whys & wherefores
People are walking away from your website
Posted 3 August 2016, by Larkswood Digital,
But there is something you can do to stop them.
Your website might well be top of the search results for those all important keywords and phrases, but how many of your visitors bounced back to the results list and moved onto the next website? Maybe there’s a reason for that?
Despite the fact that websites have an address, owning a website is more like owning a car than owning property – its value degrades over time, even more so when you fail to maintain it properly. And like a car, sometimes a complete restoration is needed to make it as valuable as it once was.
If you can’t afford a major facelift, it’s still worth fixing one issue at a time, but remember that it’s a false economy to chase the cheapest possible solution – the more you fix, the more likely you’ll see an increase in leads – redesigns can pay for themselves many times over. The key is to looking at the biggest causes of lost leads before you pick which changes to prioritise.
So, what does this mean to your organisation, and why is your existing site probably costing you much more in lost leads than it would have cost to restore it to its former glory?
Your website represents your brand
Websites show their age. If your website hasn’t had a facelift for a few years, then your organisation begins to look old-fashioned and behind the times. In some extreme cases, your organisation may even appear to have expired because you’ve forgotten something important like changing a telephone number.
Even the longest running companies rebrand from time to time, to freshen up their appearance and benefit from a little PR campaign. Websites need re-branding (or redesigning) on a more frequent basis, but there’s no reason why your website redesign couldn’t take advantage of a similar PR offensive.
Compare your website to your competitors, try to keep ahead of the curve to maintain a professional and active appearance.
Is your content still relevant?
Maybe your organisation has expanded. Maybe you offer new products or services, or your existing ones have evolved? If you’ve found yourself answering the same questions from prospective clients then perhaps that information could be included on the website? That saves you time answering queries, and we all know what time equals, right? *
Keeping your content fresh and up to date improves your search engine positions, but also shows your website visitors that you are still active and that you still care about your reputation and your industry. It builds confidence in your organisation.
Provide fresh, current, useful information to your visitors and avoid losing them to competitors.
Can visitors get to the content?
Mobile browsing on phones and tablets now account for a significant percentage of web use. But many websites aren't built with smaller screens and slower connections in mind. This slowness combined with difficulty navigating to or reading content can be enough to send the user back to the search results. Responsive web design and mobile-first design can help ensure your visitors get a pleasant experience regardless of what device they first visit.
The other issue is accessibility. There are many difficulties your visitors may have, from dyslexia, colour blindness, mobility issues, visual impairments, even dementia. What's more, improving the experience for disabled visitors can result in better experiences for everyone else.
Review your website on a couple of modern browsers, mobiles and tablets to see for yourself. Consider a web accessibility review to ensure users can reach all pages and content.
Re-assess usability and usefulness of your site
We all know that everyone wants good support, and visitor experiences with a company affect the chances of them coming back, or recommending you to friends and family. By allowing your website to take the lead on some of those support calls you get, they get the answers they need quickly and gives you more time to concentrate on other jobs. This can only improve your support response.
Whether it’s useful articles or guidelines that new and previous visitors will find helpful, or making use of latest browser features to offer new functionality that makes certain tasks easier, they all improve your relationship with your website visitors. Making sure these articles and features are easy to find and easy to use is not only helpful to your visitors, but can also be a cheap but effective marketing tool. Your website address could be passed on to others who want to share the knowledge or service you’re providing. It may well lead to another potential lead.
Boost the percentage of word of mouth and repeat visitors by providing them with an excellent experience.
* Money. Time = Money. Come on; surely everyone knows that?