by Kala Halbert
Are you making any of the the following errors with your small business website?
You’ve spent the last year improving your search engine rankings, beating your competition and finally made it to the first page of Google. Congratulations!
Unfortunately, there is still much work to be done. Now that your site is visible in search results, your next hurdle will be getting people to STAY on your website. You’ve got about 3 seconds to grab your customer’s attention. If you don’t, they are moving on to greener pastures. Here are some common reasons users leave your website, along with suggestions for avoiding these common pitfalls.
When a potential customer is visiting your website, they have a “want” or a “need”. Make sure you provide an easy solution to that desire as quickly as possible. When organizing the navigation on your site, be aware of your customer’s mindset. Why are they here? What is most important to them? What information do they need? If the first two items of your navigation answer those questions, you are on the right path.
Typical Company Navigation Order: Home, Our Company, Meet The Team, Services, Testimonials, Contact
Customer Focused: Home, Services, Testimonials, Our Company, Meet The Team, Contact
Notice how the first navigation items in the second example give your website visitor the most important information first!
Too Many Ads
No one wants to feel like they are being sold. If you drown your customer in spammy ads, pop ups, and advertisements you will lose their trust. That is no way to obtain customers!
Poor Content Structure
Similar to a user-friendly navigation, make sure that your content is providing the information your users are looking for in a well-thought-out, organized and concise manner. Format your content for readers and scanners, who will only glance at your page. Here are some tips:
- Use descriptive headlines to guide your client toward the information they need
- Break up content with headlines and bullet lists
- Use formatting, like bold and italic to call out important information
Obtrusive Audio or Video
Picture this: It’s 11am, you are sitting at your desk at work and you realize it’s your 10-year wedding anniversary. (!) It completely slipped your mind, you have no preparations and you need to act quickly. You find a local florist, click on their website and BOOM! Classical piano music starts playing and everyone in your office turns around to see that you aren’t doing company-related work. Two words: back button. In your panic, it’s the quickest solution.
The Registration Requirement
Have you ever been to a website where a box pops up and prompts you to sign up before viewing any of the content on the site? I have, and I think to myself: Why would I sign up to get this information? There are 10 other websites where I can get what I need without handing over my personal information. I have not decided whether I want to give this company my business and now I am annoyed. Putting barriers between your company and potential customers can be detrimental.
Boring Content and/or Dull Design
In the digital world, white is the new black, but that doesn’t mean that your modern site can’t be engaging and interactive. When a visitor comes to your site, make sure they have a memorable experience by putting the right emphasis on the right features. Consider vivid imagery, blogs, strong calls to action and relevant, timely information.
The days of poor spelling and bad grammar are over. There are many resources and tools to avoid these costly mistakes. Use spell check! Spelling and grammar errors reflect poorly on your professionalism and brand.
Another “no no” is inconsistent fonts, colors, and sizes throughout a body of text. These contribute to poor legibility – and a poor user experience.
4th of July weekend is right around the corner and you need to buy a new grill. You go to the website of your local hardware store to see if they are running any specials, and lucky for you, they are! Except the specials are for the Christmas trees they were selling back in December. This is a common error many small businesses make with their website. Make sure your website has relevant and accurate information on it. Aim to update the content on your website at least once a month. The update doesn’t need to be an overhaul! Just make sure it’s up to date.