If you have ever had a website designed for your business, you probably know how difficult it can be to opt for certain website features when there are so many possibilities ahead of you. Whether you’ve seen interesting website features while checking your competition, or the web designer has suggested various solutions to promote your business online, it can be hard to select just a few to make your website interesting and attractive. However, you will have to make wise choices, because too many website features or the wrong ones can deter prospects instead of captivating their interest.
Your number 1 priority when having a website as a business owner isn’t about the products or services you sell (though these elements are important); the most important thing is your potential customers and their needs; so ensuring you are catering to them is vital for a successful business. Your website should support and satisfy customers, rather than just reflecting your own taste in website design (or become some sort of a pin board where you put into practice your craziest ideas).
Remember: the goal of your website is to turn potential customers into paying clients. The aim of how to do that is to not scare them off with features that users will find annoying, or features that deem your website ‘unprofessional’ or ‘peculiar’. As there are many website features out there today, it’s easy to get distracted with the most captivating ones and lose sight of what will draw users in. If you haven’t heard it before, we’ll tell it to you now: less is always more. Read ahead for a list of website features that could be scaring away users include:
Pop-ups can be a good idea if you want to interact with users. They can be used for call-to-actions or as extra advertisement. The key here is to have those pop-ups appearing at the right moment, when the visitor is interested in your offerings and ready to take action. They can be annoying especially if they pop up multiple times. There is nothing worse than trying to browse a website and being interrupted constantly by a pop-up. Another mistake that website owners make is that they have a pop-up emerging immediately after a visitor accesses their website – at this point, people did not even have a chance to see what your website is about, so they are definitely not ready to check your amazing offer or subscribe to your email!
Moreover, the problem with pop-ups is that they make users waste time as they are constantly spending time closing the pop-ups, when they could be spending time browsing your website. Pop-ups can be useful when they are used correctly. Place them in an effective spot and don’t over-use them, and you will have the best results with this interactive website feature.
Long loading time
People have zero tolerance and patience for slow loading websites; on average, people abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Nobody has a long loading time on their website on purpose, of course, but this usually happens when you call to the services of a website designer who is not a professional, or when you can’t help it and add too many bells and whistles to your website. Businesses want to accommodate better aesthetic design, include the latest functionalities, or add lots of content to their website, and all these affect website speed when your web designer is not able to adequately handle all of those extras.
For instance, a beginner’s mistake that kills your website loading speed is using very large images on your website instead of opting for a more lightweight format that delivers the same picture quality. The reality is that almost half of consumers expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less and will abandon the website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load – you simply can’t afford to have a slow website if you want to attract paying customers!
Though this website feature can be smart so that your site can be translated to different languages to cater for wider audiences, this plug in often skews the content and can translate incorrectly. If you are a local business whose audience comes from Australia or a specific state/territory, there is no reason to include this feature into your website.
Auto-play videos and music
Visiting a website that automatically pops up a video with large sound is a sure thing to scare users off. This will ultimately make you lose potential customers, who will never return to your website again. There are many people who prefer a quiet and discreet web experience and giving someone auto-play music or video when they are browsing your website in bed before going to sleep is a big turn-off for sure. Allow the user the capability to be able to play the video if they DECIDE to, don’t force them into it.
Un-optimized for mobile
As more users are using their mobiles more often than their computers, you need to ensure your mobile version of your site is consistent to the desktop version. There is nothing more annoying than going to a website on mobile and not being able to navigate through, and at the same time not being able to hop on a computer immediately to continue browsing because the same site on mobile view is different to desktop view. In addition to this, there are potential customers that will not even bother to check your website from their computer in case the mobile version is not working properly, and this translates into missing an opportunity to sell. So, ensuring the site is responsive is essential – your website features should work across a variety of devices, from desktop computer to tablet and smartphone.
What you need to do is ensure all the content is universal on both mobile and desktop site, with the capability of the display and sizing to change dependant on the size of the device a person is using to view your website.
Infinite/too long of a home page
An infinite or too long of a home page which requires the user to do a large amount of scrolling in order to reach content can be distracting, messy, and waste a lot of time. Another disadvantage of a long home page is increasing load time – this means you will be making two major mistakes at the same time.
But why should a webpage be relatively short? A lot of people want to get to the bottom of the webpage to access things like social media links, contact information, privacy disclaimer, etc., and having a long home page wastes their time trying to get there. Even with one-page websites where you need to scroll down for the information instead of checking different sections of the website, the home-page should remain relatively short so visitors can reach its bottom before losing their patience and interest.
No direct links for social media
When you have a great business website and a strong social media presence, you shouldn’t keep the two separated, however should have them promoting each other. You should definitely have links from your website to your social channels as this practice comes with the following advantages:
- Increased visibility of your social media accounts; make sure links are easy to find and place them at the top, bottom or side of your home page. Links that stay with the user as they navigate through the site or page are even better. Create icons for each platform
- Link building; because search engines are constantly becoming smarter, you need to stay on top of all the methods to promote your business online, especially SEO. Social media links help building search relevance for your business on various social media channels and determine social networks to display your page more prominently in their search results.
- Encouraging client interaction; by directing visitors to your social media accounts, you will encourage them to communicate with you directly on your pages e.g; Facebook page. People find it easier to address businesses on social media compared to email or phone.
Wondering about the website features you should/shouldn’t include to grow your online presence? Visual Marketing Australia can advise you on the best options to promote your products and services online and create for your business the website it deserves. Creating attention-grabbing websites that are functional, fully responsive, and able to drive customers to your business is what we do best – contact us today for a no obligation consultation and let us create the best website for your business!