Is your website damaging your business?

If your website design is outdated it could be damaging your business. If Google doesn’t look at your site favourably when it comes to mobile responsiveness, page speed and other factors this could mean a drop in rankings, which leads to a drop in traffic.

It may be quite surprising to learn that not all websites are mobile compatible, despite the technology being available for over 10 years now. More and more customers are using mobile devices to search for and access websites, simply for the convenience of being able to search for something anytime, anywhere.

Not only is search the most used resource of mobile users, but it's also the resource 87% of people turn to first.
Source: Think with Google

If your website isn’t optimised for mobile devices, it means you’re missing out on a whole heap of customers being able to access your site – no chance of visitors becoming a customer or a subscriber, and not much chance of making revenue from your site.

The other main issue that could be damaging your business is the usability of your website. Long loading times do not appeal to potential customers, and neither does an unpleasant user experience. The worst part – Google will not look favourably on your website if it has a high page load time or if your content isn’t structured correctly, meaning you’ll rank lower on their search results pages, potentially plummeting your rankings.

Here are four things to avoid when building a website so as not to damage your business:-

1. Slow page load times

These days people are busy – really, really busy. If your website takes more than a couple of seconds to load, it’s unlikely a visitor is going to wait around for your website to make an appearance, instead they’ll go back to their search results page and visit one of your competitors instead. You can test your website’s page load time by using the PageSpeed Insights tool.

The average U.S. retail mobile site loaded in 6.9 seconds in July 2016, but, according to the most recent data, 40% of consumers will leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load.
Source: Think with Google

Having a website that loads quickly is crucial for your customers and it will also help your rankings in Google. Avoid large images or animations that can slow your website down – make sure all of your images are optimised for the web and you’ve crunched down the file sizes. We use the TinyJPG tool to do this.

2. Confusing site navigation

The next most important thing a user should be able to do when they reach your site – after the page loads quickly, of course – is to navigate their way around. Try and stick with the standard ‘website norms’ when it comes to the menu structure, eg. ‘Home’ is typically the first menu item and ‘Contact’ is usually the last. Avoid using strange or unusual terms for your navigation items. Keep the language used direct and descriptive.

If people have to think when trying to work their way around your site, they’ll more often than not click the Back button and visit an easier-to-use, more user-friendly competitor’s site.

3. Complex content

Keep your content simple and in a language that your visitors will understand. Not everybody has the time to learn jargon specific to your industry, so write your content using layman's terms. People are time-poor, so try and keep your writing to a 10th-grade level as that’s typically a level that most people can easily comprehend without having to think too much.

A simple way to test the readability of your content is to use a Flesch–Kincaid readability test. This test is designed to indicate how difficult a passage in English is to understand.

Appeal to their emotions – talk about the sizzle, not the steak. A lot of companies fall into the habit of talking about themselves, their accolades, their achievements, etc, but all your customers really want to know is how you can help them and what’s the process. Try and answer some common questions on your website to try and reduce the barriers to sale.

If you would like to read more about using emotive language in your copywriting, take a look at our article Convert more customers using emotional responses in your website copy.

4. Layout of text on the page

Most people will skim the content of a web page so it’s important to use headings and subheadings so that users can glance over the content and decide if this page will answer all their questions. Having large blocks of text on the page (also known as a ‘wall of text’) is not advisable.

Use shorter paragraphs and break up the text with images, videos or formatting such as bullet points, iconography or quotes.

If your website is suffering from any of the points mentioned above, it might be time to address the issue as it could be doing your business more harm than good.

If you’ve found this article helpful and would like some more information on how to fix your website to give it the best chance of converting customers, please give us a call on (07) 3882 3375 or email us and we’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

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