You built the site. ✔️
You wrote the blog posts.
You blasted about your biz on every social platform from here to next Sunday…
Whatever your marketing strategy, you’ve been doing it like a boss and you’re *finally* seeing an uptick in traffic to your site.
Something you did piqued enough interest to get them in the door of your online store-front.
But now the trick is keeping them there!
Pssst…Don’t yet have a solid strategy for eyeballs on your brand/biz? Check out:
(Rhetorical question. Obvs nobody is raising their hand to hear bad news.) ♀️
It takes about 50 milliseconds for a first-time visitor to form an opinion of your site.
And good or bad, that first impression is prettyyyy much forever.
Even if your design does speak to your ideal person, and they choose to grace you with their online presence just a little bit longer, the average session duration (A.K.A how long they actually stick around) is just 2 minutes and 17 seconds.
Ok, now the good news.
And that is that there is something you can do about all of this.
Ready to turn all those clicks into actual paying clients and customers?
Here’s a list of reasons people leave your site before buying your thing (and WTH to do about it!)
My assistant and I were chatting recently about how restaurants have been handling all this Covid business when it comes to their websites.
Usually, you just show up at your fav local watering hole and trust that it’s open because hey, it’s Friday night, and most cities don’t roll up the sidewalks until at least 10PM.
But during these (don’t make me say it…) times, it takes a quick Google search to check that the kitchen is actually open for biz.
It should take a quick search. But instead, you’re having to scour every last corner of their websites for those modified hours. ♀️
We were both legit shocked at the number of people who had zero information about their new temporary operating hours on their site.
I don’t know about you, but if I’m already a tinge hangry, I’m not going to risk getting there and having them be closed, and I’m not putting in the effort it takes to make a phone call and find out.
Now think about your biz’s ideal “patron!”
What does that person most need to know in order to book or buy your thing?
Hours, location, pricing, customer support or contact info…whatever it is, it needs to be front and center, preferably above the fold, or at least clearly marked in your main navigation!
It’s 2020, and people (myself included) are conditioned for convenience.
If your page doesn’t almost immediately load on even the sketchiest of internet connections, it’s pretty easy for your site visitor to decide buying your thing was not so important after all.
Wondering what’s killing your loading time?
Your images that haven’t been optimized.
You can check out Squarespace image sizes: Tips & tricks to know when designing your website for more if you’re not already doing this on the regular.
The browser has to read a bunch of custom code before it can display your content.
There’s no way to get around having to embed the odd bit of code to get non-native third-party software up and running on your site.
But if you’re using massive amounts of CSS or custom code, it’s going to take the robots a hot minute to look things over before loading your page.
Longer if the code is a bit messy!
So unless you know how to write and organize the different coding languages yourself, you really want to avoid using too many lines of copy and paste CSS, especially if you are using it to achieve things that don’t really add to the effectiveness of your site or that could be easily achieved without the use of code.
(P.S. If you’re worried your site is looking cookie-cutter, my Square Secrets Course teaches you how to build completely custom websites using Squarespace and it is a code free zone!)
Super long pages
Long-scrolling pages are on trend because they tend to keep visitors on the page longer (and Google favors sites with longer session durations!)
If you’re going to go with a long page design, focus on making your page content binge-able…but be dang sure whatever lives on the page really needs to be there!
If it’s not a super important thing to know, it could probably be linked to, and set to open up a new page in a new browser window.
The three biggest oopsies I see when (subconsciously) auditing every site I visit are usually around their call-to-actions…or those uber important next steps you are begging your person to take on your site.
Mistake #1: The CTA’s are hidden in some giant wall of text and a tiny little “learn more” link.
Not very easy to spot, and not super intriguing to site visitors.
What should you do instead?
Use buttons! Big, shiny, shout-out-where-you-want-them-to-go-next buttons!
And get specific in your ask!
Rather than “learn more,” use language that lets them know exactly what you want them to do, and exactly what to expect on the other side of that click. (ie. Book now, download the guide, save your seat, etc.)
Mistake #2: There are too many things going on in one section.
People are skimmers. They want to know what it is you’re doing, but in a nutshell.
So it’s best practice to break your content up into super skim-able sections.
This means more white space!
Without enough white space (doesn’t have to actually be white btw, just blank space on the page) each bit of content runs into the next, making CTA’s disappear in all the noise.
Try giving your CTA it’s very own section, surrounded by a solid amount of space to cut down on the number of distractions and to draw the user’s eye straight to that book/buy/subscribe button!
Go ahead and click that image to get my Squarespace Pre-Design Workbook & Checklist for free, if ya like. It has all the steps I take to prep and gather content before I ever sit down to design a site!
Mistake #3: Your buttons don’t look like buttons.
I’m all for fancy branding and creative design, but if you get too fancy, people may not recognize it’s a button at all. ♀️
(Squarespace offers very few ways to customize buttons for this very reason, btw! They know what works!)
Look at the links and buttons you have on each page of your site. Do they reflect your main site goals? (A.K.A where you want your visitor to go next?)
As much as you probably do want this person who found you on Google to also follow all your social accounts, including links to your social near your main call-to-action areas or on your sales/booking pages could be cause for distraction.
Even though they are *technically* still hanging around your biz when they click over to your social they are now miles away from that buy button and the likelihood of them returning to that page later is slim.
Ok, so you’ve been super chill and fun in your stories and in the way you engage with your community over on Insta. #relatable
But then a person clicks the link your bio and shows up on your site and your stuff is dry as a bone.
If your site is devoid of all life you seem to show in stories, things are going to start feeling a little disingenuous, and any connection you had with that person starts back at square one.
Yes, people are buying your “thing.” But at the end of the day, they are buying you and the lifestyle or vibe you portray.
It’s what makes them buy from you and not Cathy Competitor down the (virtual) street.
So say you are a baker specializing in custom cake decorating.
Every week, you post pictures on the ‘Gram of all the gorgeous custom orders you’ve created.
If a person fell in love with you over on a super visual platform like Instagram and then comes over to your site and sees a super corporate looking site that looks exactly like the template because “hey, I’m a baker, not a web designer” they are going to:
A) Think they landed on the wrong site.
B) Question if you’re as pro as you say you are. (Yup, design matters friends!)
You don’t have to show up on every last corner of the internet…choose where you will show up and then do it on brand.
Who does your paid product or service help?
Pros who are looking to level-up?
Are they individuals or businesses?
Are they small Mom ‘n Pop establishments or giant corporations?
Unless you spend a ton on ad campaigns, it’s likely your visitor came to you due to some bit of helpful content you shared on your site or social (A.K.A organic SEO).
It’s possible to blog, vlog, podcast, or post about your general topic all day long while never really speaking to any one niche within that industry.
And your audience (and the people who want to pay you) live in that niche!
Say you are a hairstylist trying to fill your books with clients.
Your content might be “how to choose your next haircut based on your lifestyles” or “10 tips for keeping your hair healthy between salon visits.”
You’re marketing to the individual consumer.
They want great hair, but have zero plans of becoming a pro themselves.
But if you’re a hair guru or educator and you’re trying to sell-out seats to your online coloring class, even though you’re in the same industry as the hairstylist trying to attract clients, the same content isn’t going to work because it doesn’t speak to where your ideal customer fits within your industry.
Your paid offering is ‘B to B’ or businesses to business, so your content marketing focus should be there too.
So your content might look more like “10 simple add-on services to suggest to your color clients at the shampoo bowl” and “How to educate your client on at-home hair care.”
You can share about features all day long, but a 30-point bullet list of your product’s dimensions, weight, and specifications won’t bring the inspiration you’re hoping it will.
If someone does click your CTA and lands on your product or services page, they aren’t just looking for the ‘what’.
They are looking for the ‘how’.
How is this investment going to change my life?
Even if your product is at a low price-point, people still want to know that there will be some sort of transformation or improvement in their current circumstances just by buying it.
What pain point does it solve?
How does it solve it?
What will life be like after they are free of this pain point?
Sometimes people did actually stick around long enough to click on that book or buy button.
But now that they are inside the gate, they are having to jump over one hurdle after the next to sign up, book, or buy!
You need to make it easy to pay you.
Or easy to opt-in for your list-building freebie.
Or easy to book that consultation.
Not sure that your site is easy to use?
Have a family member or friend sit down and try to navigate your site.
The less techy the person the better!
(And sorry, but your mom is probably not going to shoot you straight. It’s literally her job to love everything you do. So go for someone who won’t be afraid to hurt your feelings.)
You’ve been staring at your design for hours so you know exactly where things are and what steps come next.
Do your best to cut down on the steps, apps, or required form fields on their way to buying your thing.
Collect only what you need to get them on the books and leave the rest for once you’ve secured payment!