When you’ve worked hard to draw traffic to a website, nothing is more disheartening than losing customers due to poor website development and content. Typically, customers won’t stick around long enough to critique your site, but you may see an increased bounce rate or a higher than average number of abandoned shopping carts. The ultimate goal of website development should always be to provide a pleasant-looking and easy to use site that your visitors find valuable.
How can you ensure that you’ve created an SEO optimized site that will not only please visitors but also convert website traffic into sales? Working with a Google partner SEO agency is an ideal way to be successful online with leading website development, but if you aren’t quite ready to reach out to your local digital marketing agency and you feel like taking a crack at this on your own, Here are five common issues which may cause potential customers to hate your website and some suggestions on how to avoid them.
1. Slow Load Time
Load time not only affects its SEO ranking but has a big impact on how potential customers interact with your website. 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Think of what this means in terms of website development. Are you cramming it full of features people don’t need that will slow down the load time? If you aren’t optimizing every aspect of your website for speed, you are potentially losing an enormous amount of money. The survey went on to conclude that, “if an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year”.
2. Too Much Text or not Enough
Having lots of good, original content ranks websites, but too much text can overwhelm people and cause them to leave your site. There are two common approaches web developers take: One is making use of a well-structured page using of text blocks broken up with headers, lists, pictures, and other non-text elements. These often contain paragraphs limited to no more than 3-4 sentences to accommodate the design. Then there are sites swarming with content and not much anything else. The key is to give your audience lots of content broken up with images and other non-text component to give the illusion they don’t have much to read, and if your content is valuable and engaging, they are even more likely not to notice that there is 2000 words on the page!
3. A Bad Website Development
You may be a big fan of the color orange, or of avant-garde one-page designs, but nothing turns off visitors like a hard to navigate website, one that lacks the information you are looking for, or one that assaults the eyes with website design colors that aren’t industry appropriate (imagine a funeral home with a red website). Every SEO agency will advise you that there is a fine line between a stand-out, unique site and one that turns away potential customers when they become frustrated with its design. Make usability a top priority during website development and customers will be more comfortable spending more time on your site and will be more likely to return as customers.
4. Poor Navigation or Lack of Links
Unsurprisingly, if a customer cannot easily navigate to the information they came to your site to find, they will leave. This can be due to bad website design or hard to use menus, or it can be due to poor internal linking. You may be familiar with the “Three Click Rule” and, although there is some debate over how strictly it should be followed, it’s important that customers be able to find information on your site as simply and quickly as possible. Once you’ve engaged a customer, give them every reason to stay on your page by providing internal links to other areas of your website.
5. Bad Checkout or Purchase Pages
If you’ve managed to keep a potential customer on your website and have impressed them enough to make a sale, you need to make the checkout process as simple as possible. It is critical that you keep the purchase page free of distractions. It’s also best if you give the customer some way to see how many steps are in the checkout process. Another important factor in streamlining the purchase process is trust: make sure visitors can see that your checkout page is secure by prominently displaying trust seals and security details.
Ultimately, keeping a customer on your website long enough to ensure a purchase is a question of convenience. Luckily, the design elements that make your customer’s experience more streamlined and enjoyable tend to be great for SEO as well, since search engines know people want easy to navigate, easy to read websites. Slow load times, difficult to read pages, hard to navigate or overly distracting sites, and hard to use checkout pages only serve to frustrate customers in a way that is likely to make them leave your page. Make sure you and your SEO agency avoid these pitfalls at all cost.