6 mistakes sabotaging your website

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Do you think you are losing potential clients? Seeing a high bounce rate? Not sure how to fix it? This could be due to a variety of different things on your website.

There are some common mistakes that I come across as a website designer, either when as a user or when reviewing a client’s website. Here I will cover 6 mistakes that could be sabotaging your website traffic and business.

Ambiguous Headlines

Does your headline answer at least this one question: What do you do? If it doesn’t then you could be losing potential clients. This lets the viewer know if you are what they are looking for and they should continue, or if they should leave to your competitor.

So, discard the vague headline about some general statement of values or quality. Or like NMG here, a set of words together that give no real meaning.

On initial inspection, I don’t actually know what NMG do, I see that they have local knowledge and are experts at maybe global reach, but ths still does not let me know what they do. The headline is also quite small, which makes it unreadable in some sections of the background image, and there is no text below the headline to add any explanation. If I don’t know what they do in the first 5 seconds of landing on the website how do I know if I should continue reading about what they offer.

Having read through their About pages, which is not something all users will do, I found out that NMG is a global advisory and intermediary firm, that specializes in financial services. They could change their headline to something along the lines of: “Financial advisory firm with Global Reach.” At least I now know what they do with that headline. They could obviously add in anything where Global Reach is; however, they would do best not to make it too long and wordy. That is what the subheading is for, further explanation.

Long Paragraphs

Almost all traffic that will land on your site will scan. People want to quickly know what you do and how your product or service will improve their life or business. So, make it easy for them to get that information and don’t try to make them read, because they will more often than not leave your site to a competitor. The example below is of what not to do:

But what if I need to explain a lot to my customers, my answer: use bullet points. The more text someone has to read, the less likely they will actually read it. Unless of course, it is a news article or blog post. We are in the age of immediate gratification, do not try to fight the status quo when it comes to giving information quicker and in easy to digest bites.

Here is what to do:

Both examples are explaining something that can be considered complicated, but as you can see in the second example, click funnels use checkmarks as bullet points to explain, allowing the reader to skim the page and still get an understanding of what it is and how it is relevant to them.

Forms that ask for too much

Do you like getting random numbers calling or messaging your phone? Yeah, me neither. When I sign-up for things I usually only use my email, sometimes my name, and if they ask for my number, well I usually won’t give it.

So, that being said, do you think visitors will give up their precious information? Probably not. Here is an example of asking for too much:

Notice how everything is required. I think I would much rather just send my email, or actually talk to a sales representative (which I really don’t like doing anyway).

When creating a form you should think about what information about the user is important. I know, I know, “It’s all important,” I hear you say. What is more important to your business though? Potential client information, or having more clients? Cool, we are on the same page.

Here is another form that is a little better in my opinion, however, I would remove the phone as being required. Don’t want to scare away potential clients.

Most of the time if you have a lead magnet, a piece of free content that you will send the person for their email address is the best way to collect emails through a form.

Dead-end links

This one is pretty self-explanatory, you don’t want people arriving on 404error pages, or even worse, blank pages. It is a great way to increase your bounce rate, not a good thing. You should run a quick audit making sure that your links go to where you want them to go.

If you find dead links, the best thing to do is to create a 404 page that will be used in place of blank or boring pages. These 404 pages can become fun, interactive and point users in other directions. Fluid blog has a great article on 404 error page examples that you could incorporate into your website.

Social media icons in your header

So, let’s say that you have just gotten a visitor from one of your social media accounts. Would you rather this potential customer go through your website and into your sales funnel, or would you rather them go to your other social media accounts? You worked so hard, putting out all this great content and now they are going to skip off to your other account.

Social links should be found in the footer at the bottom of your website, or as share buttons on your blog posts. The header and hero section of your website is prime real estate and should be reserved for a headline that draws clients in and a CTA(call to action) to a lead magnet. Below is a great example of what to do.

Notice no social link in this section. A great headline and CTA that catches the user’s eye. Foundr also has a lot of great free content that you should check out if you are interested.

Too many options in the menu

You don’t want to give your visitors decision fatigue by giving them too many options on where to go next. What is decision fatigue? Decision fatigue is when your brain gets tired of making decisions, and the more options you have per decision the quicker the ability to make good decisions deteriorate.

So, having too many options, not only clutters the header, but it can also be overwhelming. You want to make sure that your site is easily navigated by your visitors. Below is an example of what not to do:

A simple rule is no more than 5 options in your menu, as you can see in this example, Amplify Kombucha has 8 links to other pages on their site. This can be shortened down to 4 links. Keep the important things like the about page, product page, the contact us and a blog page. Half of the links should live in the footer. It is important to make user’s lives easier. If you are not doing that, you might be losing potential clients.

Conclusion

We have covered a broad range of mistakes you could be making on your website, from ambiguous headlines to the decision fatigue from options in the menu. There are many more things to look at, but these are the main ones I see being made when I complete website reviews. When creating your website’s layout be sure to keep the user in mind, they will thank you for it.

I hope these 6 things help you when you create your website and generate leads for your business. If you think I left anything out or you have any questions let me know in the comments or hit me up.

Carlos

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