Website Mistakes Drive Customers Away. Let’s Take A Look At Why.
Just Because It Has A Bad Website Design,
Doesn’t Make It A Bad Business.
Lingscars.com can be confusing at first glance. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to chat to Ling about playing a game that could win me a “wah” mug, or lease a car. The music in the background wasn’t my personal favorite, and I was a bit confused on the language, being the company is out of the UK. We found the video where the music was coming from, halfway down the page on the right, and it was advertising a television series. The paisley sidebars are vibrant, but there is a lot of wasted digital real estate to use for more mug giveaways.
So, let’s dive in and figure out what Ling could do differently, being that 11,800 people per month visit his site. His actual business is outstanding, but his digital presence is all over the place. Ling has A LOT of website mistakes.
5 Improvements To Make To Your Website, Today!
Website Mistake #1 – Cluttered, confusing and not designed for mobile
Using Ling’s website mistakes as the example, the site is not visually appealing, wastes a tremendous amount of space with either a lack of information or the wrong information, and generally confuses the visitor. Looking at the mobile version of the site, I can’t quite figure out where I landed, or the journey I’m about to start taking.
You have only 15 total seconds to capture and engage your audience, and most people make a general decision about a company’s website in “0.5” seconds. That’s right, 1/2 second. You have just 1/2 second to make the best first impression to your visitors, then create an engaging message, over the course of the next 14 1/2 seconds.
Is your initial impression to your website visitor causing them to rethink their decision to visit your website? Dressing up the imagery should give you the opportunity to keep your visitors on page, while giving them your elevator pitch of why they should want to do business with you.
When you are searching for a solution to a problem, or looking to purchase something from an online vendor, how likely are you to buy or make a decision after getting a “404 Page Not Found” error?
Most people lose a majority of their built value in a website, when they receive a 404 error. A diligent company will ensure their links are pointing to valid pages, and constantly look for 404 errors to correct them. This one of the easiest website mistakes to fix.
How often should you check your site for errors? Our recommendation is once per month for small companies, once per week for medium sized companies, and every single day for large companies.
Even the best looking websites can penalize themselves for slow page loads. In an article published by Google (click here for article), mobile pages with slow load times will be penalized in search, starting in July 2018. They’ve been penalizing desktop slow page loads for a couple of years already.
What we often find in the website design and SEO verticals, is our customers have paid a handsome amount of money to a graphic designer, or their friend’s sister’s husband’s nephew, to create a website for them, which may be visually appealing, but doesn’t rank well. After all, Billy just got done with a class in college that taught him the basics of web design, and he is up to the task. We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but graphic designers aren’t web designers. Each position has a place in the total outcome of a project, but their job descriptions are quite different.
Website imagery should not be higher than 72 dpi (dots per inch) on a website. We use a free tool at GingerHippo that major corporations use, called TinyPNG, which allows us to minimize the file size of .png’s and .jpg’s, before uploading the imagery to a website. The lower the file size of the image, the faster it can be loaded in a browser. The smaller the file size, the better.
Test your website load speeds with Google Page Insights here.
We all thought cartoon animation or cartoon explainer videos were pretty cool when they first hit the scene, but the style faded faster than butterfly collars and mullets.
If I am searching for how to get my dog’s nails to stop bleeding, because I trimmed them too short, I definitely don’t want to meet the cartoon dog Cliff, who is going to first reinforce why I shouldn’t have done that to begin with.
Solving problems using the 3 W’s is our recommendation to all of our clients at GingerHippo, regarding the presentation of content. The 3 W’s are:
- What is it?
- What does it mean?
- What does it mean to me? (the visitor)
By answering these fundamental questions in your content, visitors are likely to be more engaged, and build value.
How does Ling answer the 3 W’s? All of the information is there, but it takes us longer than 15 seconds to figure out how to find it.
Blocking an IP address can be necessary. We understand the importance of keeping predators away, right? Or not. Definitely not.
Let’s assume I really, REALLY want to see your content, but you’ve blocked my IP address. When I use a proxy IP address, which took me 10 seconds to change, I’m seeing your content.
Truth be told, once I’ve reached your website with my proxy IP, I’m going to get past your gated content through your site index, but thanks for costing me an extra 15 seconds of hassle.
Let’s relate what I just said above to a customer experience. If I’m on your website to solve a problem or make a purchase, I’m probably going to give you the first piece of gating, which means a potentially bogus email address and a fake name, but I’m leaving your website on the second round, when you ask me for my job title, company, phone number, blood type, and general family medical history. When I’m ready to make a purchase, because you have built up enough value, we can discuss what information I’m willing to give you.
Do we use gating at GingerHippo and for our customers? Of course we do, but we are extremely non-predatory with our gating practices. We strive to encourage visitors to want to give us just a bit of information to provide further marketing opportunities. In a recent build we just completed for Maineville Car Wash, we asked the visitors one time for their name and email address, in exchange for giving them a coupon for a discounted wash. Are we going to market to them further? Sure we are. When a special comes along, we’ll be sure to email them directly.
The message we are trying to drive home on this step, is to provide quality content, rather than worry about the “secret sauce”. After all, we all know that McDonald’s Big Mac sauce is some variety of Thousand Island dressing, right? Uh oh… The secret is out.
Lastly, we would love to hear your thoughts about how Ling could provide a better visitor experience.
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