You work hard to bring traffic to your website. You invest money in online marketing strategies such as search engine optimization, pay per click marketing, social media and more. However, many basic issues will drive people away from your website and lower conversion. Luckily, many of these problems can be corrected with a bit of work. Take a look at our top 10 list of reasons people leave, and some simple solutions:
1. Your site takes too long to load. Look, we’re all busy people; if a customer has to wait longer than a few seconds for a page to load, they’ll most likely leave. A good first place to check is Webmaster Tools – it takes just a few minutes to enable it for your website. You’ll be able to discover issues such as missing pages and broken links as Google crawls your site. Google also has some great tools to find issues associated with page speed – you can find a list of rules under “documentation” on this page. These include minifying CSS (i.e. compressing the files), combining external files, enabling browser caching and webpage compression. Yahoo also has a list of best practices to improve site speed. These include using high-quality web hosting, removing or updating any missing pages and links, and incorporating style sheets that load more efficiently.
2. Your site has poor usability. This is a more precise way of saying that visitors to your site need to be able to find the product or information they’re looking for quickly – preferably within two or three clicks. If you have a lot of products, make it easy to sort through them by color, category, price, etc. A well-designed user interface is critical to keeping your visitors engaged.
3. You have typos and other obvious errors. No one will buy from you if they don’t first trust you. Having misspelled words, obvious grammatical errors, and other basic problems on your home page, or product pages reduces your credibility. Make sure you have at least two sets of eyes going over the copy and images you’re putting on your website.
4. There’s lots of hard to read, low-quality content. People don’t want to sift through countless pages of useless content. Product descriptions are very valuable for SEO, but descriptive text that provides no value to the end-user and is strictly written for search engines will drive people away in search of more meaningful information.
5. Your images are blurry or low quality. Visitors like to see what they are buying before they actually commit to a purchase. Blurry or low quality images are a sure way to lower your conversion and drive users away. Besides simply getting better pictures for your website, which is a good idea on its own, you might consider using product zoom. This application allows consumers to zoom in on images to inspect the smallest of product details, while boosting conversion at the same time.
6. You are annoying them with music and other sounds. Having engaging online videos such as product reviews that consumers can click on can help improve conversion and stickiness, but an automated video or other sounds can be annoying and may increase page load time. Visitors in public places or who are listening to music may exit a website immediately after hearing sounds.
7. They can’t find any product reviews. Online shoppers are frequently more cautious buyers. Since they can’t physically touch or hold the product, they’ll look for other means to gain product knowledge. These include product descriptions and reviews. Visitors who browse your website and find no product reviews may leave for a similar competitor site to find that information. Try to actively encourage buyers to comment on the quality of products they’ve purchased. Make a habit of sending out e-mails shortly after a product has been delivered to encourage customers to write reviews.
8. They want to check prices elsewhere. Since comparing prices is easier than ever before, you should assume consumers will shop around for the best deal. The best way is to stop that from bleeding your site’s traffic. Depending on your branding, regular e-mail updates that feature your specials and upcoming sales are a great start. You may also take this one step further and email would-be-buyers who made it to the shopping cart but abandoned the purchase.
9. You don’t have any coupons. Internet shoppers are more savvy than ever. If they can’t find a coupon associated with your website, they may leave and shop elsewhere for a site that offers a discount. If it is compatible with your branding, distributing coupons through an affiliate program is a great way to make sure people find deals on your website when price-checking. For example, placement on a website such as retailmenot.com, which has 6 million monthly visitors according to Compete.com, would significantly increase your exposure.
10. Your checkout process is too long and complicated. This doesn’t just cost you new sales, but drives away customers who were that close to making a purchase. Shopping cart abandonment is a huge problem and incorporating a logical checkout process will facilitate the ordering process.
There are lots of things you can do to encourage sales on your site, but one of the most important is to avoid the most common mistakes. Are any of these factors keeping your business from being as profitable as it could be online?