If you’re getting the clicks and not the sales, it’s time to take an objective look at what might be driving your customers to your competitors.
– Cultivate Communications
It's the eternal question—what makes a website sticky? Ok, maybe not exactly eternal, but certainly foremost on the minds of business owners who need smart marketing. When you evaluate your site analytics, can you pinpoint how, why and when people stay…or leave? Lofty promises might earn you the click, but are you losing the sale with bad design or bad delivery?
People leave websites for a lot of reasons. If you're getting the clicks and not the sales, it's time to take an objective look at what might be driving your customers to your competitors.
1. The sound and the fury.
Anything that plays automatically is going to turn off some customers for a number of reasons. Websites that play music or video on pageload are annoying, slow and often buggy. Worse, dedicated shoppers with a dozen browser windows open at once may suffer a complete browser meltdown. That's where the fury comes in. Think they're coming back after you crash their browser and force a reboot? Not likely.
2. Your website is a slow starter.
Keep your content light and easy to load with low-resolution graphics sized to fit your space and a minimum of scripts. If load time goes over 5 seconds, you're likely to lose your potential sale. In today’s high-speed world, a slow loading site just ain’t going to fly.
3. You're forcing people to sign up.
Recently, a ton of retail sites decided it would be a good idea to require customers to create a profile and login before they can even browse. Forcing people to give out personal information before ever seeing the product? Fail! If you're seeing visitors walk away from your login page, you might want to reconsider this approach. Get them to create accounts after they’re already interested...not before. Offer something in exchange for their details, like special discounts, unadvertised sales, or a useful downloadable freebie.
4. You threaten to hijack Facebook.
Another downright disturbing trend: Apps that ask a potential customer to sign up using their Facebook or Twitter account. Once logged in, the apps nabs permission to post spammy ads all over your wall. While this may seem like a good way to spread your brand name fame, it's way more likely to increase your bounce rate and generate really bad press. Don't try this tactic. If you create great content and you make it easy to share your content, people will do so voluntarily.
5. Your content stinks.
The grammar police are in full uniform on the web…and they’re patrolling YOU. Every word on your website should be spelled correctly, every sentence should be grammatically correct, and every fact should be accurate and up-to-date.
Poorly written, irrelevant or outdated content makes your business look unprofessional and untrustworthy. Never slap up a bunch of content just for the sake of “having content.” You don’t need to “have content.” You need excellent content that appeals to your target market at each and every stage in the Growth Cycle Marketing process.
Download our FREE Growth Cycle Marketing eBook to learn all about how to hit up your potential and current customers with great content at every stage in the buy cycle!
6. You're not telling them enough.
Whether you sell products or services, the customer is going to want to know everything there is to know. Be sure you include an attractive description, technical specs, what it is or what you do, and anything else that makes the buying decision easier. To really drive the sale home, include customer reviews, testimonials, and case studies. Customer input and real-life experiences are incredibly important today.
7. Visitors can't find the good stuff.
Remember back in the 90s when navigation got artsy and websites substituted pictures for words? Navigating pages should not be a game of Clue. If you have artsy little graphics instead of words, people are going to bounce. Pertinent information, including company and contact information should be obvious and easy to find if you want customers to give you money.
8. You're not delivering on your promise.
False advertising is a surefire way to drive away potential customers. When you put out a teaser for a product or service, it's important to deliver on that promise. The ol’ bait and switch is bad for business.
9. Did you forget about mobile?
More people are using cellphones and tablets to shop and that's not going to change. If your site is not mobile friendly, you're losing business. Make it easy for mobile customers to browse and buy...and they will.
10. You aren't paying attention.
To really understand what's driving your traffic, you need to keep track of the traffic patterns and have a solid understanding of what visitors are doing at your site.
It's not enough to know how many people see your page; you need to know where they come from, how much time they spend on a page, and where they go next.
In-depth data analysis, or analytics, can give you a highly detailed picture of what's working and what's not, so you can do more of what's working and stop wasting time and money on what's not.
Improving your conversion rate is often a matter of understanding visitor behavior. If your products or services are attractive and customers are leaving your website, understanding why is half the battle. Once you've got a handle on what makes visitors bounce, you have a much better chance of making your website satisfyingly sticky.