5 Ways Your Website May be Hurting Your Business

So you didn’t invest a huge sum in your website… at least you’ve got one; it can’t hurt, right? Wrong. A website that is not user-friendly can not only hurt your credibility but also cause a loss in profit by turning away potential and even current clients.

Can you afford not to know what your website’s usability mistakes are costing you? Let’s find out:

1. Causing your visitors to leave your site prematurely
Most users only spend a few seconds on a Home Page before they leave. It is not enough that potential clients find your website; you must give them what they came for or they will get it somewhere else. A Forrester Research study reports that 58% of visitors who experience problems on a website never come back.

2. Content Not Written for the Web
Most people don’t read online, they merely scan the text. Even though your content may be informative, if it is not written specifically to be read on a screen, most of your visitors are not even reading it!

3. Not Answering Your Users’ Questions
People usually don’t waste time browsing around business websites for fun: they have a specific task in mind. If you don’t give them what they are looking for, they will assume you do not provide it at all and will quickly look elsewhere: you have just lost a potential client. The same is true of information on your website that is buried under paragraphs of marketing text that your visitors don’t have time to read. An especially frustrating example of this common mistake is to avoid giving pricing information.

4. Sabotaging Your Credibility
A University of California study reports that less than 52% of people trust the information they find on the web; credibility is earned slowly but is quickly lost. Your website being the first point of contact for some of your potential clients, it is vital that their first impression be a positive one. If your site shows no consideration for their needs and is not up to standards, you will come across as unprofessional and careless. Because the web is a one-way channel, you will never be able to defend yourself against the damage your own website has inflicted on your credibility.

5. Using Features that Look like Advertisements
Because of the number of sites featuring advertisements, users have learned to ignore most graphics and anything that looks like an ad such as animations, banners, and pop-ups (which are increasingly being blocked by browsers). Some of the important information you may have tried to highlight is lost because visitors assume it’s just another ad.

Investing in usability is not a luxury: it has the potential to be a real driver for your business. A usability evaluation can open your eyes to specific and practical things you can do to improve your business, often at little or no cost. Can you afford NOT to do it?

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