5 Signs People Hate Your Website
By Colin Ryan
Your web designer has built you a fancy new website. You love it, and you’ve paid him handsomely, which means it’s time for him to hit the road, right?
Not exactly. After all, just because you’re satisfied, that doesn’t mean your customers will be, too. Here are a few telltale signs to watch out for as you evaluate just what kind of impact your website is having on visitors.
You’ve built it, but no one’s coming.
Assuming you had some in the first place, if you’re not getting any traffic to your new site, chances are your customers can’t find it. That means you’ve neglected your SEO duties. If you’re redesigning your website, it probably means you’re changing up your URLs. When this happens, you need to use 301 redirects to tell search engines where to send all the juice you’ve earned off your old site—otherwise, you’ll lose it.
Your bounce rate is through the roof.
People are visiting one page of your site, then leaving. Why? Because they didn’t find what they were looking for. Whether you’re using a keyword bait and switch (e.g., sending people who search “Hilton Head weather” to your vacation rental site), or burying your most relevant content under a clunky layout, your visitors would rather look somewhere else than stick it out with you.
All your traffic is on your homepage.
Your site is more than just your homepage, but your homepage is still your front door. If it’s a mess, people won’t want to venture past it to see what’s inside. Don’t try to cram every fact and feature of your business into one URL. Instead, keep your homepage simple, with clear navigation bars so they can find exactly what they’re looking for.
No one’s signing up or signing in.
You want people to fill out your contact forms and subscribe to your mailing lists, but you’re making it too difficult. In the age of Google Suggest, saved passwords, and automatic updates, surfing the web is an increasingly passive activity. Don’t expect people to contact you in three steps, or scroll to the bottom of the page to look for your call to action. Think of your visitors as your flock, and shepherd them.
No one’s linking to you.
No one’s sharing your website via social media or links on their own pages. This could be because nobody knows about your new site (see above). More likely, though, you’ve got nothing worth linking to. It takes hard work, know-how and flair to create sharable content. Create blog posts, videos, and newsletters that are fresh, insightful, and provocative, or hire someone who can.
Spotted any of these telltale signs on your website? Tell us about it in the comments!
Published on August 28, 2011