5 Ways You’re Driving Customers Away From Your Website

posted this in
Web Design
on November 6th, 2013

If you think your website is about your business, you’re wrong.

Your website is not about you. It’s about your users. It’s about how they find what they’re looking for and how you can provide them with the best experience possible on your website with the least amount of interruptions.

But sometimes what you think may be best for your website or your users actually disrupts their entire experience.

We’re in the business of making the user experience (UX) on a website as simple and painfree as possible and we’ve learned what frustrates visitors the most. Now you can see what those things are to avoid them and get more leads.

Content problems

You want to get your point across and give your customers the information they need. But what content problems frustrate your users and, even worse, makes them leave your website?

A few of the content mistakes that we see on a regular basis are:

  • Large blocks of text that are difficult to read.
  • Technical jargon that isn’t easily understood.
  • Content that is focused too much on the business and less on the customer’s needs.
  • The use of all caps like “100% CUSTOMER SATISFACTION GUARANTEED”.

If your website has any of these, there’s a good chance your content is causing problems for your users and needs some love and attention.

Confusing structure and navigation

If a user lands on your website and they don’t know what to do, they are more likely to just leave. So it’s extremely important to make it easy for your user to navigate your website.

Getting to the right page on a website and finding a product or service is the only way your user will be able to make a purchase. If they can’t find what they’re looking for, there’s no way they can take the next step.

In the web design world, we call this the information architecture (IA) of your website. The information architecture is how your users find their way around your website and the process they go through to find what they’re looking for.

The IA of your website is much like the aisles at a grocery store — everything is organized in a certain way so it’s easy to find your way around.

But imagine if everything in a grocery store was organized alphabetically and you just wanted to buy apples and grapes. You’d have to walk to 2 separate parts of the grocery store to find the same type of food. But in reality, people know if they want fruit it will all be located in the same place.

The same logic can be applied for a website. Imagine you’re a parent who regularly volunteers with a nonprofit. You visit the nonprofit’s website for information, but you see 2 tabs that apply to you — parent and volunteer. Since you’re both, which do you choose?

Categorization and the way that your website is structured is really important to eliminating the confusion about where a user goes to find something.

Having a problematic IA can be the one of the main reasons why it’s hard for a user to find something on a website, but it’s also really easy to fix a confused IA.

When we’re redesigning a website, we like to find out how users are interacting with the website and how they typically look for things to make sure the IA is as effective as possible.

Using uncommon terms

Here’s a scenario: You just bought a new couch and you’re looking online for throw pillow. You visit your favorite online retailer’s website, but you’re having trouble locating the pillows.

You start looking under home decor, but you’re not having any luck. So you search for “throw pillows” in the search bar and it returns 0 results.

It turns out the throw pillows are actually called “couch decorations” on the website, so that’s why you were having trouble finding them.

Do you see how this could be frustrating to your users? Using uncommon terms can make it nearly impossible for your users to find what they’re looking for on your website.

You might like having a unique name for a product or service (like couch decorations), but the average person will probably be searching for something more common (like throw pillows).

Make it easy for your users to find what they’re looking for by being clear with your page titles and product and service descriptions.

Rotating banners

I understand the appeal of the rotating banner. In theory, the rotating banner is the first thing your user will see when they land on your homepage and you can send them a few different messages right away.

But are the effective? Multiple studies suggest they aren’t. In fact, a study by Notre Dame University showed that after the first banner, users rarely click additional banners. This means that any banner after the first may go completely unnoticed.

Users also complain that they don’t have enough time to read the banners, and they get frustrated when they can’t control what they’re looking at.

Slow site speeds

A slow site speed is a major contributing factor to why a person leaves a website. Studies show that if a page doesn’t load in 2 seconds, there’s a greater probability of page abandonment.

Improve your site speed performance with these tips:

The good news for you

Is your website guilty of frustrating your users with any of these 5 things? If so, the good news is that it’s never too late to improve your website.

Whether you have a content problem or a site speed problem, your website is never really complete, and the experience your user’s have on your website can always be improved.

Worried your website is causing users to leave in frustration? Send us a note below. We’d be happy to check out your website and give you some recommendations.