You’re a small business owner who has all their online marketing essentials in order, including a website. You understand that your website is your online home base, and where all your other online marketing efforts are directed. But do you know how well your website is working for your small business?
Or rather, is your website actually helping your small business?
Could it be hurting your chances at sales?
Let’s take a look at the top 9 reasons users leave your website frustrated.
9 Reasons why Users Leave your Website Frustrated
- Slow load time People are impatient and often squeezing in internet research or shopping whenever they have a few spare moments in their work days. Google takes page load time into account when ranking website pages. And online ad tools like Google and Facebook factor in your page load time in their own ways. It could be that you need a better hosting plan. It could be that you have too many large images on your website. It could be that you are pulling in too many plugins or feeds on a page. Whatever the reason, if your website pages aren’t loading almost immediately, it’s hurting your traffic and the length of time (and in turn, number of pages visited) people spend on your site.
- Not mobile-friendly Speaking of squeezing in internet research and shopping…a lot of that time spent is spent on smartphones. Mobile use has been steadily increasing each year. In fact, most Facebook use is mobile. If you run a Facebook ad on both mobile and desktop, you’ll likely see that 95% of your ad’s total Reach is mobile. Take a peek into your Google Analytics data and check desktop vs mobile to get a very clear picture of what that breakdown is for your customers and prospective customers. If your customers spend a significant amount of time on their smartphones and your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re missing out.
- Can’t easily locate what they are looking for I understand that there’s a desire to be “different” or “unique” with your business and website sometimes, but understand that your customers and potential customers are “trained” through their own time browsing the web, and have their own expectations as to where to find things on any site they visit. Your address, phone number, email, hours of operation, social media links, and contact form should all be located where people expect to find them: in the footer of your website (on every page) and on a Contact page easily located in your navigation.
- Vague or little information You are the center of your business, so whenever you are working on content for your small business website, you need to approach writing your website content with an ideal customer in mind. If someone is hearing about your business and what you sell for the first time, do your website, service pages and product listings provide complete descriptions and photo(s) for your customers? Are you covering the answers with your content, to the most common questions someone would want to know before buying? If you were a customer of your company, do you think the information you have provided is enough to either make you inquire of the small business or purchase right away? You don’t want people feeling frustrated and clicking away because they feel like they haven’t learned anything to help them make that buying decision.
- Confusing layout Building off the “desire to be unique” comment above, how you organize and arrange your content is also critical to your website user experience. Remember: people are creatures of habit. Give the pages on your site obvious names. Don’t make it difficult to locate your menu. Organize your content in logical, expected ways. If you want to give your site a fresh and different look, do so with the visual design elements, graphics, and colors instead of an unusual site layout and page structure.
- It looks like it was made in 1987 (and not updated since) Consumers expect businesses of all sizes to have their own website. So it’s great that you have one. But if your site is sorely outdated, it’s sending a message to your customers and potential customers that you’re clueless about how bad your website is, know that it’s bad but don’t care to make it better, or don’t care about their experience on your site. Any way you look at it, an outdated website reflects negatively on your small business.
- Tons of pop-ups (especially if you can’t click to make them go away) Customers don’t like them. Google doesn’t like them. And if you think requiring people to enter an email address just to visit your website or read your blog means you can grow your email list, you’ll soon realize that your email list isn’t growing…and you aren’t selling much from your website. There’s far too much free information and other businesses offering the same things you do, that if you place a road block in direct access to your small business site, you’ll lose out.
- (Cheesy) stock photos The rage of overused, staged stock photos has come and gone. Your customers want to see actual images of you and what you do, both on your website as well as social media accounts. #BeYourStory. Let your brand personality shine through.
- A blog or online store at a different URL Your YourBusinessBlog.com or even Blog.YourBusiness.com or Catalog.YourBusiness.com is not the same as YourBusiness.com/Blog or YourBusiness.com/Catalog. If people land on a recent blog post or product that you sell, they aren’t landing on your website if you use a second URL. It doesn’t matter if you have links between your website and your online catalog; it’s not the same. You are losing out on lots of SEO benefits, too. Google likes fresh content. Google likes links. But all that fresh content and links are benefitting your blog or catalog domain (and not your small business website) if you have things set up in this way.
Bottom line: the longer customers and potential customers stay on your website and the more pages they visit, the higher the chance that they’ll buy from you (and keep buying from you).
Think you need a bit of help? Check out our website audit service.