If your company’s website was an old-timey Main Street storefront, what would people see when they passed by?
Would they see a clean, well-maintained shop that was friendly and open for business? Or something more rundown, with a front door that barely opens and windows painted shut?
The fact is, many of your company’s would-be customers will see some version of your online presence before they contact you or show up to your physical location. And if your website is full of problems that turn people away, you could be hurting your business in real life, not just online.
Fixing these 5 reasons people aren’t visiting your website can lead to more online traffic, increased conversions, and a stronger and more robust web presence for your business.
5 Reasons People Aren’t Visiting Your Website
1) It’s Not Mobile Responsive
Quick - grab your phone.
Ignore the Facebook alerts for a minute and pull up your company’s website on your phone’s browser.
How does it look? Is it: a) formatted to work easily on your phone, or b) a zoomed-out view of your home page that makes the buttons so small you can’t tell what they are?
If you chose “B,” your website is not mobile-responsive. And that’s a problem.
According to the State of Mobile Web U.S. 2015 report by SimilarWeb, about 56 percent of consumer traffic to the leading US websites is from mobile devices. Further, a March 2016 report by comStock showed that mobile devices now represent 65 percent of all time spent on digital media. And Google has steadily increased the importance of mobile responsiveness in their search engine rankings over the past year.
In other words, search engines and the people doing the searching expect your website to be easy to use, regardless of what device they are using. Talk to your web developer soon about updating your site for mobile users - that impossible-to-read home page isn’t doing your business any favors.
2) Slow Load Times
Internet users, generally speaking, have a shorter attention span than Dug the Dog from the movie “Up.” If your website takes too long to load on desktop computers or mobile devices, your would-be visitors are either going to get distracted or frustrated and take their eyeballs elsewhere.
In fact, data provided by KISSMetrics shows that 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load, and a one-second delay in page response can lead to a 7% reduction in conversions.
If you have a modern website, regular maintenance and updates can keep it running at optimum speed. If your site is old or outdated, however, building a new site on a modern platform like WordPress can reduce loading time and make sure those distracted would-be visitors don’t get lost on the way to your home page.
3) Bad Content
Bad website content usually comes in two forms: too much and not enough. (And sometimes both, but we’ll get into that later.)
Too much content on your website is a great way to make a user’s eyes glaze over - and send them clicking away to another page.
According to our friends at HubSpot, more than half of your website’s visitors will spend less than 15 seconds on your site. Too much content muddles your message and makes people less likely to stick around.
The flipside of too much content, however, isn’t a lack of content. It’s a lack of user engagement.
Many of the websites we redesign for businesses spend a lot of time talking about the business itself. “We’re great at making widgets,” “our customer service is #1,” “our office smells good because of the In-N-Out next door,” etc. (Actually, that last one isn’t bad.)
It’s easy to forget that your website isn’t for you - it’s for your would-be clients. Your site needs to sympathize with their needs, answer their questions, and give them a compelling reason to do whatever it is you want them to do. “Our customer service is #1” is not that. Focus on building user engagement, and visitors are a lot more likely to stick around.
4) Stock Photography Everywhere!
Bad stock photography has a lot in common with bad content. Putting pictures all over your site might be fun, but your company’s website shouldn’t look like a Pinterest board.
Images that are overused, not mobile responsive (see #1) or poorly sized distracts the user from your website’s intended purpose.
Choose website photography carefully - spend some of the budget on it, even - and focus on images that will appeal to your company’s target market.
5. Doesn't Feel Trustworthy
If you spend a little time in the web design and online marketing world, you’ll eventually hear the phrase “trust indicators.” Trust indicators are design or content elements that assure your visitors that your website is actually owned and operated by real people, and not evil robots who want to steal your identity and credit card information.
People (and robots) who use the internet for this kind of bad activity employ “black hat techniques” that are designed to trick users and search engines to generate traffic, clicks and leads. One such technique is overloading content with keywords to push websites higher on Google’s search rankings - a method that Google actually punishes websites for nowadays.
To avoid these problems, thoughtful web designers use a number of trust indicators to show that they’re on the up-and-up. That’s why so many websites (including ours) include testimonials from past clients and offer certifications from third parties like Yelp and Google Review. Connections to the real world beyond your own website reinforce your company’s authenticity and create trust.
These connections also extend to your Contact page, which is one of the most important pages on your site. An address, map, phone number and other contact information implies that real people work at your business. A contact page that only has a form to fill out, with no other identifying information, sends up red flags.