This article was provided by Ilana Davis. Ilana is a Shopify and Squarespace Superhero who works with e-commerce shops to remove friction from the buying process. She rescues websites creating effective websites that attract more visitors, provides better SEO, and increases conversion rates at a fraction of the cost of a full redesign. Connect with her at ilanadavis.com.
Mistakes with your e-commerce website will happen. It’s inevitable. What’s more important is that you learn from these mistakes.
Let’s explore the 6 Most Common Website Mistakes and the impact they have on your business.
Mistake #1: No one knows what you do
When you literally have 5 sections to tell your visitor what you do, there’s no time to waste. Yet I often see generic images on the top banner image and/or no content at all on the home page. It’s just a bunch of product images that don’t seem to relate at all to each other.
The impact: It’s simple. People won’t buy. They don’t know who you are or what you’re selling. I promise you, they don’t see a difference between one drop-shipping site to the next. If the only thing on your site is random products with no context as to who you are or what you do, they look for the cheapest price, likely on Amazon, and will buy there. You mean nothing to them.
Mistake #2: Your website lacks engagement
If you’ve only got 5 seconds to impress, make sure what you are saying, is interesting. Words like “hello” or “welcome” are boring and don’t make me want to learn more. Use tools such as HotJar to understand where folks are engaging with your site. Where are they clicking? How far down the page do they scroll? How much time are they reading your content?
The impact: If you’re lucky, visitors will tell you what they like or don’t like about your website and how you can improve. But lets’ face it. That’s not realistic. Using tools like HotJar and Google Analytics provide you feedback through behavior analytics that you don’t ordinarily get. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found typos on my site or broken links or seeing just how far down the page someone sees before they bounce simply by reviewing my HotJar results.
Mistake #3: No one can actually read your pages
This goes beyond typos or grammar issues. We’re talking about the design and readability of your website that makes it accessible for anyone to digest. For extra credit and tips on how to make your website more accessible, read my article Does my website have to be compliant with ADA.
The impact: Aside from the now all too common web accessibility lawsuits that could end up costing merchants $20,000 or more for the lawsuit alone, there’s also approximately 20% of your traffic that could come from users with some sort of disability. Let’s say your gross revenue is $120,000 a year. Capturing those 20% more customers means 20% more potential revenue. You could be leaving $24,000 on the table.
Mistake #4: Call to actions are lacking
A weak call to action would say “click here”, “learn more”, or “subscribe now”. Then we’re forced to ask “click where”, “learn more about what”, and my favorite “why subscribe”. Instead set a goal for what your call to action is meant to achieve. Then it’s a lot easier to find the right words.
The impact: The purpose of a call to action is to convert a visitor. A “conversion” could mean different things to different businesses. Setting a goal such as increasing sales or increasing subscribers need to have a direct correlation to your business. When you increase subscribers, what does that mean for your business? Subscribers can be a vanity number. Dig deeper. 5% of subscribers also make a purchase. So if I double my subscribers, there is a potential revenue increase because I can directly correlate subscribers to revenue.
Mistake #5: Pages lack descriptive content
Use titles that are descriptive, clear, and relevant to the reader. Don’t neglect your product descriptions either. Invest time to create descriptions that are approximately 200-500 words. Your customers will thank you for the clarity of who you are, what they are buying and when they can expect it to arrive.
The impact: You should always build content for your customers and not Google. Many get distracted looking to optimize for SEO, when in fact, writing for your customer is exactly what Google is looking for. Google utilizes algorithms to check what keywords customers are searching for and shows the results that best match the query. So keyword stuffing won’t help. Focus on quality content as one small piece to your larger marketing plan.
Mistake #6: Pages are not responsive
For most of us, this shouldn’t be a problem anymore. Most platforms like Shopify and Squarespace have responsiveness built-in so there shouldn’t be much to do here however that’s not always the case. When you buy themes from outside the platform, make sure they are in fact responsive which means you can view them on any device. Themes not in the app store aren’t held to the same criteria and may not be built properly.
The impact: I’m sure we all know by now that 50% of web traffic happens on mobile devices. Did you know though that only 13% are likely to make a purchase while on the go? That’s because the buying experience on mobile transactions still causes friction for buyers. More often than not, users are browsing e-commerce sites on the go and coming back to it later from their desktop. Consider a mobile-first approach when designing your site and make the experience as frictionless as possible.
These are simple things that every business website must-have.
If your website suffers from problems like these, you might consider my Website Rescues. I fix these issues and dozens of other problems that impact Shopify and Squarespace stores.