Given you most probably use the internet on a daily basis; it is safe to assume you have a pretty good idea of what a badly designed website looks like. Apart from the fact a badly designed website is not very kind on the eye, it also means visitors to your site are more likely to click away.
Our eBusiness Centre Consultants have put together what they believe are the top 8 reasons why people may choose to click away from your website.
1. It’s all about you
Content should always be developed with customers in mind in a language they understand. It is easy to fall into the trap of writing content that is full of jargon, littered with corporate speak, or worse, it’s all about you and how good you are. Use of jargon, however, may be necessary with a technical audience or in certain specialist industries (e.g. science, engineering).
In general, content needs to be persuasive, credible and engaging. The best way to do this is to answer a simple question most customers quietly ask: What’s in it for me?” Then write it as if you were explaining to a friend what you do. Abandon corporate speak and strip your message down to plain English clear, intelligent with personality to boot.
2. It comes across as a once-off project
A website should be seen as a sales channel that needs proper management, constant maintenance and vigilant monitoring, even if you don’t physically sell anything on your website. Research shows that people tend to look up a website before they pick up the phone or visit a store. Your site therefore has the difficult job of convincing prospects or customers to shortlist you as they make an important purchase decision, even before you see or speak to them. So make sure it is always up-to-date, has a strong call-to-action and the contact details are easily accessible.
3. It ignores search engines
At its very basic, search engines operate in a text-based world. When search engine crawlers (these are robots sent by search engines to your site) drop by to read the content of a website, they only see it in text. So, make sure your website has plenty of it. Headings, titles and body copy should contain keywords that are relevant and consistent with the overall website theme. More importantly, content should be interesting & unique – not borrowed or copied from other websites.
4. Your web address is hard to say, remember or spell
There is nothing worse than coming up with a web address nobody can spell. It is best to avoid words that require consultation with a dictionary. If you have a generic name, try to avoid double vowels or consonants (eg. homeentertainment or weddinggarden). Hyphenated names (eg. business-cards) can also be problematic because people tend to forget the hyphen. Abbreviations and acronyms (eg. jsdf.com for Jen Smith Discount Flowers) can also be tricky as it is harder to remember letters than meaningful words.
However, if you must use a name that is potentially problematic, it is a good idea to register different variations including the most common typos and redirect traffic to your main website so you capture as much traffic as possible.
5. It gives people a headache
Maddening motion, long blocks of text, wrong colour scheme, inconsistent look and feel, poor navigation and slow downloads all contribute to poor website experience and should therefore be avoided. It is worth consulting with a web or graphic designer before you embark on a web design project.
6. Click here, there and everywhere
If you use click here to entice users to follow a desired path through your website, your message is probably not clear enough. People will follow anchor links (hypertext links) if they feel it will take them where they need or want to go. More importantly, anchor links are like doors with name plates that tell users and search engines what’s inside. Instead of using “click here”, why not use keywords that explain what users (and search engines) will find if they enter via the link? It will help your search engine optimisation efforts and keep visitors happy.
7. You ask too little or too many questions
If you use a contact form, make sure it is simple and requires minimum input from visitors. Don’t ask for too much personal data; you’ll scare people away.
As a minimum, ask for a full name, phone number, email address and a brief description of the nature of their enquiry. If you feel you require more information, briefly explain why you need it and, generally, people are happy to comply. Contact information is critical and should be easily accessible on every page.
8. You pay someone $150 /hr to make small changes
It is no longer necessary to spend thousands of dollars on building a website, let alone maintaining one.
If you are in the market for a redesign, opt for a website with a content management system. You’ll be able to easily update web content (product information, pricing, images, etc) at any time with a click of a button.
Need help with your website?
Whether you’re building your first website or upgrading your current website we can take the hassle and expense out of the whole process. Talk to a Mebourne IT eBusiness Consultant about our Done-For-You or Do-it-yourself website packages (call 1300 769 784).