Assume for a moment that I’m a potential customer of yours and you want me to visit your website and buy your product or service. Obviously I’m one of thousands you want to visit and buy, so it’s going to be difficult to please everyone who visits your website.
Enter the world of analysis and split-testing to determine what is most effective to the optimum number of visitors that create your best conversion rate.
Now this is highly unscientific, and I wouldn’t trust my opinion without further analysis and testing, but I’ll be glad to share 3 mistakes to get me to leave your website.
1. Mislead Me with Your Page Title and Description
The Internet is just about the closest thing to instant gratification. Cable modem, fast computer, streamlined browser, a fast search engine, and I can buzz through a bunch of websites very quickly.
Like everyone else, my time is valuable so I don’t want to visit a website that doesn’t deserve my attention.
The first hook to catch anyone searching on the internet is your Page Title and Description tag. Your Page Title is your headline and the Description tag your sub headline or opening paragraph.
These two tags are what you want to say to convince me why I should click to your website over the others in the search result.
Because of the internet’s inherent nature to make everyone develop ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and a super-fast back button itchy finger, at least my opinion, this is the wrong time to start our relationship by misleading me.
The mistake I most often see is using a play on words to get visitors. And once I take the bait and click to your webpage, you deceive me by talking about something else.
So, if you don’t want me to use my back button itchy finger, say what you mean, and mean what you say.
2. Content That Doesn’t Deliver on the Promise of the Page Title and Description
This may seem like a rehash of mistake #1 but it is entirely different. Mainly what I’m talking about is content that only superficially touches on the Page Title and Description.
In most cases the web page is repeating topically known information without delving deeper into who, what, where, when and why of the subject.
An example of this might be, “Apples are delicious and good, and as the saying goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” And then the rest of copy talks around the subject without revealing any other useful information.
What’s always been true about journalism is true to web copy, give enough information about who, what, where, when, or why.
Do this in your web copy, and I’m not so quick to judge your content as useless and decide to hit the back button.
3. Slow Loading Web Page
This is probably on everyone’s list. Even with a broadband high-speed internet connection, you’ll pull up a web page that takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r to load.
It’s been stated that you have only about 8 seconds to make your point on a web page before the visitor decides to hit the back button. As I mentioned earlier, I think the Internet gives people momentary ADD and they don’t have any patience for waiting even a tenth of a second longer.
I would surmise that there are maybe only two reasons for a slow loading web page: Poor programming or too much content.
In a short article such as this, I couldn’t possibly articulate the magnitude of programming languages and codes that could be used to build a web page. But probably in my top 3 of poor programming would be oversized graphic images.
Oversized Graphic Images
In most cases, the graphic image being retrieved for display is much larger in size than what’s going to be displayed on the screen.
For example, you take a dozen digital pictures of your children and you load them to your blog web page.
Your digital camera is set to take high-resolution pictures, so each picture is 3264 pixels wide by 1832 pixels tall, yet you’re going to display the pictures in a web page photo gallery that will display only 400 pixels wide by 225 pixels tall.
What you may not realize is that a 3264 x 1832 pixel graphic may be 3,000,000 characters in size, whereas the same optimized 400 x 225 pixel graphic is about 15,000 characters in size.
As you can see, uploading the original dozen pictures total 36,000,000 characters whereas the optimized pictures total 180,000 characters.
So… the original dozen pictures will take 200 times longer to download to the web page than the dozen optimized ones.
Can you say back button!
Too Much Content
I have a theory that large desktop monitors cause web designers to put too much information on a web page.
If you look at a desktop monitor that has a 20” diagonal screen or larger, that’s a lot of screen, and to show too little content on such a large display just doesn’t look right.
And so the web page gets filled up with more than one subject matter. You have space for video, photos, sidebar menus, banners, advertisements, pop-up screen for email subscription, social media buttons and assorted links, and before you know it, every last pixel of the web page has content.
I look at the page and try to determine what action they want me to take and I give up and leave because I spend too much time trying to figure out where they have the information I’m suppose to act on.
These mistakes aren’t my most important ones, but it goes to show what turns people off. Multiply that by the thousands who may visit your web page each day and it illustrates how much effort you need to put into understanding your visitor and then giving them exactly what they are looking for.
In retail, the customer is always right, and on the internet, so is the visitor.
If you ever need assistance with you next website project, please Contact Us and let’s see what we can do for you.