By Syed Balkhi, founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site that helps small businesses start their websites.
Many businesses are aware that they need to have a website so they create one out of necessity. They don’t want to be left behind in the digital age and believe that creating an online presence is all they need to do.
However, businesses can’t really afford to stop at setting up a site and then leaving it without updates or other essential marketing activities. You need to ensure that your site is optimized and avoids common pain points that will have users leaving your website in frustration, often without making a purchase.
Here’s my list of the top issues that annoy or frustrate users. If you remove these pain points, you’ll create a solid website that people will be interested in using more than once.
Lack Of A Target Market Or Niche
It’s a well-known aphorism that you can’t please everyone. And you shouldn’t try to. When creating your website, it’s important that you focus on a target market or a niche. Doing this does exclude other groups to some degree, but when you narrow your audience, your website content will better appeal to your core audience.
For example, if your primary market consists of Gen-Zers, you’ll use language and focus on matters that are different from the content you’d create for Millennials or Baby Boomers. Having a target demographic will allow you to tailor the elements of your website and create better conversion rates.
Absence Of A Consistent Brand Image
Your website is a visual and digital representation of your company to people. It is critical that you maintain a consistent brand image on your site. This means spending some time brainstorming what tone and message your website should convey. If you’ve defined a clear target audience, then this should be relatively easy.
Once you know what your brand should look like or feel like, keep this image the same across your site. Your tone of voice should be consistent on your home page, your blog, your contact page and customer support communications to your audience. There are too many businesses that add different images, fonts and other elements across pages, and this creates a poor experience for users.
Poor Use Of Colors
Colors play a powerful role in how people respond to your website. Here are my tips for making good color choices:
• Think about your industry when picking colors. Somber and neutral colors that work for IT won’t work for a restaurant or cafe.
• Do your research on color theory. You’ll learn how to evoke emotions with color and how to pair colors too.
• Pick no more than five colors to form a palette. You should have one or two primary colors for your site and the rest should accent smaller elements on your site. Apply this palette and no other color to your website.
Many business owners often choose colors based on their personal preferences. While this isn’t inherently bad, the colors you pick do need to be consistent and based on the principles of color theory and UX/UI.
If your user interface is cumbersome, it won’t matter how pretty your website looks. Avoid flashy elements that distract users and focus on showing the most relevant information first. Make your website easy and intuitive to use. Visitors should know where to go to get exactly the information they want. It’s worth it to hire a UX and UI designer to help you create a well-built website.
Making It Hard For Users To Contact You
It is critical to give your website visitors multiple ways to get in touch with your business and learn more about you. Adding a contact form, a phone number or a live chat widget underscores your authenticity.
Don’t assume that your audience will always go through your website to find what they need. Many people want to get direct information from the brand. Add FAQ pages, live chat tools, allow users to send messages via contact forms and create email subscription forms so that people can receive your newsletter.
When you make communication easy on your site, users will trust your brand more.
Creating Wordy Content
When people land on a site, they don’t read so much as scan what’s on the page. Many businesses create long paragraphs of content and use complicated phrases and words to sound smart. Unfortunately, this creates the opposite of the intended effect. Your readers will get bored or frustrated and they’ll leave your website. Instead, keep your language simple and your paragraphs short. Get to the point quickly and create value to make your readers happy.
Websites That Aren’t Mobile-Friendly
Mobile phones make it easy to get information on the go. It’s very likely that your users are going to look up your website on their phones. If your website isn’t responsive — if it isn’t made to look good and interact well on smaller screens — then you’re going to lose a large number of potential customers.
Your mobile site also needs to load quickly since users can get frustrated if a site takes longer than a few seconds to load. When creating your website, make sure that you use mobile-responsive themes and adjust your font and image sizes so they’re easy to view on any device.
If users find any or all of these flags mentioned here in this post, then there’s a strong chance they might leave your website and never return. By being aware of these pitfalls, you improve your chances of making a great website. If you approach maintaining your website with continuous and informed changes, you’ll likely grow your business online.