Whether it’s couples shopping for their wedding, or you shopping for whatever you need, there are some websites that make us want to get comfy and look around – and others that make us rush to the BACK button. Is your website inviting, or is it chasing away the very people you’re trying to attract?
By the time they get to your website, they might already know a little about you; whether it’s from your profile on WeddingWire, social media, or a referral from another wedding/event pro. Don’t waste that foundation by doing some of the very things that make you want to leave a site – quickly!
Here are 5 reasons prospects might be leaving your website, in 5 seconds:
- It’s not mobile friendly – while Google told us back in 2016 that they prefer responsive design websites, there are still plenty of wedding and event pros whose sites are not responsive. A responsive website is the same site, on any device, but it adapts to the size and shape of the screen. This is not the same as having a separate mobile site. Studies have shown that when people see that a site is the mobile version, they often click the “see full website” button, feeling like they’re missing out on some content.
- You have a responsive site, but it doesn’t respond well – having a responsive site means it adapts to the size and shape of the screen, but it doesn’t automatically adapt well. I’ve seen many, many sites where the main photo gets cropped in a way that they probably don’t want. For example, I was looking at a site yesterday and there was a great photo of a bride and groom, on the desktop view; however, on my phone, the groom was not showing in the photo. I’ve seen others for DJ companies where they show their whole team, sometimes a dozen or more people, in their main image; however, on mobile, it looks like they only have 4 or 5 people, as the rest are cut off. Another responsive design problem is font size. Take a look at your site on a phone and see how large, or small the text appears. I’ve seen way too many where the font is very large on mobile, and that means less appears on a screen. The more someone has to scroll, the more chances of losing them. And yet another issue with responsive design is for the sites that have a video playing, without sound, at the top of their site. On mobile, the video is either replaced with a static image, or you have to click it to play. Either way, the experience is different; if you paid a lot for that video, and only 50% or less of your visitors see – you might be concerned.
- Confusing navigation menus – Many sites try to be different, look different, and project a different appearance; I’m not opposed to that, but the last place you want to be “different” is in your navigation. If people can’t easily find what they came looking for, you’re not going to get them to take the action you want. Remember, that when you look at your site on mobile, the menu bar becomes the little pancake or hamburger menu (the 3 lines at the top of the page). All of your choices are hidden, and if you have drop-down menu choices, they all appear when you click the pancake. In some cases, the menu choices are more than one screen long, again, not a good user experience. Be very clear with your menu options. What is the word, or phrase that your visitors would use to find what they came for? Are they looking for their “investment” or are they looking for “pricing”?
- No clear path to the information they want – Too many sites have lots of photos, and not a lot of text. Not only is that bad for SEO, since Google can’t “read” the photos, your visitors are looking for more than photos and videos. (Yes, even if you’re a photographer… or should I say especially if you’re a photographer.) What makes you different isn’t the photos. You need to show them why they should choose YOU – and only you – to do their wedding or event. Unfortunately, you have the curse of knowledge. You know what you want them to see in that photo, but they’ll make up their own mind; just as we all do when walking through a museum or gallery. You need to be their guide, with your words, to show them why you’re the best fit. Captioning photos can help, but make sure there’s a page, or at least the information they want and need to see, in order to take the action you want them to take.
- No clear calls to action – When I’m reviewing websites, I’m looking for the “dead-ends”. Those are places where you show and/or tell them, on your site, what you can do for them; but you don’t tell them how to get that result. After you show them a great photo, tell them about how you can help them, using the word ‘you’ as much as you can. Support what you said with social proof – short testimonial snippets on every page. You need to tell them how to get that result and make it easy to take that action. Don’t just say “Call us”. First of all, they don’t want to call, they want to email or text you. Second, you have to reduce the friction and give them the way to take that action, right there. I prefer to have a short contact form on every page, so they don’t have to leave the page to take the action. It’s increased my conversion and it can help you as well.
While there are certainly more than 5 reasons why people leave your site quickly, this short list will give you a few things to work on. If your site isn’t responsive yet, you need to get working on it. Every time a good prospect leaves your site, it’s costing you money. Are you losing more money from these lost sales than a new website would cost you? That’s the opportunity cost of not taking action, now!
If you’re not sure if your site needs to be replaced, or want ideas to update yours, you can have me do a 2-hour website review session. For more information visit the website review page on my site, or call me, email me, text, or use the short form on this page to check my availability and costs, 732.422.6362, international enquiries 001 732 422 6362.
If you want to make a new site yourself (just make sure it doesn’t look like you made it yourself), you can start with a great template that’s already responsive. My friends at www.LiveBooks.com have offered 30% off annual hosting for the first year, and they’ll migrate the content from your current site for free, if you mention my name. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org to get your discount.
If you’d prefer to hire a pro that really knows the industry, my friend Brian Lawrence has a team that designs strong, mobile-friendly, sites with good functionality and SEO in as little as 3 weeks. If you mention my name, he’ll have me take a look on how to improve it at no additional charge to you, before it goes live. He calls it getting “Alanyzed” (cute). Just email Brian@BrianLawrence.com to set up a time to discuss or you can look at www.brianlawrence.com for more info and pricing.
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