4 web design “faux pas” that cost you customers
The web design has changed a lot in the last years.
Some still very common web design techniques are not good for conversions at all.
They are faux pas that cost you customers.
Your website must be beautiful, but at the same time functional. Both are important.
But many marketers are only fixated on the look of their websites (not on customer acquisition).
Do these websites fulfill their purpose? What good is a nice website if you can’t win customers with it?
Your website can be ancient, as long as it converts, you don’t have to worry.
Unfortunately, for many marketers, appearance is more important and they don’t think about the impact it has on their conversions.
If you want to achieve a conversion rate above the two or three percent average, you need to fix web design flaws that cost customers.
You can make a good first impression with your website, because if visitors don’t like your site, they will jump off and disappear forever.
Fortunately, there are a few studies that show which faux pas stand in the way of customer acquisition.
Here are four web design mistakes that scare customers away, and how you can fix them.
1. carousel slider
Carousel sliders are somehow very trendy. You just have to call up any website and you’ll find one.
At first sight they look great, but actually they don’t have much to offer.
I don’t want to make websites that use carousel sliders look bad.
They look really great.
I just want to point out that they are extremely popular.
Here is one on the Square website:
It looks really, really good.
I used to use them once, so I can understand why they are so popular.
But they are not only used on the homepage. You can find the carousel slider everywhere on the website.
You can use it to show different options.
It all started because website owners want to provide more information on their homepage.
With such a slider you can show more information, pictures and content on a page without overloading the user.
Actually a good idea.
It looks good and functional, but is it?
Unfortunately not. This faux pas can even cost you customers.
There’s even a website dedicated solely to one question: ” Should I use a carousel slider?”
The answer is no! A definite “no”.
But why? Because carousel sliders are much too big and data has shown that they do not convert.
Visitors do not click and interact with the content as desired.
Unfortunately they take up far too much valuable space on the screen.
Conversion optimization expert Peep Lajas says that sliders don’t work and should therefore not be used.
Peep Laja recommends using static images, or a slider that doesn’t rotate automatically.
Hilton uses a carousel slider, but it does not automatically change the image after a few seconds.
The user has full control, is not annoyed and can decide for himself if he wants to use the slider.
And what to use instead? Maybe a long-form start page like Evernote’s.
With this format you can provide all important information without sabotaging your results by bad web design.
Oh, yeah, good old-fashioned loading speed. Unfortunately, I see this mistake again and again.
Large and heavy elements, for example carousel sliders and animated graphics, can make your site slow.
But a fast page is important for SEO and to keep your visitors on the website as long as possible.
If your website is too slow, you will attract fewer customers.
Google’s PageSpeed benchmark report shows that the longer a website loads, the higher the bounce rate.
If your website takes ten seconds to load completely, your bounce rate increases by 123%.
I hate to say it, but your site will most likely take longer than a second or two to load.
Google data shows that most industries are far from that.
This also means that most businesses lose customers because their websites don’t load fast enough.
But that’s not all.
Most websites are so slow because they are too heavy. They’re too packed.
Slow websites are a big faux pas, if not the biggest.
And they are very bad for customer acquisition.
Data from TruConversion shows that 83% of visitors expect a web page to load within three seconds or faster. But the average loading speed of an online shop is ten seconds.
But just one second can already result in a 7% increase in conversion rate, so it is very important that you fix this error as soon as possible.
Slow websites cost customers and therefore also money.
If you earn 100,000 Euros per day, delaying the loading time by one second would result in a loss of 2.5 million Euros per year.
Most website operators probably do not earn 100,000 Euros per day. That was just an example.
But a slow website leads to customer loss, sabotages your ROI and is bad for business.
The problem can be solved in the following way.
Even small adjustments, such as improving the loading time by 400 milliseconds, can result in nine percent more traffic.
Improving load time by two seconds gave Mozilla over 15% more customers.
Now I will show you how to make your website faster.
Revise the source code and clean up.
You should start with the source code of your site.
Unnecessary source code is the main reason for slow loading speed.
You can use programs like Varvyben to check and clean up your source code.
Enter your URL and click “Go”. Now you can see which source code takes up unnecessarily much space.
The red and yellow squares take up too much space and have a negative effect on the loading speed.
You have to find out what is causing your problems and most of the time it is redundant source code.
Test your website with PageSpeed Insights.
Google PageSpeed Insights is a great program with which I regularly check my website to make sure it is always up to the latest standards.
The program is so great because I can see exactly what makes the page so slow.
It also gives me helpful instructions on how to fix the errors.
So if you are not so familiar with the technical side of web design, you can use these instructions or send them to your webmaster.
Enter your URL and click on “Analyze”.
You can immediately see what you are doing right and what is going wrong.
If I click on “Recommendations” now, I will get details about my problems and instructions on how to fix them.
I even get data about my mobile website if you are wondering how to optimize it.
You can check your site for errors and make it faster.
If you have made some changes, you should test your site again to see if they had the desired effect.
3. no social sharing buttons
Social shares are the basis for the growth of your company, the promotion of your content and the construction of your website.
I use social media to promote my content and send traffic to my website.
They are my preferred medium to share and promote content. I share each of my blog posts in the social media.
But what happens if visitors can’t share your content? This is one of the biggest mistakes I unfortunately encounter again and again.
Many website operators don’t have social share buttons or place them on the wrong pages, e.g. on the homepage.
I structure my buttons as follows.
If a visitor lands on my blog, I leave him alone for a while.
Why? Because he has not read my content. I don’t wanna bug him with buttons right away because then he’s gone.
My design should be as clean and clear as possible so that he can concentrate on my article.
When the visitor scrolls down, the social share buttons follow him.
Why do I do this? Because these buttons now also lead to banner blindness.
And banner blindness is very bad for customer acquisition.
If you have never heard this term ( bannerblindness ), here is a short summary:
We’re tired of constant banner ads, so they’re ignored and hidden.
In the past, I used to show the social share buttons immediately and got no results.
They were simply ignored and my content was not shared.
Now they only appear when the user scrolls down, so they are more conspicuous and are noticed.
Thanks to this strategy, my blog posts are now shared on average 25.3% more often.
I will now show you how to set up these social share buttons.
Go to the AddThis page.
AddThis provides you with buttons that follow the user while scrolling through the pages.
Log in for free with your e-mail address and open the dashboard.
You have the choice between several options, but in this example we will concentrate on the Social Share Buttons.
Now you can choose between different styles.
There is even a slider.
Choose a style and then go to the next step to edit the position and design of the button.
You can change the style, size and colors.
AddThis is free and you can create great social share buttons for your website.
Even better, you can customize them to your liking and even use them for mobile sites.
You should install Social Share Buttons on your website today, so that your content is shared more often and you gain more traffic.
If you don’t, you can expect fewer links, shares and visitors.
4. you do not use opt-in pop-ups
Many people find pop-ups annoying.
But the question is:
Do they work? Can you win customers with them?
The answer to both of these questions is “yes”.
Carousel sliders are pretty, as we just saw, but they don’t convert.
Opt-in pop-ups are annoying, but work very well.
If you want to attract customers, you should use them.
Nikki McGonigal, a food blogger, uses pop-ups to get more subscribers to her newsletter.
Using this simple strategy, she has managed to collect over 7,000 new subscribers in just eight months.
The conversion rate rose by 5.5%.
On CrazyEgg you will find many examples that show that pop-ups really work wonders for customer acquisition.
I use them on CrazyEgg.
Why? Because they work.
They stand out and the visitors convert.
I also use them on QuickSprout.
Web sites actually have only one goal: customer acquisition and turnover.
If you don’t use the latest and most effective customer acquisition strategies, you will miss the target.
You need to use a prompt to attract new subscribers.
You have to tell the user exactly what to do next, otherwise you can forget him as a customer.
Do you want to set up a pop-up? You can use AddThis again.
Open the dashboard and select “List Building” this time.
In the next step you will be asked which tool you want to use.
Here you have to select “Popup”.
You can check your selection on the right and see how the pop-up would look on your website.
You can adjust the heading and the CTA.
If you want to welcome new visitors, you could for example offer them a discount when they subscribe to your newsletter.
In the next step you can customize the layout. You can even change the background.
You can use the customization options to add new elements to your pop-up.
I love the fact that you can connect your pop-up to an email program or CRM system so that new contacts are taken directly.
You can automate the process.
Or you can select the “Download to CSV” option if you prefer to download the file with email addresses.
With AddThis you can make your web design more efficient and avoid mistakes.
You should customize the pop-up for each page. You can show an exit pop-up or a welcome message to collect new leads.
When I first started using pop-ups, I quickly collected new subscribers. They are great for collecting new leads.
The web design has developed quite a bit in the last years.
Every month new designs and elements appear that make your website even more beautiful.
Unfortunately some of these elements have a negative effect on customer acquisition.
Just because they look good doesn’t mean they work well.
These faux pas are bad for the conversion rate.
You cannot win customers with a non-functional website.
Your website must look good, but should still convert.
Unfortunately, many marketers ignore their mistakes and continue to use design elements that have a negative impact on conversions.
If you don’t fix these errors quickly, you will lose many customers.
The average conversion rate of a website is two to three percent. That is not enough.
You can’t be satisfied with that.
You should strive for a higher conversion rate.
Eliminate your carousel sliders first. They look good, but they take up a lot of space and don’t work.
They’re a waste of space.
Next you should improve the loading speed of your website. A fast site is extremely important (probably even the most important item on my list).
You can’t get customers with a slow website, because nobody wants to wait that long.
Next, you should install social share buttons to collect more links and let people share your content.
Last but not least, you can set up an opt-in pop-up, because no website can do without a call to action.
Fixing this faux pas will result in a better user experience and ultimately more customers.
Which web design faux pas have you fixed to attract more customers?