Losing Website Visitors? Avoid These Seven Major Pitfalls to Boost Engagement

 In Web Design

As a business owner, if you’re losing a number of website visitors due to poor web design, the costs can be enormous.

High bounce rates will not only harm your search engine rankings, they’ll also decrease sales, no matter how much traffic you’re driving to your site. Here are seven of the most common mistakes you can avoid, so you can optimize your website and convert more visitors into customers.

Many business websites have pop-ups that appear on the homepage. Although they can generate extra revenue from third parties, they interrupt the user experience and they’re just plain annoying, even if they’re promoting your own business.

The alternative: Promote your products and services first and foremost using above-the-fold clear call-to-action buttons. It’s the best way to drive sales or subscriptions. Avoid using third-party adverts as another income source; they detract from your website’s ultimate purpose. If you have to show them, use side banner ads.

Stock Photos
If you want to boost your credibility and increase conversions, stock photos are a bad choice. Smiling people sitting around a desk or in front of a computer screen say nothing about your unique business. In fact, they make you look like a second-rate company.

The alternative: Show your real business. Use actual photos of your team members, products, and even your customers. It will go a long way to building your credibility.

Long Forms
When a visitor is almost ready to sign up to your newsletter or ask for more details using a form, the last thing you want to do is make the process complicated. Long forms with numerous fields are sure to increase your bounce rates.

The alternative. Simplify your forms. If possible, only ask for a name, email, and password. You can always ask for more information later on. For lead generation purposes, sometimes it pays to ask for more information, but generally speaking, make forms quick and pain-free.

Too Many Options
Many business websites are difficult to understand from the get-go. Giving users too many options is just confusing – especially for novices. Too many links and large menus will scare people away.

The alternative. Consider your site from the perspective of a first-time user. Clear and simple navigation will not only improve the look of your site, but also make it easier for people to understand your business and find what they’re looking for.

Website Copy Doesn’t Match Ad Copy
There’s nothing more frustrating than clicking on an advert from search engine results pages, and then landing on a page that has nothing to do with the advert. It sounds like common sense, but many businesses lose track of their ads and forget to update pages and links.

The alternative: If you run a Google Ad promoting a 40 percent discount, make sure your landing page shows the same offer. Check that all your ads are linked to relevant landing pages.

It’s Not Immediately Clear What You Do
Have you ever visited a company’s homepage and after a few seconds, you’re still not sure what they’re offering? There’s no tagline, no video, and no clear call-to-action above the fold. This is one of the major reasons for website abandonment and it can fixed in no time.

The alternative. Include a clear and concise tagline above the fold that explains in simple terms your unique value proposition. Alternatively, insert a short video that does the same. Put simply, make it clear what you do, how your audience will benefit, and what makes you better than the competition.

Slow Load Times
You can have the most attractive website in the world, but if your website doesn’t load within a few seconds, visitors will click away and look elsewhere. Studies have also shown that users who consider a website “slow” will look at fewer pages. That’s less opportunities to close a sale.

The alternative: Use the PageSpeed Insights Tool from Google to check your site speed and implement its recommendations. Make sure your web hosting provider can optimize your site for speed and can meet the demands during peak traffic times. If not, look for an alternative provider.

The Bottom Line
While these suggestions only skim the surface, they’re a good place to start and will help you avoid the most common errors in the field of usability. Ultimately, your website must address the needs of your ideal customer and support your business goals. When you get your website design right, you’ll give users a better experience, keep them on your site for longer, and hopefully boost sales.

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