Failing is not a topic we like to discuss often, as we like to promote positive vibes; however, the truth is there are many websites failing. Working in this industry, we see it often and more often than not, the website owners are confused as to why their site receives no traction or visitors.
As this is hot topic this week in our experience of speaking to business owners, we want to share our insight on how your website could be failing. Right now, you might think this article is not relevant to you. You have probably spent ££££ on your fresh new website. The truth of the matter is, whether you spent £250 or £20,000 on you site, a website will fail regardless of how much cash has been spent on it.
Your target audience don’t trust you
Just putting all our cards on the table, the number one reason your website is failing is because your target audience don’t believe that you’re trustworthy. We know that you care about your customers and have great intentions, but how do your target audience know this, if the quality of your images is poor, your branding is all over the place and your website looks substandard?
Just take a look at Yorkshire Tea for example.
If you look at the images that Yorkshire Tea uses, they look high quality and well thought out. They are creative and eye catching. From their website, right down to the little box of tea bags that we can find in our local store; their branding remains consistent and uniform at all times. Before we move on, can we just direct your attention to their ‘About Us’ statement. How do they describe themselves? Do they sound like a brand you could trust? Lastly, who do you think their target audience is?
How to get your target audience to trust you?
- Show high quality images of your team and the excellent services that you provide. Your target audience want to know who you are and put a face to your business.
- Show them behind the scene images, there is nothing more raw and real than seeing how a business functions.
- Shout about what makes you, you! Share your values, business achievements and goals. If you want extra brownie points, show case studies and client testimonials.
Your website is not user friendly
Raise your hand if you have thoroughly used your site from your user’s point of view. Look around, there aren’t many hands up. This is a major pitfall that many website owners fall into; they put so much energy and time into building a website to fit round their business that they forget to consider the users point of view.
For example, have you ever been on a website and struggled to find something? You know that what you need is there (or should be there), but you can’t find it. It is frustrating, isn’t it? This is one of the many aspects of poor user experience that can lead a website on the pathway to failure. User experience alone is a very broad topic, so we will try and keep this short and sweet.
What is poor user experience?
There is a long list of things that equate towards a poor user experience on your website; for instance:
We touched on this earlier, if your website structure isn’t clear and easy to use, then your visitors will get confused and frustrated. Most likely, they will move on to a new website (most likely your competitor’s site).
Complex website features
It seems to be the trend nowadays, for websites to be singing and dancing. Businesses want to stand out from the crowd and to achieve this; they are over complicating their site with tricks and animations. As the saying goes, less is more.
This statement pretty much sums it up. Your users need information; don’t assume that they’ll know as much as you do about your business.
In addition, where are your contact details? Whatever you do, don’t fall in to the trap of hiding your contact details at the bottom of your homepage, in the palest grey you’ve ever seen. We are speaking from experience here.
Badly written content
You users want content that is clear and concise. Using jargon, confusing words or poorly written information decreases your chances of securing a sale.
Also, how engaging is your content? You don’t want your users to get bored and fall asleep or worse, visit your competitor’s site.
Having a user friendly website
As we mentioned earlier, this is a very broad topic and we could write article after article on it. To have a use friendly website, try and avoid the common pitfalls that we listed above; this will make your visitors happier.
You site is too slow
How long do you think your visitor will wait around for your website to load? Recently Google advised that website visitors will wait around for an average of 5 seconds – yes we are really that impatient. The fact is, the longer your visitor has to wait, the more likely they will move on to another site (most likely your competitors).
If you’re feeling brave Google offer a quick and easy way to test your website speed for free – https://testmysite.withgoogle.com/intl/en-gb
We tested one of our client’s sites for a free website speed report and here were the results
The report will help you identify why your site is sluggish. This will help improve your site, for a better experience for your target audience.
Your website is not responsive
In 2018, if your website is not responsive you can guarantee it is failing. Basically, a responsive site is one that changes based on the needs of the user and the device they are using. For years Google has been recommending responsive web design as it provides a better experience for the visitor. They are so keen about responsive sites; they will reward you with a better ranking on the search engines if you follow their recommendation!
Don’t waste any more time, get your site updated now.
Site security is becoming tighter than ever. The year 2018 is all about protecting consumers and their data. Therefore, it is important that users can access sites without being at risk. In July 2018, Google Chrome plan to alert websites visitors if a site is not secure. If your website is lacking an SSL certificate, then your target audience may be put off and leave your site very quickly.
Google loves secure sites as they want to make sure their users are protected; if your site is not secure it can affect your ranking on the search engines. For the sake of £50 and a quick tweak to your website, it makes sense to invest in an SSL certificate.
Many people don’t realise this, but websites need to comply with the law; especially when consumer data is involved. On 25th May 2018, The Data Protection Act amendments will come into force; this affects the ways in which data is managed. If your website is not compliant with The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), then effectively it is failing.
If you have a contact form on your website and you’re asking your website visitors to provide their details, you have to be clear and concise about what you are planning to do with their data. When you have their data in your possession, you need to take action to ensure the data is safe and secure. Failing to do so, can result in an investigation or fine. To minimise the risk of breaching GDPR, assign a Data Processing Officer to manage data compliance for your organisation.
Easy ways to make your website compliant with GDPR
- Always allow users to ‘Opt In’ rather than force them to ‘Opt Out’
- Do not have pre select checkboxes on behalf of your website user
- Be clear and concise about what you intend to do with their data
- Make it easy for your users to withdraw consent or unsubscribe
- Identify how your website links with other systems and whether there could be a breach
- Ensure your website is up to date with the latest security patches and plugin updates
- Ensure back up schedules are documented
- Store your data in a safe and systematic method
The ICO are great at offering information to help businesses prepare for GDPR.
Their website has lots of checklists, infographics and documents to help businesses become compliant with GDPR. Alternatively, seeking legal advice from a law firm that has an exceptional understanding of GDPR will also help. We recently attended a General Data Protection Regulation conference hosted by Harrison Drury and their understanding of data protection and compliance was great.
Website compliance benefits
- You will be using best practice to protect your consumers and their data
- Other businesses will recognise that you are compliant and will trust you
- You will build positive relationships that will help with your business growth and success
Web design excellence
Well done for making it this far, you do really care about your business and target audience. The theme of having a website that is successful and far from failing, is to make sure you consider the needs of your consumer. They want to know they can trust your business and the services you provide. Know that their information is safe with you and you care about their needs (with no ulterior motive). Doing this, shows that you are a business that care about their client’s needs.