Have you noticed a drop in your small business website traffic? Maybe you think you should be getting more quality leads than you are. If you have this hunch, you are probably right.

There can be a number of reasons for poor website performance—many of which contribute to your website turning off visitors.

Here are seven things that will annoy website visitors and send them into the open arms of your competition as well as some tips to avoid them.

Your Website is Ugly or Outdated

If your website design is the electronic equivalent of a leisure suit, problems will ensue. Visitors don’t like websites that are:

a)      Unattractively Designed

b)     Outdated, Clunky, and/or Non-Responsive for Mobile Users

c)      Unprofessional

Not only do ugly or outdated websites drive visitors away, they also reflect poorly on your business. They scream “out-of-touch,” which is not the impression you want to give potential customers. For this reason, many businesses opt to do a website redesign every three years (or so) depending on their needs and the performance of their current site.

Visitors Can’t Navigate Your Website

Have you ever gone to a website to find specific information and gone down a time-sucking rabbit hole trying to locate it? That shouldn’t happen. We subscribe to the “don’t make me think” model, meaning your navigation should be clear and users should be able to find exactly what they are looking for in just a couple of clicks (or less).

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Research tells us that people who land on your website will typically leave within a couple of seconds if they don’t see what they are looking for. They also won’t sit around and wait for a slow-loading page to come up. A simple way to test the speed of your website is to use a tool like GTmetrix. A good page speed should receive a PageSpeed Score and YSlow Score of “A” (“B” at the least for very image-heavy pages).

There are a number of things that can be done to speed up a website. Check out this article by Crazy Egg for website speed optimization or get in touch with a website professional that can help you out.

Form Errors

Isn’t it frustrating when you fill out a web form online only to receive an error message upon submission? It’s even more fun when your form information isn’t saved so you can start all over again. Which you won’t and neither will your customers.

We don’t have to tell you what a huge turn off this is. If you haven’t been receiving form submissions recently, test your form out to be sure it’s working. If not, get it fixed immediately.

Also, keep your forms as simple and straightforward as possible. Website users will be more likely to get in touch if they don’t have to fill out a ton of fields.

Finally, make sure it’s clear which fields are required so users don’t have to attempt to submit a form only to be told all required fields aren’t filled out.

Your Website Text Doesn’t Explain Exactly What You Do

This can’t be emphasized enough. Every page of your website content should provide a clear, to-the-point explanation of what your business does and how it can help customers solve problems.

Skip the flowery text and endless paragraphs of information. Keep your most important points towards the top of each page so visitors can easily skim it. If you want to expand on that information, put it down below on the page.

Although it can be tempting, don’t write your content for search engines. Write for people and focus on one or two keywords per page.

Additional content tips: Focus on what you do well rather than how pathetic your competitors are. Also, avoid untrue or exaggerated claims. For example, if you are a Boston mechanic with a Google business rating of 3.7, don’t claim you are the best car mechanic in Massachusetts.

There Are No Obvious Calls-To-Action on the Site

So a potential customer has read about your products/services and is ready to take that next step. Whether it is to contact you for a quote, order a product online, or schedule an appointment, be sure to include convenient calls-to-action on each page. Buttons do a good job of getting attention. You can also include links within your text for additional opportunities.

No One Can Actually Find Your Small Business Website in Search Results

Your site can be professional, attractive, and chock full of content, but if on-site SEO hasn’t been done, you may not be able to get out in front of your intended audience in search engine results pages.

There are several SEO techniques we recommend, whether you are building a new website or are doing a website redesign.

Concluding Thoughts

Your website isn’t just your digital brochure; it is your online sales team and often the first point of contact future customers have with your business. Make the best possible first impression using the tips above.

If you need help, we’re here for you. Our Boston web developers, SEO professionals, and copywriters can handle any task you can throw at them. Give us a call today 781-850-2525 or contact us online to learn how we can help your small business get noticed online.