What I'm about to tell you, you already know at a certain level, but as a business owner you sometimes forget how important they are. I am talking about doing the basics that keep visitors from leaving your website. Businesses are so focused on having a cool website, that they forget to execute the basic first steps.
Step 1: Make sure your website loads quickly.
(added bonus – Google rewards faster loading sites)
Imagine you are looking for something specific on the Internet. You put a search string into Google which provides a large list of relevant search results. You see a local provider that may provide what you need. You go to the website. The first test is: does it actually load? You're a busy person. If it doesn't load quickly, there are other results in the list and off you go.
Should be simple, right? You'd think so, but no. Many websites use poorly built themes with lots of big images that aren't optimized. How fast do you think they load on a smart phone?
Step 2: Make sure your website is professional and garners trust.
If it does load, the next thing you do is make a judgment about the company. The website doesn't have to be a statement of artistic beauty to keep you there. No, it needs to be professional. It needs to gain trust. If it looks fly-by-night or sketchy, you click away … fast. Go on, admit it. You do, don't you?
Step 3: Make it easy for your visitors to find what they want.
So far so good. Next it needs to answer the question in your mind: “Does this company have or do what I am looking for?” This is place in the process where many visitors get frustrated and leave. They may be looking at a website on a smart phone and can't read it. They may be searching for a product and can't find it. Your website is generating frustration. What does that say about your business? How many times a day does this happen to you? And what do you do? You click away.
Look at visitor data. (You have an analytics tool installed on your site, right?) See where people are coming from, going to and searching for. Move things around based on facts. Put the most searched on pages in stronger places on the web page. Have hyperlinks on the homepage to the most important content. Visitors who find exactly what they are looking for stay longer on your site.
Remember, you may have a great business. But if the road leading up to it is closed or bumpy, visitors won't visit no matter how good your business is.