Ghastly, unknown terrors lurk around every corner. The laughter of demons echoes through the dark hallways – you swear you just heard someone scream.
This might sound like a haunted mansion or evil cornfield, but many visitors have this kind of encounter with a bad website. Here are five of the most common ways your website is scaring away people who might consider doing business with you:
Unclear or cluttered navigation
Every user that visits your site will interact with your navigation menu at some point. It should be easy to use, clear, and contain a limited number of options. Be sure to place your navigation in a common area – a bar at the top or side of the page is much easier to use than one in the center.
There is controversy around one of the most popular navigation styles in recent years, the three-lined “hamburger” menu that expands when clicked. The popular Spotify streaming service stopped using the hamburger menu earlier this year, but other designers and UX specialists believe it is still a valuable method of organizing information.
Whichever type of menu you include, ensure it is simple, properly located, and contains the fewest possible number of navigation items so that people know exactly how to use it.
Your calls to action (CTAs) are critical for moving prospects down the sales funnel. Yet many company websites feel like a dark maze with so many paths to follow that the visitor is doomed to wander forever.
Each part of your website should have a clear, specific next step for users. If people are confused by what they should do next on your site, there’s a good chance they will just navigate away to another site that interests them.
To avoid this, don’t have more than one or two offers for subscriptions or premium content on your site unless you plan on separating them for different personas. Be sure to clearly express what the user will get from fulfilling your call to action; whether it’s a weekly email with sales tips, an eBook about real estate trends, or entry into your quarterly contest for an iPad.
Poorly written content
Trying to decipher poor web copy can be just as terrifying as tangling with a psycho killer. Writing isn’t bad just because of punctuation or spelling errors, although those don’t help. Lots of sites are filled with nonsensical jargon or broad, sweeping statements that don’t really mean anything.
ABC Inc. takes marketing to the next level!
ABC Inc. helps clients get more leads and expand the reach of their content.
The second example isn’t as flashy, but it provides more specific information. It’s okay to use expressions, generalizations, and witty phrases, but you should also have plenty of valuable content and real information that your page visitors can benefit from.
A difficult checkout process
The scariest thing about a bad checkout experience is how much money it could cost your company in the long run. According to Kissmetrics, most online shoppers don’t make it past the first step in the checkout process – over 50% abandon checkout when it comes time to provide billing information. While many online “window shoppers” aren’t ever going to make a purchase, some are swayed by the experience of your checkout.
It should be as hassle-free as possible to buy something on your site, and don’t forget to ensure that people can save their cart and come back later – not everyone will buy on their first visit.
Your website doesn’t have to be scary
Don’t let your page terrify visitors – make sure it is straightforward, easy to navigate, clearly written, and easy to checkout in your eCommerce store. A well-designed website will make visitors to your site sing in glee, instead of screaming in terror.