As an online marketer and professional website promoter, you’ve done an excellent job. Your target site’s riding high on Google. You’re nailing the social media engagement. Visitors are flooding in, but sales are nowhere. What’s going on?
On checking your analytics, you notice that most of your visitors take one look at your site and run for the hills. Why is this? The chances are it’s one of these avoidable mistakes that’s scaring your visitors away.
Whether it’s GIFs you’ve placed on your site yourself, or banner ads served up by your advertising provider, annoying animations are one of most significant reasons visitors will instantly back away from a website. In almost all cases they’re a distraction for the visitor, hindering your site’s ability to satisfy their needs. Rarely do they add anything, so avoid whenever possible.
However, it’s possible to be even more irritating than an unwanted animation. Video or audio that begins playing without the visitor requesting it feels like an intrusion. And that’s without mentioning the startling effect of media automatically playing in a work situation when you’re supposed to be concentrating on a silent spreadsheet.
Pop-Ups, Sliders, and Welcome Mats
There are many versions of the much-despised pop-up advertisement. Some marketers favor welcome mats which take over your screen as soon as you land on a site. Others prefer sliders which sneakily appear just as you’ve started reading the content.
What all these ad methods have in common is that they deliberately place themselves between your visitors and the information they’re seeking. Why would any site do that and expect to develop a loyal following?
Online Chat Invitations
Customer service is vitally important for any online business. Unfortunately, it’s fashionable these days for a site to try and nag the visitor into chatting with a sales representative. Online chat facilities have their place, but invitations to use them can quickly feel like being harassed by a used car salesman when all you want to do is browse the site. If you offer a chat feature, then don’t push it too actively; let the visitor make the decision.
Style Over Readability
Your lovingly designed website may look impressive, but if the text is too small to read and too hard to resize, then you’re going to turn a sizable chunk of your visitors away. Not everyone has the eyesight of a fresh-faced millennial web designer.
Clutter and Confusion
And still, on the design front, the priority of any site should be to put the valuable content to the front and make it clear what the page is all about. If a visitor can’t immediately see they’ve found what they’re looking for, they’ll hit the back button. Keep advertisements, social media buttons, links to related pages, and other potential clutter to a minimum. Your readers and dwell time figures will thank you for it.
Once a site grows beyond a few pages, a clear navigational structure becomes essential. If you present a visitor with hundreds of links to choose from when looking for further information, don’t be surprised when they go with the easy option of leaving altogether.
Need for Speed
Lastly, although your website may have been developed on a lightning-fast internal network, and then tested over a web professional’s fiber connection from home, most users won’t have these luxuries. That is especially the case in today’s mobile landscape, where connection speeds can be patchy. If your page takes an age to load, it’ll shed visitors exponentially with every wasted second.
Driving traffic to a website is difficult and expensive. It’s a colossal waste to repel potential customers through avoidable mistakes. If your entry traffic is healthy but the dwell times and conversions are disappointing, could any of these issues be the culprit?