Nowadays, the vast majority of companies have a website, many of them also a webshop. However, there may be no noticeable increase in traffic or revenues. No improvement in organic web search results, no decline in bounce rate, no increase in conversion rate. What could be the reason for this?
One should not forget: a website has not more than three seconds to convince the visitors that they have ended up at a good and relevant place. We collected 13 typical features which can chase away even the most determined visitors.
1. Misleading offers
Potential buyers turn hostile very quickly if they find they are bamboozled. If you promise – say – a 50 per cent discount on your landing page, don’t come up with an array of conditions during the process of ordering. “No strings attached” is what visitors like the most. Be accurate and straightforward in this matter.
2. Pop-up windows
These may seem trendy and modern, but they may disturb the visitor in at least two ways: they may blot out the really relevant content or interrupt browsers not optimalized for this feature.
3. Distracting opening animations (intro)
The same is true for introductory pages with opening animations. These can be very beautiful and interesting, but they may contribute to a loss of potential customers who are looking for specific content within a very limited time.
4. The lack of a blog
Today’s web surfers demand something personal, unique, special about a website, even if it’s a simple webshop. The blog is the perfect place to share stories, jokes, photos, reports – anything that turns our content more personal and intriguing.
5. Search engines overemphasized
With search engine optimalization in focus, we are easily tempted to get more and more of these keywords and tags onto our website. But remember: websites are primarily designed for flesh and blood visitors, not web robots.
6. Lack of social media buttons on the site
Nowadays, no enterprise lacking a presence on the most popular social media sites can be taken seriously. If you have already taken the trouble to develop your company profiles on these networking sites, place these links – on form of icons or buttons – on your website.
7. Irrelevant or overcomplicated company profile
For every serious website, an accurate and authentic “about us” page is essential. But don’t irk visitors with indecipherable professional jargon, however, try to avoid generalities, as well. Reveal your actual goals, values, activities.
8. The “contact us” form is the only way of contact
We don’t see any problems with having the usual blank “contact us” form on our website. But if it’s the only way of getting in touch with the website operator or owner, it’s a rather big problem. Most visitors are looking for instant answers, so they won’t have the time and patience to type in the form and wait for a response days later. E-mail, personal contact, telephone number, and what’s more, free telephone accessibility: these are indispensable parts of a modern and user-friendly website.
9. Dull illustrations (stock photos)
Colleagues smiling nicely bent over notebooks, businessmen shaking hands, pretty ladies smiling at the camera. Try to avoid putting such common, easily accessible photos onto your website, as with these, you send the message: there is nothing specific or particular in you or your business. Use your own photos, and involve a professional photographer, graphic artist and designer to create them.
10. Slider pages
An alternation of beautiful photos on your webpage indeed looks good. But a lot of computers simply cannot handle this feature, so what a significant part of visitors experiences will be a very slow and disintegrated webpage.
11. Flash Content
The same is true for Flash content. The majority of visitors will only see empty frames and experience browser crashes and error messages on these sites.
12. Annoying internal links
It is good to put links into your pages that direct the reader to other relevant contents or sites. But this shouldn’t be overdone, as well: a myriad of hyperlinks renders your content totally unreadable and annoying. It is even more frustrating if these links navigate the visitor to completely irrelevant locations. Also, remember to provide these hyperlink contents in new windows.
13. “I do not know what to do”
Last but not least, the visitor should never be left alone. During the whole process of inquiry, selection and ordering, these mustn’t be a page without advice or a contact option to the operator.
Those who avoid these errors will certainly experience have a higher rate of conversion. That is, more visitors will actually buy or order from us!
What else could an online enterprise strive for?