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Learn how to fix these common website issues to ensure a positive user experience for potential and current users of your site.
When the pandemic hit, digitalizing goods and services went from optional to non-negotiable for small businesses. More than a year later, it’s become apparent that having a barebones website is no longer enough to convert visitors and stand out from the competition.
In fact, a recent report shows that 83% of consumers say convenience is more important to them now compared with five years ago. Therefore, providing an easy and convenient online experience where your customers can self-serve is the key to online success.
With that said, your website should be intuitive, contain high-quality images, and seamlessly guide your visitors through the customer journey. To assess if your website meets the needs of the modern customer, we’ve listed a few common issues you may be encountering with your website and how to fix them. For additional tips, don’t forget to download our guide on website trends and best practices.
40% of consumers abandon a website if it doesn’t load in three seconds. Needless to say, every page on your website should load quickly and flawlessly. Otherwise, you risk sending potential customers straight to your competitors.
To check your site’s loading speed, use a tool like Google’s PageSpeed Insights. After entering your domain, you’ll get to see your site’s overall score and recommended fixes to improve loading speed. If you’re not sure how to fix some of these issues, consider hiring a page speed optimization freelancer.
Otherwise, an easy first step you can take (if you haven’t already) is to reduce the size of your images and opt for system fonts, like Arial or Helvetica, as opposed to custom web fonts. Very large images and unique fonts take much longer to appear on different screen sizes and devices.
Nearly 60% of all online searches are on mobile devices, and this percentage is even higher for industries like food and beverage—so having a mobile-friendly website is a must.
A mobile-friendly website functions and looks just as good, if not better, than when it’s viewed on a desktop. Prioritizing a mobile-first design can help lower your site’s bounce rate and in turn, improve your local search rankings.
To check if your website is mobile-friendly, make sure your images, fonts, buttons, and navigation menu appear proportionally on different mobile screens. If you’re in the process of building or updating your website, go for a flexible, responsive layout that renders well on different devices and orientations.
In addition to having a responsive website design, you also need to think about the usability and overall aesthetic of your pages—a.k.a the user interface and user experience (UI/UX). Using a clean, uncluttered layout that makes good use of your brand colors and high-quality images will help build awareness and trust with your customers.
One way to avoid a frustrating navigation experience is to ensure your customers can fully self-serve through your website. From finding information about your services to booking and leaving you a review, the ability to do so should be at the tip of their fingers.
Look for a website host or small business management software that prioritizes customer convenience. Having a site that empowers visitors to self-serve from beginning to end of the customer journey is a good way to promote a good user experience.
Although the content on your site doesn’t have to be highly sophisticated, you still want it to provide solutions for your visitors’ most common problems. Prioritizing SEO (search engine optimization) will help your website rank for the services you provide and increase the chance of people landing on your website.
Think about some of the main questions and concerns potential customers typically have for you. Whether it’s obtaining a quote, learning about your services, inquiring about your availability, or all of the above, make sure your site has these answers.
Focus on content that’s straightforward and that uses relevant keywords for your services. Double-check that your NAP (name, address, and phone number) is prominently displayed on your site and that it matches your local listings.
Nothing is more frustrating than clicking on a link or image only to land on a 404 error page. Not only is this discouraging to potential customers as it signals a lack of care, but Google also penalizes sites with too many broken links or redirects.
Periodically crawl your site for broken pages, links, and images. You can do this by logging into your Google Search Console or preferred website analytics tool and getting a report with any issues the crawl discovered. Then you can begin updating, removing, or redirecting any pages or links that were flagged on the report.
Clutter on your homepage or throughout your site may not only impact your loading speed, but it’s a surefire way to overwhelm your visitors. Having too many banner ads, photos, large chunks of text, and varying calls-to-action can be just as off-putting as a pushy salesperson.
Think about the most intuitive way to divide the various content on your site and give each page a single purpose. Start with a clean homepage that leads your visitors to other pages like an about, services, contact, pricing, or gallery page.
Opt for a max of three banner ads on each page that have a clear call-to-action. These can include requesting a quote, signing up for your newsletter, or calling your business.
A great way to irritate your visitors is making it hard to find your business’s basic information. Details like your address, contact information, hours of operation, and services should be easily accessible at any point on your site.
Help your visitors contact you by including links to this information on your website’s homepage. It’s also a good idea to reiterate your contact information in your footer and link to it from your navigation bar so that your visitors can locate it at any point throughout your site.
A lack of human element, especially for a small business, can create a disconnect between you and your customers—even if they’re satisfied with your work.
Customers that are emotionally connected to a company will spend two and a half times more annually than with a company that they’re simply satisfied with. With that said, your website is a great tool to help nurture an emotional connection to your brand and boost customer loyalty.
Adding human elements and touchpoints to your site can be quite simple. Start with a concise yet honest story on your about page, a clear mission statement that speaks on your company ethics and values, photos of your team, and include a page of customer testimonials.
Another good website feature to have is a live chat box. This encourages visitors to reach out with any questions, makes them feel attended to, and helps foster good customer relationships.
Finally, you want to ensure your site and customer information is safe and secure. Cyber attacks not only put your company, employees, and customers at risk, but they can also do an incredible amount of damage to the trust you’ve worked so hard to build towards your brand.
To ensure your website is secure, periodically update your copyright and check for updates available to any software or business equipment you use. Obtaining an SSL certificate will also help keep client information safe if they purchase or pay for services through your website.
As you can tell, long gone are the days where your website simply served as a complement to your business. Instead, your site is your business’s first—and arguably most important—impression.
With these troubleshooting tips and our guide on website best practices, you’ll be on your way to having a website that’s convenient, safe, and enjoyable for your customers to use.