Article created for Attract and Convert (web design and lead generation): October 2016
Did you know that 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load? As people’s lives become increasingly busy, they need websites that make it easy for them to quickly find what they want. If your poorly designed or slow website gets in their way, then they won’t think twice about abandoning you in favour of a competitor that offers a faster or easier user experience on their website. If your website falls into this category then you’re undoubtedly losing valuable sales, as less traffic to your site means that you’re generating fewer sales online.
But how can you tell if your website is slow or badly designed and ultimately failing your customers? We’ll cover some common pitfalls in this article and how to overcome them.
Creating A Better User Experience
Firstly, it’s crucial to discover how people interact with your website. Try and put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What are the main activities they’re performing on your site? Think about how you could streamline these activities, so your customers can get to what they want quicker. A good way to go about this is to map out all of the steps a customer has to go through to purchase the most popular items you sell. How easy are these to find on your website? Can a customer search for them by name or colour or size, or are they forced to search through long lists of categories? Decreasing the amount of steps a customer goes through will get them to the information they need in order to make a purchase, and in the process increase your sales and help your business to get ahead of the competition.
Another great source of information is to get real users, who match your ideal customer demographics, to test your website. They will be able to identify problems that you can then target and fix. You can do this by using online services, such as: www.whatusersdo.com and www.usertesting.com. This real user feedback will help you to make your website easier to navigate and thereby boost your online business.
Faster Websites Lead To More Sales
There’s no doubt that a slow website is losing you sales. This is because users are not prepared to wait around for a page to load. People are busy. They’re quickly searching while on their lunch break, or they’ve only got a few minutes before the bus reaches their stop. It’s no wonder then that 47% of consumers expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less, longer than 3 seconds and 40% of your visitors have now left and are likely checking out your competitors’ websites instead. But this isn’t just about a potential customer feeling a bit annoyed for a few seconds. A slow web page leaves a sour and long-lasting taste – 79% of web shoppers who have trouble with a website’s performance say they won’t return to the site to buy again. As the old adage goes, you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression.
But it’s not just the visitor themselves you have to worry about, 44% of web shoppers who have trouble with a website’s performance tell a friend about it. As the marketing blog Kissmetrics explains, ‘This means you’re not just losing conversions from visitors currently on your site, but that loss is magnified to their friends and colleagues as well. The end result – lots of potential sales down the drain because of a few seconds difference.’
How To Make Your Website Faster
To find out your website’s load times, you can run a test using these free online tools: Web Page Test or Google’s Page Speed Tools, which will check how well optimised your site is for speed. It also provides you with a break down of not just what needs to be rectified to make your site load quicker, but also how high a priority these issues are. Many of the problems these tools highlight are quite technical, but they will give you a good idea of what needs to be done and the areas you might want a web designer to focus on.
Quicker Load Times For Mobiles Boost Sales
In 2015 the number of web searches carried out using smartphones overtook those conducted on desktops for the first time. Like many Google statistics, this one might not seem too momentous at first glance, but the rise of smartphones might just be one of the reasons why sales on your website have stagnated or declined in the last few years. In practical terms this statistic means that your customers are no longer tied to their desks – they can be searching for your products from anywhere. In order to make the most of all of this new-found mobility though, you’ll need to have a website that loads quickly and makes the user’s journey easy, or in other words – a responsive website. A website that isn’t responsive will not only frustrate mobile using customers, but you may also miss out on their business altogether. If a customer is nearby but your business doesn’t show up on map searches or rank highly in mobile search results, then potential footfall customers might just walk pass your shop because they don’t realise it exists.
Google Rewards Mobile-Friendly Businesses
Google rewards businesses that create good user experiences and mobile-friendly websites with higher search results rankings. A high ranking means greater visibility, which means more traffic to your website, and if you’ve taken the trouble to create a good user experience by streamlining popular activities on your site, then you’ll also be converting more visitors into customers.
To test how friendly your site is to mobiles you can use Google’s free Mobile-Friendly Test page.
Hopefully this article has given you a few ideas as to how you can improve your website and why your sales may be have dipped over the last few years. Some of these figures might be frustrating to read, but remember – knowledge is power. The more you know about your customers and how they interact with your site, then the better placed you are to make their user experiences better. If you make your website quick and easy for your customers to navigate by incorporating responsive design, then you will undoubtedly improve their user experience and generate more online sales for your business.
If you’d like more help and advice with increasing sales by improving your site’s user experience and web design, then get in touch with Attract and Convert.