Website Mistakes Drive Customers Away. Let’s Take A Look At Why.

by Rain Man.
We can’t all have websites as sexy and user friendly as lingscars.com. Let’s rephrase that. We should ALL have websites built better than Lingscars.com. Let’s talk about what makes the best designed websites great. We are going to use Lingscars.com as the example throughout this article.

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.

“What separates design from art is that design is meant to be… functional.
CAMERON MOLL

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.

1. Create A Modern Design, Which Is Full Width, And Mobile Responsive

2. Fix All Broken Links And/Or Navigation

3. Is Your Website Being Penalized For Slow Page Load Speeds?

4. Your Visitors Aren't Living A Cartoon, Nor Are They Searching For One.

5. Stop Gating Or Guarding Your Content

Website Mistake #2 – Broken Links And/Or Navigation

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.

“A website without visitors is like a ship lost in the horizon.”
DR. CHRISTOPHER DAVAGDAG
Website Mistake #3 – Is Your Website Being Penalized For Slow Page Loads?

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.

Optimizing The Image Sizes, Allows A Website To Load Faster, And Rank Better

Website Mistake #4 – Your Visitors Aren’t Living A Cartoon, Nor Are They Searching For One.

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.

“Web design is not just about creating pretty layouts. It’s about understanding the marketing challenge behind your business.”
MOHAMED SAAD
There are approximately 3.7 billion searches every single day on the internet, and nearly 1.8 billion websites on the internet. Assuming all things are equal, and your website is going to receive it’s equal share of the internet, what do you want your 2 visitors to see, when they get to your website?

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.

Website Mistake #5 – Stop Gating Or Guarding Your Content

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.

Slideshow On Getting Around Gated Information

Link to NovuHealth’s gated content – ungated: Click here

An Example Of Content Gating As A Website Mistake

Asking someone for too much information, without building value for your product or service, is a huge website mistake. If they don’t know who you are, or trust you aren’t going to sell their information on the open market, why would they give you the information? Take a look at all of the *required information that is being asked for. Wowza!

Getting Around Gated Content Successfully

Someone who wants the information badly enough, will ask their friend in a non-relevant market vertical to download it for them. If they really want to be predatory, they will ask their friend to download the email, then mark the email as junk, to increase the company or competitor’s spam rating.

Successfully Navigated Through Gated Content

In this case, all gmail, hotmail, and other POP email providers are blocked, requiring me to put in my company email. If my IP were blocked by this company, I would have called a friend, and asked them to download it for me, then email me the case study. I’m not really sure what is actually being protected here, if anything.

Here Is The Email Of The Gated Content

Other than trying to gain information regarding the value of the lead, I’m not exactly sure what the content gating is accomplishing. A somewhat interested customer wouldn’t give up all of this information to a company that hasn’t established value.

Opening The Email Sends Me Their Link To Share

After going through nearly a minute of hodge podge to get the case study, the email sends me to a link of the .PDF, which is unguarded, and allows me to share the link with others, without further gating, as I did above this slideshow. If I were a competitor of this company, I would have all of the information necessary, as soon as the information were published.
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