So it’s the start of another New Year, and an opportunity to take a look at our businesses and plan out our goals for another year. One priority for many businesses is to get their website performing at it’s best so it can generate as many sales as possible. Although your site might look great from your perspective, it is vital that you take a look through the eyes of your customers – the viewpoint which matters most! After all, you aren’t selling to yourself. Here we take a quick at the main things people hate about business websites.
1. Basic information is hard to find
It is so important that key details such as your business address, phone number, email address, business hours and even directions to your shop or office are available to find through the ‘about’ or ‘contact’ pages. Customers aren’t interested in the history of your business, so make sure these points are clearly stated on your site in easy to find places!
2. Things are not in stock
Nothing is more annoying than finding the perfect item, only to try adding it to the basket and find it is out of stock. If you have several items out of stock on a regular basis, customers will simply take their business elsewhere. It is important that you have an e-commerce system which allows you to sync your inventory from your physical stores to your online shops so you know you are fully stocked up in all locations. We can help you to establish a good e-commerce management system on your site, no problem!
3. No way to make an appointment
If you offer a service which takes bookings, an online appointment scheduler or management system allows potential customers to easily make a booking without needing to pick up the phone – it can also help you to be more organised, with automated reminders to help you out!
4. No links to social media
Lots of customers find it more convienient to follow your updates through social media like Facebook or Twitter rather than having to keep checking your website – especially if you post special offers, discounts and voucher codes often! If you have a social media presence, make sure there is a visible link on your main website to all your accounts.
5. Automatic music and animations on the welcome page
This is SO ANNOYING! Nobody wants to hear music when they open a website, it does not set a mood, it merely infuriates people and makes them much more likely to close the page! Don’t forget that today’s web users want information fast and efficiently, they don’t want to be held back by animations and music…
6. Slow load time
The more fancy effects you have on your site, the longer it will take to load. The avereage user tends not to wait more than 3 seconds for a webpage to open, so if yours takes longer, you are likely to be losing custom. On a related note, Google have recently announced that slow loading pages will officially be counted as “not mobile friendly”, which means your page may be seen in a negative light by Google. To help speed up your site, compress any images down, ditch any music and animations, and go easy on the Flash. You can always enlist a web designer to help you with this.
7. It’s hard to read
Dark backgrounds with bright white text, light backgrounds with light text and tiny fonts all make your site much harder to read. Before launching the site, check with a few friends and family if they can easily read the text on your site – if they are struggling, have a look at the readability and make any fixes you need to.
8. Outdated content
You might not have the time to constantly update the site with new information, but at least try to get basic updates about sales, promotions, new merchandise and important news on your social media accounts. The same applies to your blog – if you can’t update it often (ideally at least once per month), then don’t bother using it. If a customer looks at your blog and sees the last update was 2+ years ago, they will likely wonder how recent the rest of the site is!
9. Not mobile optimised
Customers are using mobiles and tablets more often than ever before to search sites online. Be proactive and ensure that your site is easy to read and navigate on mobile screens – if you want to check this out, contact us about our mobile and responsive design services!
So there you have it – a short list (!) of the main gripes people have with business websites. If you have none of these issues, then you are likely to have a highly effective site which can engage and serve your customers efficiently. If you aren’t sure about whether your site needs any tweaks, you can always contact us for a free website analysis, and we can explore the detailed ways you can improve your site and get the best from the web in 2017!