Driving traffic to your website can be hard work; for all the aimless wandering we do on the internet, we are not going to click a link out of the goodness of our hearts, the website has to offer something of value to us. This could be the answers to some commonly Googled questions, or a video of your cat, either way the formula is the same, know your audience and make sure they can find what they want on your site.
A simple concept, but the execution is much more difficult. Therefore, just like in the offline world, it is much easier to retain customers than find new ones. Once you have done the hard work of getting people on your site, you don’t want to chase them away with basic errors and bad manners.
Even if the content on your site is top notch, poor design or annoying features will make life unnecessarily difficult. Here are a few things you should look out for. Today we are going to take a look at what makes people click away from your website.
As soon as a surfer has clicked on your link, the clock is ticking, you have precious few seconds before your site is abandoned. It used to be said that the magic number was eight seconds, but modern technology has made us even more impatient than this, ideally you should be looking at less than five seconds.
An easy way to shave a bit of loading time is to format your pictures, large size files on your homepage will still make hard work for most browsers. Trying re-uploading your photos after cutting them down a size or two, a small sacrifice in quality can really pay off in terms of speed.
Free online tools like FixPicture.Org makes it easy to tailor your pictures to suit your site.
If you’re still experiencing pedestrian speeds you may need to get more technical, remove any unnecessary features or code, limit your redirects and consider getting another host.
What does your site look like when you visit it on your phone? It must be universally adaptable to all browsers or you risk losing further customers, the majority of your visitors could be using a different browser to you, and they most certainly will be using a mobile device.
You can test how your site fares on other browsers using Google Analytics. The Technology and Mobile options in the Audience tab will list all the browsers and devices that are used to access your site, now look which has the highest bounce rates.
This site has a clear relationship between bounce rate and access device, you may also have noticed the huge difference in average visit duration too. All signs point to an unresponsive site that is not mobile friendly.
Most surfers have 3 or four tabs open at any one time. The internet has not only made us impatient, it has turned us into multi-taskers with low attention spans. An online purchase can take up to an hour, constantly interrupted with work, social media and cat videos.
Your site will sit in the background while the customer goes about their other business. It will have to be patient though and wait its turn, what it definitely should not do is try to catch attention with music, autoplaying videos or talking adverts.
Where is that racket coming from? Customers will find the offending tab and give it the X treatment.
Do you ever go on a website and think there’s a light on but nobody’s home? Broken links, antiquated design, a blog that was last updated three years ago, you are not going to stay on here for long, nevermind enter your credit card details.
Your site should look like it was last updated yesterday. Retro 90s design does look cool in many places, but keep it away from e-commerce; a link to a recent blog post on the home page won’t go amiss either.
Driving traffic is the bread and butter of online marketing, but will count for nothing if your website is not performing. By minimising these four elementary faults you can help convert valuable traffic into sales.
The Four Point Test
Ask yourself the following questions
• Is your load time between 5-8 seconds?
• Can customers access by phone?
• Does your site get in the way of others?
• Do you look up to date?
Joe Errington is an online marketing executive for MITIE, a UK-based facilities management company. With many different business services on one website, holding customer’s attention can be an uphill struggle. Therefore it is vital that it is as fast and user-friendly as possible. You can connect with Joe on Google+ or on Twitter.