Tag Archives: website

Five common reasons why visitors bounce from your website

Artistic model waving goodbye

Leaving, and probably not coming back.

Drawing visitors to your website is one thing; getting them to stick around and read your content is a whole other matter. If you find that visitors are leaving your website as quickly as they can, it could be due to one (or more) of the following five common reasons:

1. Your site takes too long to load.
This could be due to large graphics files, too many page elements, or an overly-complicated webpage layout. It could also be due to the web host you’re using, as hosting services put various limits on the amount of bandwidth you can use.

2. Pop-ups.
Few things are more annoying to web visitors than being confronted by a cascade of pop-ups. These days many people regard pop-ups as intrusive, and as a sign that your site may be unscrupulous or low-quality. Unless they are an essential part of your site, avoid using pop-ups.

3. Flashing graphics.
If you present visitors with headache-inducing flashing banner advertisements, you can expect them to leave your site fast. Flashing graphics are not just irritating to potential customers; they may also cause visual problems for some people, and these people are unlikely to ever return to your website.

4. Animations.
You may think it’s cute to have little ants wearing top-hats dancing across the screen, but try to imagine how distracting that will be for your visitors. Remember, you want visitors to read what you have written; any distractions will only draw their attention away from your content.

5. Video and audio files.
If you must include video or audio files on your website, make sure they don’t autoplay when visitors come to your site. Not only does it slow down the loading of your webpage, it will also frustrate visitors as they search for the mute button.

Photo credit by johnnyberg.

Top 7 Website Design Considerations

wwwMost business owners recognize the need for a website, only to not know where to turn for website design or, more so, what elements good websites have. Here are the top 7 issues we see in both website design and usability:

  • Unfortunately, we do judge books by their covers. Back when you were around 5 years old or so, you learned to read. And the format you followed was very simple: top-to-bottom and left-to-right. So, what do you think is the most looked at section on your website? That’s right, it’s the top left-hand corner. And we didn’t even need an expensive eye-tracking survey to prove it! What does your hot corner look like? Do I know what you do from the imagery or logo? Or are you leaving it up to me to figure it out?
  • Don’t make me think. When your first visitors show up, do they have to think about what you do, or where you are or how to contact your business? If this is the case, they’re probably hitting the back-button very fast. Don’t get funky with your page navigation – do what everyone else does: buttons down either the right or left side, or across the top (or some combination of these). And keep the navigation simple – let each button expand if there are multiple pages below it.
  • If you sell something, tell me what to do. It’s not only critical to include your phone number on all pages, but you’ve got to tell me what to do, and why I should do it. For example, if you’re an attorney, and you offer a consultation, telling me to “Call now for a free consultation” makes me want to call and get it.
  • Above the fold first. Back in the day, advertisements were sold based not only on the page, but where they were physically on the page. The best spots were “above the fold” – those sections you’d see if the newspaper were folded in half. Today, that “fold” line is the bottom of your browser screen. Think to your website – what do I see before I have to scroll down? Place your most important information, your call-to-action and your phone number very prominently above the fold for maximum impact.
  • There is a line between just enough and too much content. In today’s attention deficit society, too much content on any one page causes our minds to wander. Gone are the days when paragraph after paragraph of right and left justified text ruled. Today, content that works is like a news story – most important information first and lots of bullet points. If you have long content pages, break them up into easier to digest chunks.
  • Credibility and personality. When we come to your website, we need to quickly come to a conclusion that you’re a) legitimate and b) have a personality. Logos from business associations, awards, pictures with local flair, landmarks listed on your Maps & Directions page, etc. all help us understand who you are and what’s important.
  • Polished and waxed. Works just as well for websites as it does expensive sports cars. You can always tell how much the business owner cares by how well polished the website looks. Content that’s easy to read, words spelled correctly, colors and schemes that resonate with your business, images that match your clientele, etc.

No website is perfect, but if you follow these guidelines, you’ll likely see better results, more leads and happier customers.

Photo credit by elessar_x.

Website Video Tips for Lawyers

clapper board for moviesNo law firm can expect a user to visit YouTube and search for lawyer videos, but there are many reasons why a website video is near critical for your online client development efforts.

In an earlier post about marketing during a recession, I suggested recording short, informative movies and clips about your business. I’ll add to that by recommending you be genuine, passionate and energetic in front of the camera.

Video offers an opportunity to make you more personable and approachable, all of which influence that first client meeting.

Video Makes Your Website Sticky
Since it’s not uncommon for a website visitor to leave almost as soon as they click through to your website (just look at your Bounce Rate on Google Analytics if you don’t believe me), you immediately engage with video and keep them looking longer. So instead of viewing just one page, they’re more than likely to read on once they’ve viewed your video.

Here are some additional thoughts on using website videos to grow your practice:

  • Keep videos short. We’re used to consuming content in bite-sized chunks, so try to keep your video under 30 seconds. Of course, if yours is longer, record the most important information first.
  • When posting videos on your web pages, make sure to include content within context around the video. Consider posting a transcript as well.
  • Now that you’ve recorded one or several videos, create your own YouTube channel and upload. Also use a service like TubeMogul for distribution to several dozen video search engines. Website videos are proven to increase your exposure on search engines. And if you’re listed attorney on Lawyers.com, add your video to your profile.
  • Don’t forget a clear, call to action at the end of your video. Viewers should be invited to call or message you for further information about their particular legal needs.

And for those of you wondering where my videos are, stay tuned!

Photo credit by t9t.