As someone who browses through the Internet for hours every day, I’ve seen my fair share of excellent and equally terrible websites. Whether it’s a long-format home page or a website that redirects you with every click of your mouse, there is always one constant: If you don’t give the information a customer needs in a concise and organized way, they are probably going somewhere else and, more often than not, you can be sure they’re never coming back.
So what can you do? How can you make sure customers have the best experience possible when visiting your site? Here are 5 things to consider:
1. Your website is not mobile friendly.
It’s time to face the facts. The majority of website traffic is now mobile based. One of my biggest pet peeves is navigating the web on my phone and encountering a site that is not optimized for the mobile experience. Text becomes nearly impossible to read, images begin to wander to places they don’t belong and clicking buttons becomes an Olympic sport. If you are in the process of making a new website, mobile compatibility needs to be at the top of your priority list. If you already have a website, talk to a developer to see how to make your website as great on a phone as it is on a desktop.
2. Your website looks like it is from 1999.
Even though it might be, it doesn’t have to look like it! There are a few simple things you can do to give your site a fresh look. As a rule of thumb, cleaner is always better. Substitute large blocks of text with relevant imagery to make your site easier to digest. Remove all clip art, word art and bedazzled text – all of these elements are red flags and send today’s web-savvy customers in the opposite direction.
3. No one can figure out how to contact you.
You’ve taken all the time to showcase your product and service, but you happened to have overlooked a few points that customers now have questions on. There is no contact information easily listed on your site and you have left them to the wolves and alone to browse elsewhere for an answer (and more likely, an alternative). If customer service is critical to you, having easily accessible contact information is key. Customers should not have to jump through hoops to receive answers on a company’s product. Yes, you will receive questions that are stated (very clearly so in your opinion) on your website. But the customer will appreciate the time it takes you to respond to them be it by phone, email or chat.
4. You don’t have professional photos.
Not everyone has the luxury of having professional photographs of their business. However, there are still alternatives to photos taken by your sister-in-law’s teen daughter on her cell phone. Browse through stock photo services for applicable photos and give your site a more polished look. The last thing anyone wants to see is a pixelated photo in a too-dark setting. I’ll take a multi-cultural group laughing in a circle over that any day.
5. You have outdated or dead links.
Nothing is more frustrating than seeing a link that catches your eye and clicking on it only to be led to an error page. Customers become frustrated, you look unprofessional and business is typically lost. If you deactivate an element on your website, always keep in mind any links you have to that element. Make sure you and your team perform regular click-throughs of your site and ensure there are not any unwanted broken links.