It’s safe to say that in the past 10 years, the number of articles written and posted online easily comes in around the hundreds of thousands ballpark. However, the majority of these pieces state the same old thing over and over again. For example, you can research how to find a dentist and find thousands of articles preaching about how you should ask for referrals, search online and interview the dentist. This content is no longer valuable or informative, and represents one of the many ways that your content is probably losing visitors to your website.
Keep in mind, if you don’t find your website copy interesting, chances are your visitors won’t either. Instead of reading another list about what you should be doing to create interesting and engaging content, here you will learn all about how you are driving people away from your site. Hopefully, it’ll become that much easier to avoid such pitfalls in the future. Remember, the content you publish needs to convey your brand or business message, while keeping your visitors engaged.
Let’s begin with some of the biggest issues you and your content likely have:
You have Content that was Written Specifically for Google
Chances are you’ve read all about how the Google ranking system works and are savvy to the type of content that Google likes. You now know that, in order to rank highly, you have to include your geographic location, as well as specific keywords, littered throughout your website’s written material. As a result of this new knowledge, this is exactly what you have done: added everything that Google needs, in order to notice your website, but left out what your reader needs.
This also probably means that every blog post begins with your location and some kind of offer, for example “Long Beach Dentist.” Your site pages also have a selection of the same keywords, repeated over and over ad nauseum. Even if they are inserted in a natural way, this can make for boring reading.
The good news is that the new way Google, and other search engines, now rank your content is based upon relevant and high quality information that adds value to your site. In fact, this type of engaging, high quality content is much more important than simply listing your keywords and location 50 different times and hoping the search engine algorithms pick it up.
Visitors cannot Easily Determine how to Contact You
If a visitor to your website has a question, chances are they are not going to spend more than a few seconds trying to locate your “contact us” information. If you have it hidden, or completely unavailable, then you’ve already lost this potential customer. You need to have contact information clear and easy to find on each page of your website. This will ensure that, no matter where they are on your site, your visitors will know how to reach you for more information or questions. Include your email, phone number and social media contact details. This will provide your visitors with a number of options for contacting you, and let them pick the one they like best.
Your Content is Extremely Self-Absorbed
The content that you have on your website should showcase what you have to offer. However, it’s just as important to remember that not only should you highlight your skills and experience; you should also show why your expertise can benefit your clients and visitors. All of the copy that you have on your home page, for example, should highlight how you can solve your visitor’s problems and what you can do for them.
There are far too many profiles that will focus on experience but never address how this experience will benefit a visitor to your site. The bottom line is to clearly answer the question that your visitors are going to have, “what can you do for me?”
You do not have a Mobile Optimized Website
Recent statistics have shown that as much as 63 percent of cell phone users regularly use their phones for searching online. Even more surprising is the fact that as many as 34 percent of online users only access the internet through their phones, instead of using desktops or laptops. This means that a large number of your website visitors are viewing your site on their mobile devices. It’s beyond important that you have a website that is compatible with the design, screen and slower-loading times of smartphones and other mobile devices (tip: you should also stay away from any flash animation).
Your Website Features Intrusive Add-Ons
Have you ever landed on a website only to be met with obnoxious music suddenly blaring through your speakers? If so, chances are you either quickly muted your computer’s volume, or simply clicked out of the website altogether, in response. Even though most professional websites, such as dentists, will not have any type of music present, they may have other intrusive pop-ups when a visitor lands on their site. Always remember that many visitors will be browsing during working hours, or while trying to relax at home. If you have a video package, or music, discussing the services that you offer – it’s likely that you’re only going to chase people away.
If your website has some type of chat element, perhaps featuring a pop-up ‘need some assistance?’ window, you need to make sure that it’s easy for them to decline or close the chat. Additionally, once they close it – it needs to remain closed, otherwise you’re just going to pester a potential customer. Some other add-ons (excessive animation, marquees that scroll across the page or Twitter feeds) will offer very little value and can be seen as annoying or pressuring.
Large Blocks of Continuous Text
While you need informative content on your page, large blocks with no breaks or white space are never going to be read; you need to make your content easy to scan. Endless blocks of text can be extremely tiring to read and cause eye strain. Some tips for making text easier on the eye: use numbered lists or bullets, regular subheadings, bold text that draws the eye and cut out all types of marketing fluff by using only objective language.
When you break up your content, it becomes much more digestible for your readers, making it easier and much quicker to work out if you’re the website for them.
Hard to Read Fonts
The right font can completely set off your website, making it seem refined and polished. However, there are also a number of ways that font can be distracting and off-putting. Using too many different fonts will give your site a messy appearance; you should stick to no more than two different options. Typically a serif font for headings and sans serif option for the regular text is perfect for your website. Fancy fonts are also something you should stay away from, since it will make your content extremely difficult to read.
The correct font plays a huge role in whether your reader will stick around and enjoy your content, or head for the hills.
The Bottom Line
Truthfully, you have around 15 seconds to convince someone to stay on your site. If your content is in any way difficult to read or fails to offer what a visitor is looking for, then they’ll leave – probably heading straight into the arms of a competitor. Not only that, but commonly once you lose a visitor, they have a high chance of never returning. This is why you need to ensure the content on your site is optimized to encourage interaction from your visitors.
The old saying ‘content is king’ still holds true today. The material you publish can be the make or break factor that determines whether a visitor decides to make a purchase or contact you for more information. In addition to what you actually write, you must consider how content is presented on your site. The layout, font, colours and arrangement will all determine if a visitor becomes a loyal customer.