5 ways your business website is driving customers away

Is your business website customer-friendly? Unsure what that means?

Your website is your playground, self invention machine and safe bit of territory that isn’t on the shifting sands of social media. It’s also a representative of your business endeavours. That’s why it’s important it doesn’t repel your customers.

Having proved that yes, you do need a website, now let’s look at the ways your business website could be driving customers away.

Blocking content with pop-ups

Photo by Ben Kolde via Unsplash

Pop-ups may feel like a great idea, but they are an acquired taste. Or more to the point made by pop-up company Sumo, the right pop-up experience makes all the difference.

When someone is reading on your business website and getting to know what you do, they need time to get acquainted with your website.

Stop blocking them with premature pop-up prompts or floating social media that makes it hard to read the content they came for. It’s like being at a concert, wanting to get into the action and then having some 6 foot 5 behemoth stand right in front of you. It takes you out of the magic and makes you focus on the wrong thing. And like a concert, people will move in order to avoid the blockage.

In your website’s case, you could be driving customers away from you and onto a competitor’s website.

Pop-up pro-tip: Consider your use of pop-ups carefully. Use delays on your pop-ups to ensure the appropriate timing. Look at the opportunity to include sign-ups at the base of an article. Give social media joining options at the bottom or side bars of the page. Or have them float but away from the article. Don’t use multiple pop-ups on the same page. That simply feels like a game of website whack-a-mole. Get out of your customer’s way and be there when they need you.


Banning Pinterest pins

No PInterest for you!
No Pinterest for you

Are you really that hung up on your content you want to stop other people being able to save it later? Pinterest links to your content if they pin it directly. Why on earth would you want to stop someone from having a reminder of you on their Pinterest boards?

My old web designer Cathy Topping is testament to the influence Pinterest can have on your business website. She received a whopping 300K page views from using Pinterest in clever ways. That’s an awful lot of opportunity, don’t you think?

Pinterest pro-tip:  Use Cathy’s advice to use Pinterest to your advantage and lose the fear. Also, put watermarks on your photos with your URLs or set up the photos in such a way that it minimises the chance of losing where it came from. Check who has pinned your stuff and get in touch with them. Instead of driving customers away, let them take your branding with them


Your business website is a bugger to skim 

There are customers out there that are time deprived- write to cater for them. Timmy No Time who just wants to find that one company that can answer his question. You keep blathering on about things Timmy doesn’t care about, and Timmy will just keep clicking away until he finds someone who can give him what he needs.

We’re all Timmy at one point in time, never forget that.

Dana the Drifter has a digital attention span. Try as she might, Dana can’t focus on long, laborious essays. Be kind to Dana and allow her to enjoy your content without feeling like she’s studying a university degree.

Post setup pro-tip: Break things down in small chunks. Use headings, block things out and have an FAQ (seriously startups, if I have to email you to find out how to pay you, you aren’t worth paying). Aim for bullet points and summaries. Channel your inner politician and get used to repeating yourself in a few different ways. Being repetitive creates interest.


Not being mobile ready

In the period from 2014 to 2018, PayPal reported 41% of all purchases were from mobiles and tablets. The figure will continue to increase.

If your site isn’t responsive or easy to use on mobile and tablet, you are in trouble. Like seriously. I wrote this originally in 2013. We’re now in 2019. The stat for PayPal was originally 15%. The needle is moving upwards, people!

Get with the times and get it ready because your inability to be viewed on an iPad or smartphone is driving customers away every time they aren’t at home (or the office) and are ready to hand over cash.

Mobile Pro-tip: Ask your web designer to ensure what they build for you is responsive. Consider a new website if it is not, or at the very least, get it updated so it is responsive. Weigh up the cost of losing almost half your traffic to your competitors and you’ll find budget, trust me.


Slow and silly introductions

HubSpot found 55% of people leave your website in 15 seconds or less. Don’t make me feel like I am watching some weird indie rock music video. Let me get on your business website. Your non-clickable intro is not sexy, it’s painful. Your auto-play music doesn’t set the mood, it just clashes with mine. Your auto-play video isn’t cool, it’s demanding. Your web server lagging out each time I use a feature isn’t something I can deal with. I don’t want to dig around to try and work out where to go.

You annoy a customer with pushing any of these ideas on them, and you’re simply driving them away.

Access pro-tip: Don’t put on a show, give me control of where I want to go. Make using your business website easy for your customers to understand and do what they came for. Think of people in a hurry getting to the focal points of your website. Abandon the glitz and the glam and just help your customers!


Make it easy, baby!

The lesson for today really is make your business website easy. Make it easy on the eye, easy to interact with and share, easy to use, easy to make use of quickly, easy to save for later and easy to access no matter what device.

Let your customers take what they need from your website. After all, isn’t that what it’s for?

Want someone to rewrite your business website? Check out my content offerings and/or get in touch. 




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