Just because there’s a feature you can add to your website, doesn’t mean it’s something that’s going to appeal to customers. In fact, there are some website features that could be the reason for your lack of conversions and website traffic. Put yourself in the place of your potential customers and ask yourself, “Would I be annoyed by any of the following website features?” If the answer is “yes,” then it’s time to make your site more visitor-friendly.
Making it Difficult to Leave
Those “Are you sure you want to leave?” prompts designed to keep visitors from leaving your site in haste could frustrate casual browsers to the point where they’ll never come back. Get around this by offering subtle incentives for a visitor to stick around, such as placing discount offers prominently on a page or giving a visitor the option of subscribing to your newsletter or blog, rather than questioning their desire to leave your site.
Too Many Ads
There’s nothing wrong with allowing ads on your website or partnering with companies offering similar products and doing a little cross promotion. It becomes a problem, however, when every free space on your website is taken over by ads, making it easy for a visitor to accidentally click on an ad when they’re trying to find out more about what you have to offer. Do you really want to make it easier for a visitor to be taken away from your site? Consider spreading out ads across your online platforms instead of letting them fill up your website.
Online attention spans are short. Consequently, a list that requires a visitor to click after each item, while being bombarded by related links and prompts to offer an opinion, is more likely to frustrate than fascinate.
Consider presenting your list in its entirety, while including any related links or prompts to give an opinion or share the list with friends, either halfway through the list or at the end. The more difficult you make it to get to the payoff, which is your No. 1 thing, the more likely you are to drive visitors away.
Too Many Distractions
Scrolling images, active links that automatically display a short video, live chat boxes that pop up seconds after landing on a page, loud background music or video clips that start playing without the option to click “play” are just some of the website features that can keep visitors from returning to your website. Think about your desired audience before you start adding all these extras to your site. If you’re going after busy working professionals, for instance, odds are they’re going to come across your site at work. Loud music or video clips that automatically play are likely to disturb anyone in the vicinity. Think about who is likely to be visiting your site. Put yourself in their place and determine what would likely annoy you if you were visiting your website.
Requesting Too Much Info Too Soon
People are understandably apprehensive about giving up too much info. While there’s nothing wrong with collecting basic info when someone makes a purchase or requests more information, you have to establish some level of trust first. If you know you’re going to need credit card information, for example, make sure your site offers encryption options. If you’re looking to build an email mailing list, make it clear that you’re doing so to avoid accusations of spamming. The basic rule is to only request personal info when necessary — and even then you want to keep it to a minimum.
The lesson to be learned here is that bells and whistles are meaningless if you’re frustrating potential or returning customers in the process. While conventional rules of advertising and marketing suggest you do whatever possible to grab the attention of a potential customer, the reality in this age of social media is that an annoyed customer is likely to go out of their way to spread the word that going to your website isn’t worth the hassle. Are you ready to rethink your website design now?