It has never been easier to start a website for your business than ever before. With sites like WordPress and Wix, someone with little to no experience with creating a website is able to launch a decent business site in as little as a few hours. As a web designer myself, I’ve been able to see firsthand the benefits of these types of sites as well as a few minor setbacks.
In order to dive into these setbacks, we must first understand why websites are created for business. The main reason besides exposure is to get the visitor to respond to our message or product or service. In other words, we hope that the website for our business is able to evoke a response from the visitor. In the web industry, these are called conversions. Conversions are created by having visitors do what you want for them to do while on your site. This can for a variety of reasons including signing up for your newsletter, registering for an event, buying your product or service, or completing a lead generation form.
The 5 killers of website conversions for your business are not being mobile friendly, having a slow loading time, not having a website that is frequently updated, no prominent call to action, and not having a clear navigation. So let’s dig in!
Not Being Mobile Friendly
This has really got to be the biggest issues I face when clients come to me searching for answers with why they are not getting the conversions they had hoped for when they built their website or had their website built. Gone are the Earthlink and Compuserve dial-up era when the only time you are able to go online was through your desktop computer (and when no one was on the phone). We now have the convenience of mobile phones, tablets, and laptops dominating as the total minutes spent online. According to a comScore MMX Multi-Platform infographic, 71% of online time in the United States was with a mobile device.
Having a website design that is mobile friendly is referred to as responsive design. The site responds to the screen size of the device that is viewing your site. If you are on your iPhone, the screen size is smaller than your desktop 24” monitor, so responsive design automatically takes this in consideration and adjusts how your visitor reads your content. By not having a responsive designed website, you are at risk of losing traffic for not being able to accommodate visitors and their screensize.
Slow Loading Time
Every second counts when it comes to keeping your visitors on your website. Despite having faster connection times, there are many instances where we are operating on 1X instead of 4G when on a mobile device. Kissmetrics provides this easy to understand infographic with how the loading time of your site affects your bottom line.
There are many ways to increase your loading time to prevent frustration with visiting your website. Often times the images are too big in size. When websites were developed through traditional HTML and not through WordPress, the size of the image had to be close to or the exact size that it was going to be displayed on the screen. If you have a 600px width image, then you save the image as 600px in width using Photoshop or other photo editing software. You don’t need to do with WordPress.
WordPress allows you to upload an image at almost any size and it will automatically resize your image for the screen. I bet you’re thinking, Great! The reality is, this convenience hurts your loading time. Instead of having an image that is optimized for your website, your visitor is forced to download a 2300px in width image with its large file size of 2MB instead of a 600px width image with a smaller file size of 150kb. Slower loading time for sure.
Website Not Updated Frequently
We’ve all seen those websites that have information so outdated, you would have thought they were out of business. Not only does this convey poor first impressions, but many times when visitors see what appears to be outdated information, they jump to conclusions that the company is no longer open. I’ve seen many businesses hurt by this lack of frequent updates which is why when I launched StartABiz.org, I wanted it to be updated at least 5 times a week, if not more.
Having a website with outdated information forces the visitor to make a knee-jerk decision with either continuing with your outdated website or clicking the back button and visiting one of your competitors. To combat this, consider having your website updated once every quarter. It does not have to be a complete revision of your site, but maybe there was an article or news about your industry that you can share. This is why blogs are popular with business websites. They are easy to implement and are able to provide not only updated information to your visitor, but also helps with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Consider signing up for Google Alerts. You can simply enter in the topic of your choice and be updated automatically with new content. This content can be great ways to update your site with.
No Prominent Call to Action
It’s amazing that this is still an issue with websites that are needing for a response from their visitors. It’s very important that the message is clear with what you want for them to do while visiting your site. This is often an image or a button that states “Click Here to Sign Up” or “Buy Now” or “Download our Free Guide.” Seems pretty straightforward, right? If so, why are we seeing sites failing this part of Call-to-Action 101?
What many are not considering is the use of color when it comes to having a prominent call to action. Let’s say your website is blue and your call to action button is also blue (or a shade similar to blue). This will not only seem confusing with what to draw the visitor’s attention to, but for those who are color blind, you have yourself an issue with getting that call to action noticed. To correct this, make your call to action button a contrasting color. If you do not know what a contrasting color is, check out Tiger Color’s Color Harmonies techniques for combining colors based on the color wheel.
Another great resource for learning about color and how to use it online is with Lisa Caprelli’s Color Your Message: The Art of Digital Marketing & Social Media. Highly reviewed and a great resource!
Not Having Clear Navigation
This is where the acronym KISS comes to play (Keep It Simple Stupid). Back when I was a young design student in college obtaining my first degree, I heard this principle from my instructor and it stuck with me ever since. The U.S. Navy developed the KISS principle in 1960 concluding that rather than make a system complicated, the system works best if it’s kept simple.
Having too many choices and options with your navigation can destroy your chances of having any type of repeat traffic or conversions with your website. The same goes for placement of your navigation. The most common places are at the very top or down the left side. If visitors are expecting to look there for your navigation menus, then why place them anywhere else?
Enable for the most relevant searched items to appear at the front of the navigation. This is called the serial position effect and is based on the principles of primacy and recency. With these principles in place for your navigation, you have a better chance of having your visitors stay on your site where they can see and act on your call to action.
What Do You See?
These 5 killers of website conversions for your business are the most common issues that my agency is faced with when it comes to clients looking for our help. I’m sure there are many more out there that we have seen as a deterrent to responding to a call-to-action on a website.
What do you see as a killer of website conversions?
Originally published on Medium.