Website Mistakes That Are Driving Your Customers Away

You have amazing products and services, but for some reason, people are fleeing from your website within seconds of visiting. You can’t seem to attract the customers that you are looking for or generate any leads or conversions.

Before making any purchase, 81% of Internet users will research a company and its products online first, and your website is one of the primary places that they’ll go to for information.

You could have the greatest product or offering in the world, but if you don’t have the right website or marketing design, you’ll never be able to show anyone what you can do. We’ve helped a number of our 10twelve clients build or revamp their websites and have developed some best practices.

Avoid making these fatal errors, and your site will help lure in customers and leads instead of driving them away.

1. Your web design is dated.

Vintage style may be appreciated in fashion, but not in website design. If your website looks like a throwback from the 90s, then you are overdue for a makeover.

There are some red flags that will signal if a site is out-of-date:

      Imagery is pixelated.

      There are bad clipart designs and/or flash animations everywhere.

      Fonts are difficult to read. (Rule of thumb: Never use Comic Sans.)

      Navigation is cluttered, hidden or full of lengthy drop-down menus.

      It is not optimized for mobile viewing.

If your web design is not up-to-date with the latest design trends, people will assume that it─and your company─are not well-maintained. They will question the security and legitimacy of your business. In fact, in a study on the Trust and Mistrust of Online Health Sites, 94% of participants said that poor design was their primary reason for uneasiness during a site visit.  

2. It is difficult to navigate.

Along with design, navigation has greatly evolved in the past few years. If users can’t immediately figure out how to browse your site, they will leave. According to a recent usability study by Nielsen, people view websites in a F-shaped pattern. Your website should be designed in a way that supports how people naturally view it. Some navigation and layout mistakes to avoid are:

      Centered Logo - Studies have shown that the best position for your logo is at the top-left corner. Consider keeping with this trend, unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise.

      No search box - Search function is incredibly valuable to e-commerce and other sites with large amounts of content.

      Too many menu links and clutter - Keep menus short, so users can quickly and easily see sections.

      No navigation - Some designers may think this is cutting-edge and artsy, but it will confuse people and search engines.

Poor navigation also hurts your SEO ranking. Search engines crawl through your site based on your navigation and structure. It is important to design it to be both user and search-engine friendly. Enter your site URL on SEO-browser.com to check how it is viewed by search engines.

3. Website copy is a mess.

If your site is stuffed with flowery or dense language, then no one can understand what you do or what value you offer. If it is really poorly crafted, then people probably don’t even know what industry you are in or who would use your products.

Avoid long-winded or heavy technical jargon. Copy should be short and to the point. People often skim websites instead of reading them thoroughly, so convey who you are and why they should choose your brand quickly.

How you layout your content on the page is just as important as the copy itself. Based on a report by Adobe, 38% of site visitors will abandon a site with unattractive content layout. Break up text with high-quality photos and graphics.

4. You use cheesy stock photos.

If your website features photos of smiling people in stiff business suits and poses or a close-up of a handshake, it probably looks like millions of others on the Internet. Stock photos often don’t convey anything about your company─except that is boring and like every other competitor in the industry. Ask yourself:

      Does your logo look like it came from a stock clipart file?

      Does it look like every other Joe Shmoe in your industry?

      If you were to hide your company name from your site, how different would it be from your competitors?

Your images should be high-quality, unique and representative of your brand personality.

5. Loading speed is more than 3 seconds.

Speed could be the number one factor that influences whether or not someone abandons your website. People are impatient, and they won’t wait for a page or its content to load. Studies have shown that 40% of people will leave a page that doesn’t load in 3 seconds or less. In another study, 39% of people would abandon a site if the images failed to load or took a long time.

6. There are errors and developer glitches. 

Any glitch in your website development will negatively impact its performance, SEO, traffic, conversions and your company reputation. When users encounter 404 errors or other development flaws, they will become frustrated and likely stop engaging. Conduct user experience testing and routine maintenance on your site to ensure that it is functioning properly.

7. Content hasn’t been updated consistently.

One of the most important keys to bring and continue to attract people is to keep your site fresh. You can’t just throw it up and go months or years without adding new content. If you aren’t regularly updating your site, people will question if you are still in business. Also, the longer that you go without updating, the more your Google ranking will suffer.

Update your content on a consistent basis. That could mean posting a weekly or monthly blog, creating a news section with company updates or offering research and resources to visitors every quarter.

8. You’ve gated too much.

If people are visiting your website, they already have some interest in learning more about your company and viewing your content. So, don’t make it difficult for them.

Some sites will put up gates that require users to input information or create an account with an email address. For a few companies, this gate helps create a more personalized experience. However, for most businesses, users will see this gate as an annoyance and will opt-out of interacting with you altogether.

Unless your company is centered around personalization, like the subscription stylist service Stitch Fix, do not put gated content on your homepage. Instead, save it for specific landing pages or materials like e-books or research reports. Either way, give your website visitors a preview of the content that you gate, so that they are more enticed to go through the steps to gain access.

Is your website guilty of any of these mistakes? Contact 10twelve to chat about how we can help revamp it.