Article read time - 4 minutes

As part of the National storytelling week celebrations, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at the subliminal messages you’re giving to potential customers through the functionality and design of your website.

For most people, getting your site live involves a huge amount of time and energy to review every aspect and make sure it functions as it should. However, these same sites that you spent hours making perfect are then left for years without being updated. Does your website still maintain your brand values and service level? Does it reflect your current branding and product lines? Is it telling the right story to your visitors?

Here’s a few examples of the unconscious message your visitors are getting when they land on your site and what it tells them about your business.

1. Sluggish page loading times

Before people even hit your homepage, they will start judging your business by how quickly it takes for the page to load. There are many reasons why your website is running slowly but, unfortunately, most people are unlikely to have the patience to wait for it to load if it takes longer than just three seconds.

A sluggish website could be down to poor hosting, unoptimised images or inefficient code or plugins. Whatever the reason, you should look to resolve it.

What it says to your customers: A slow loading website gives the impression that you don’t regularly assess the performance of your site and, therefore, may not provide a streamlined sales process to customers. 

2. Not mobile responsive

Google’s algorithm makes it imperative to have a mobile-friendly website. Not only will your customers appreciate the convenience of being able to scroll through your site easily on their mobile phone, but it will also improve your SEO. With the introduction of Google’s Mobile First Index looming, now is the time to invest in having a mobile responsive site.

What it says to your customers: If your website isn’t mobile responsive, it gives the impression that you aren’t up to date with current trends and that your offering may be old-fashioned and outdated.

3. Confusing navigation

Poorly designed site navigation will confuse your customers, making it harder to convert them. Studies show that people scan rapidly through your site’s content and can skip important top-level pages in drop down menus leading to low visits on pages that should be getting lots of traffic.

If you feel your current site has too much information, looks cluttered and has confusing navigation, it needs an overhaul.

What is says to your customers: Difficult navigation creates the impression that your business will be difficult to interact with. Customers want the sales pipeline to be seamless from start to finish so this is likely to make them reconsider placing an order with you. 

4. No HTTPS

As part of Google’s long-term plan to make the internet safer, they have started to mark all HTTP sites as non-secure. They have revealed that the warning will become more prominent as time goes on to let users know that data is being exchanged on an unencrypted connection.

As a result, all website owners should aim to acquire the necessary SSL/TLS certificates and setup HTTPS on their web servers.

What is says to your customers: People are a lot more savvy when it comes to shopping online and are likely to notice if you haven’t upgraded to HTTPS. By not making that essential step, it gives the impression that you do not care about compromising the data of your customers.

5. Stagnant content

Your customers and search engines love fresh content, whether it be in the form of a blog, video tutorial or case study. Engagement and time spent on page have become important metrics to decide where a page will rank so it’s essential to provide new content on a regular basis.

What is says to your customers: If you have a blog on your website that hasn’t been updated for a few months or website copy that’s remained the same since you launched, it tells the customer that you’re not progressive and, perhaps, even a little lazy.

6. Broken links

Broken links are bound to collect over time but leaving them unattended can drain on bandwidth due to forcing it to run pointless requests. As well as slowing down your website, they don’t create a good impression to potential customers.

What is says to your customers: It’s frustrating for customers when they come across a broken link and it may cause them to leave the site altogether rather than go back to try and locate what they wanted. Broken links create the impression that you do not regularly maintain your website and, therefore, that you may be unreliable to do business with.

The importance of making a good first impression, especially online, cannot be understated. Without even realising it, you could be creating a negative impression to your customers by not presenting them with a website that’s up-to-date, optimised and secure.

There are deep-rooted thoughts and feelings people have when they experience or interact with your company online and you want those thoughts and feelings to be positive.

If you’re looking to get professional help to improve your website, look no further than WP Tech Support. We have the necessary expertise to improve your WordPress website’s performance – including improving your page loading times, SEO and security. We also carry out developmental work and regular updates to your WordPress Core, Themes and Plugins to enhance the user experience and increase conversions. Our range of monthly plans are simple to sign up for and if you’re not 100% happy with our service then we’ll refund your monthly plan payment.

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