No Mobile Optimisation

These are 6 ways your website’s driving away customers: Your website should ideally offer a great experience across all devices. Sadly, since most existing websites have been created for desktop display, mobile users still have to contend with awkward pinching, zooming and scrolling to navigate. It’s also annoyingly easy to click a link by accident, and some features of the site (such as sliders, for example) may refuse to work entirely.

Responsive design has become the go ­to solution for getting sites to display cleanly on smaller screens, but mobile optimisation goes further than that ­ it’s all about providing the best experience for the user on the go, who has different needs to the average desktop user.

Give each page a central focus with minimal distractions and input requirements. For example, you could initially show only the first line of your homepage content with a CTA (more on that later), and add a ‘read more’ drop down tab to provide more info for those who need it.

If you’re an eCommerce retailer, let users continue their buying journey later on a different device (such as providing the option to save the contents of their shopping basket).

Long Loading Times

Did you know the average user will wait only 3 seconds for your site to load before giving up and going somewhere else? This problem is exacerbated on mobile, where users are not only more impatient, they’re often using slower and more unpredictable 4G connections to browse.

If your site takes longer to load than users are willing to wait, they’ll go somewhere else. Thankfully, there are lots of little ways to reduce loading times, such as letting the user’s browser cache elements, or serving up lower­ resolution images for smaller screens.

Confusing Navigation

If you’re an eCommerce business with a large variety of products, it’s easy for your lists of categories and subcategories to get out of hand.

At all times, the user should be able to know where they are, how to find what they’re looking for, and how they can get back to a page they were previously on. Label each page and

category intuitively with brief, clear titles, and provide an on­site search box so users can quickly jump to a particular product or page they’re looking for.

Adding breadcrumbs to pages can help users make sense of where they are on a multi­tiered website, but be careful about pages that exist in more than one category as your breadcrumbs might not match the journey your users actually took.

Broken Links

A broken link not only stops the user from getting to the page they’ve clicked on; it also makes your site come across as unprofessional and untrustworthy.

Use a link crawler tool such as ScreamingFrog or Xenu to regularly check your site’s links. If a certain page no longer exists on your site, redirect the old URL to a current page so any links pointing to the old page will still work.

Self­-Centered Content

From the moment the user lands on your site, they should be able to easily work out what you can do for them. Unfortunately, many businesses take this golden opportunity of a first impression to talk about themselves instead.

Rather than convincing the user to buy from them by talking about the value their products/services have, they talk about the features of their service, how many awards they’ve won, and how they’re better than their competitors.

Of course, it’s good to give users a reason to buy from you instead of a competing business, but it has to be centered around them, not you. Make sure your content serves the needs of the customer, not the needs of your company.

Does your own content do this? Pick a page and tally up all the mentions of ‘we’, ‘I’, ‘our’, ‘my’, ‘me’ and ‘us’ versus ‘you’, ‘your’ and ‘yours’. If the former outnumber the latter, it might be a good idea to take another look at your content.

Poor Calls to Action ­ or None at all

A call to action (CTA) is a crucial step in turning your site visitors into customers. People need that little nudge to take action ­ whether it’s the big ‘buy’ button on a product landing page, the ‘sign up for emails’ popup or the instruction to ‘Call us on [number]’ in your header.

Effective CTAs are easy to spot and use powerful copy, leaving the user in no doubt of the action they should take next and what will happen when they click. You can’t just expect people to blindly follow your CTA, though; you need to give them a persuasive reason to do so.

As well as talking about the benefits to the customer of your products/services in your content, be sure to include trust signals ­ such as testimonials, contact information and payment verification badges ­ so users can feel confident about buying from you.

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