential customers first thought won’t be professional.

Derek Halpern from Social Triggers explains 94% of people say that design problems are the major reason they distrust a website. And it’s just not about an ugly theme but confusing navigation, search difficulties, and a cluttered homepage.

Take an honest look at your site’s theme from your customer’s perspective. Do some testing with a focus group. Listen to their feedback and update your site so it’s inviting and welcoming in all the right places.

Customers Want Speed

My kids laugh when I explain what dial-up internet was. They’ve never lived in a world without wifi in every coffee shop. Today’s consumers don’t just want speed, they expect it. And they want instant access on every platform, including mobile and tablets.

Page load times matter. Choose a website theme that is optimized for speed with a load time under 1 second, which is faster than 90% of all other websites. It’s that kind of difference that will make your site stand out from the crowd.

And remember your theme isn’t the only thing that can help speed up your site’s loading time. Make sure the size of your graphics aren’t dragging down your website and they are saved in JPG, GIF or PNG formats.

Customers Want One-Click Options

Let’s say your website is beautiful. Its fast, has stunning graphics, and compelling sales copy. You could still lose customers because they now expect a one-click experience during checkouts.

In Why You Need to Prepare for the Coming One-Click Revolution, Brad Giles explains how Amazon’s patent on 1-Click™ ordering has expired leaving the door open for all eCommerce businesses to adopt the practice”

“Amazon’s patent expired this month (September 2017). And that’s a big deal for anyone working in e-commerce. Whether your customers are huge national chains or local merchants, you’re going to need to offer one-click so that they get the buying experience they want.”

Check with your eCommerce solution to see what type of one-click options they offer. And if they don’t have something equivalent, it’s time to find another eCommerce platform.

Your Website Is Never Done

It would be nice to end with an upbeat “You can do it, champ!” pep talk about your website. It would be amazing to share a helpful checklist to fix your website forever. But that’s probably why your website is currently underperforming. You worked hard to set up every minuscule detail on your site and then rewarded yourself with a cold beer and a nap. You thought you were done!

Sadly, you were wrong. Your website will never, ever be done.

Instead of setting up a website and then focusing on your marketing strategy, start thinking of your website as a living, breathing part of that strategy. It’s as important as every other marketing aspect of your business.

It may be a lot of work, but it’s your front door to the world. So it will always be worth the investment.

Liesha Petrovich
Liesha's a writer by day and Kyokushin Black Belt by night. She's the author of Killing Rapunzel: Learning How to Save Yourself Through Determination, Grit, and Self-Employment (her mother hates the title - but it's a metaphor mom!). She talks freelancing adventures at Microbusiness Essentials.

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