Common website issues and what to do about them
There are roughly 2 billion websites in the world today, and with so much competition for your audience’s attention, it’s imperative to make sure your website looks and functions well. We know that getting traffic to your site is hard enough, and getting those people to stay on-site and follow the journey you want them to is harder again, but we can help…
We’ve identified some of the most common website issues, which may be the reason behind your high bounce rate, low average session duration, or poor conversion rate. Not only that, but we’ve also highlighted what you can do about them to give your users a great overall experience when they visit your website.
Lack of quality images
Images are a great way to draw attention and trigger emotion, along with being an easy way to improve the user experience. A single image can sometimes convey much more than a block of text can. This is the case particularly when we think about infographics which combine the best of both worlds. This type of imagery can help explain a complex concept, making it so much more valuable to your user’s overall experience and understanding. Imagine a scenario for a moment. You are looking for a “Simple guide to coding” and you want the information to be concise and user friendly. Infographics are a great way to communicate, facts, stats and step-by-step processes that summarise paragraphs. It adds value to the content.
Furthermore, with the recommended page length being 700+ words (for key landing pages and blog posts), adding imagery is a great way to break up your content and make it easier for the user to digest. When using imagery on your website it’s always a good idea to compress images to reduce slow loading times.
This is a common trap for so many businesses, especially startups, who want to get as much information on their website as possible. Clutter can be very overwhelming for users, and in most cases, will result in a high bounce rate.
The key solution here is prioritising. Your home page doesn’t need to showcase every single thing you do and/or offer, so don’t try to squeeze everything in. Your website consists of many pages, so there’s plenty of opportunities for you to showcase what you have to offer. Not only that, but very rarely will users read every single word on your website, instead, they will scan the content seeking whatever is relevant to them – often looking for keywords. With this in mind, it’s worth using headings and subheadings to make it as easy as possible for users to find what they are looking for. You can hyperlink keywords and direct users to a more content-rich page if required.
If you feel some decluttering is in order, take a look at your website, and look for ways to make it cleaner and more simple whilst still being informative. A great place to start is by embracing whitespace; spacing out your content, adding vivid images and including clear call-to-actions and internal links, which direct users to additional pages where they can read about a product or service in more detail.
Confusing user journey
The best kind of website is one that makes for an effortless customer journey that allows a user to come to your website and find exactly what they are looking for. As we said previously, having a huge declutter is a great way to enhance the experience users have when visiting your website, however, there are other things to consider too, such as layout and functionality.
The layout of your website should visually provide your audience with guided assistance to always ensure they are clear on what steps you want them to take next. Where possible eliminate unnecessary steps to make the journey as efficient and streamlined as possible. This is likely to improve overall conversions along with reducing user frustration. A strong customer journey is one which is simple and easy to understand. Ideally, your website would have breadcrumbs which makes the process easy to understand and follow.
Another thing to note here is adding functionality to your website such as search bars will help users to find their way around far more efficiently. This will result in a more positive journey and therefore increase the chances of conversion.
Poor SEO content
It’s great having a content-rich website where users can come to source information about you, your offerings or industry insights. However, while having a vast amount of content is great, the content needs to be high quality. SEO is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.
Here’s how it works…
Google (or any search engine you’re using at the time) uses a crawler. Once you’ve searched for something in your web browser the crawler will look through the internet to find and source all relevant content. This content will be displayed within seconds for the end-user to have visibility. That’s where your website content comes into play – your content must be optimised so that your content is visible to the end-user when then search for certain words/phrases. This will ensure that you’re getting relevant and engaged traffic through to your website – organically through the power of search.
A great place to start is by doing keyword research. Once you have a variety of keyword ideas and know exactly what your target audience is searching for, you can then use these topics/keywords to help develop your content, making improvements to existing pages and creating new ones to make sure that you’re visible in the search results for relevant terms.
Broken links are simply links on your websites which are clickable but direct users to a new page which in most cases no longer exists. This could be because the webpage has been deleted for some reason, or the URL and page destination has changed.
If a user attempts to click a link to be directed to a certain page, chances are they are engaged users that are looking for something specific. If they are unable to find the page, this can be frustrating and annoying to the user and there can then be a chance that they will leave and opt for an alternative source of information.
To make sure your website doesn’t have any broken links you can use the Screaming Frog SEO Spider – there is a free version which should be suitable for most sites.
- The tool will crawl your website looking for broken links (the HTTP response ‘404 not found error’) on your website.
- Once the crawl is complete you can filter the results by response code to easily identify the broken 404 links on your website.
- If the broken link has SEO value (i.e. indexed or previously indexed, has backlinks) or still has traffic pointing to it then you’ll likely want to implement a 301 redirect. You should redirect users to the most similar page on site so that they can still gain value.
- Once you’ve done that you’ll want to remove all references to that link on the site.
- Alternatively, if the page doesn’t have any SEO value you can look at removing all the inlinks from the website to avoid users stumbling across it.
Lack of Responsiveness
On average, 55.9% of users visit websites from a desktop device and 40.1% are mobile users. This demonstrates the real importance of having a responsive website, so as not to alienate a huge audience pool that will leave a website if it isn’t compatible with the device they are using. This is ever more pressing as a huge 94% of people have said they would judge a website based on its responsiveness and are likely to leave the website completely.
You can check your site’s mobile-friendliness by using Google’s mobile-friendly checker tool. This is a simple and easy way to see how your website holds up on mobile devices, to ensure your website is catering to your audience, no matter what device they are using.
There are a variety of popups that can be used (full-screen or lightbox pop-ups), which simply “pop up” over the top of a web page. They demand a lot of attention as they are unavoidable, ensuring that the user sees the message while providing the user with the option to close and ignore it completely. However, when they aren’t used properly, they can be irritating to the end-user, getting in the way of them looking around your website by blocking content that users want to read. This is commonly associated with a high bounce rate, with many users opting to leave the website once they see multiple popups interrupting their journey.
So, while using pop-ups can be advantageous, it’s important to consider how you’ll use them, to encourage a positive journey. Try not to use more than one pop-up on your site. As well as slowing down your site, continuous pop-ups can be off-putting and distracting to the user. You should also think about where in the journey the pop-up will be displayed – whether it’s on entry to the site, after browsing a couple of pages or after taking a specific action. And finally, you should consider what your pop-up is for – if it’s to collect data, then allow your user to become engaged before you ask them to commit to submitting their data. If it’s to give an incentive, then think about presenting this early on in the journey to encourage users to stay on site.
Asking for too much information
Websites are brilliant for data collection purposes, however, it’s really important to ask yourself the question “Am I asking for too much information? and putting yourself in the users’ shoes. How much data would you want to give, or feel comfortable giving at this stage in the journey? What’s in it for them?
Long web forms can deter customers away, so the best way to encourage users to complete a form is by reducing the workload by removing all unnecessary fields and questions. This will make the process simple for users, making them more included to fill out the form.
Now, it’s time to take action on your site to ensure the best possible experience for your visitors… What tips will you be taking away to help improve performance? Share your takeaways and further recommendations with us on Facebook or Twitter.
Feeling a bit overwhelmed? Get in touch with us and we’ll help you to understand your website, giving you the tools to transform your digital presence.