In the modern commercial landscape, the performance of your brand and your website are closely linked. New leads explore the website to get to know your brand, while customers often visit to browse products, look for deals, look up information, and manage accounts. Your website contains the vast majority of your conversion funnels, hosts landing pages for ad campaigns, and serves as the home base for both PC and mobile online interactions.
How should you go about more advanced website optimization?
So what is holding you back? If your website traffic or conversion numbers aren’t what they should be, there may be an underlying problem that goes beyond the basics. Let’s say you’ve already optimized your technical SEO, you have a custom 404 page, and your hosting appears to be flawless. This article can help you identify if your website is suffering from 9 more advanced yet common mistakes that could be pushing visitors away from more productive time on your website.
Do any of these problems apply to your website design, administration, or problems with your update history?
Using Fixed Webserver Hosting (vs Scalable Hosting)
Every website experiences an ebb and flow of online traffic. Some times and days are lighter than others, while deals and seasons may bring massive increases in lead/customer/buyer activity. Does your website scale?
Modern AWS and Azure-style web hosting is typically designed to provide scalable server provisioning so that when your traffic increases, so too do your web resources so that your website never significantly lags or fails to serve a customer when traffic is unusually high. However, if you have a legacy or cost-saving “fixed” web hosting solution, your site is capable of being overwhelmed and you could easily be losing customers during peak hours due to lag and failure to serve pages or process requests efficiently.
If you do have a scalable web server, let’s try a few other advanced issues that could be impacting your web traffic.
Client-Side Preference and History Storage
How does your website remember the unique preferences of previous visitors? Client-side data storage is a popular option for things like navigation breadcrumbs and personal settings. However, client-side preference and history storage are only truly effective if the user connects on the same device, browser, and/or IP address every time. Because many people split their screen time between phones, personal laptops, home computers, work computers, and even borrowed devices, you could be losing leads, customer engagement, and personalization opportunities to client-side histories.
If clients see their preferences remembered, they feel valued – like a regular at a restaurant when the staff remembers their order. If they log in using a different device and their preferences are not remembered, this creates disappointment and a feeling of disconnection. So, while client-side operations are useful, save preferences to your server whenever those preferences are associated with an account.
Adding Floating UI Features Without Re-Spacing Your Margins
One common UI mistake that even the best developers can overlook is floating UI spacing. This means that someone has added a cutting-edge new piece of floating UI like a social media sidebar or a live chat bubble without spacing the page to ensure that the floating media does not occlude the core content. The most common example of this is when the social media or conversion sidebar slightly overlaps the first word on each line of central text. This can make it impossible or uncomfortable to read your content and will have visitors quickly clicking away for better-designed pages and brand sites.
Always re-size the margins for your entire website when floating UI assets are added.
Incorporating the Wrong Website Search Feature
An internal website search feature can be very useful in helping clients to navigate your site, especially if your brand site is more complex than just a few essential pages. However, that search feature needs to be smooth, accurate, and rewarding – and there are a lot of ways to go wrong. First, don’t make the mistake of using a search feature that gives ‘sponsored’ results, as this feeds spammy advertisements to your users in lieu of search results.
Second, make sure your on-site search feature prioritizes product and service pages over blog articles. A search engine that can only serve the blog is not that useful to real customers.
Missing a Self-Help Information Center
Clients today prefer to seek their own answers before asking. A self-help center provides answers to common questions, product guides, FAQ pages, and other information sorted by category and subject so that customers can DIY their customer service before asking a human for assistance. In fact, many leads will bounce if they can’t find the answer to a simple question they need before committing.
In addition to an information center, it is also helpful to provide live chat support, saving your customers the phone call while offering immediate human assistance.
Failing to Rebuild Your Navigation Structure with Each Update
When you update the structure of your website to innovate the design or add new sections, don’t forget to rebuild the navigation structure. New pages should be incorporated into the menu structure and search function. Without this simple precaution, users will become lost in your website no matter how excellent your pages, how complete your intended conversion funnel, or how persuasive your landing pages are. If they can’t get around and have no idea how to navigate back to a favorite page, your website will lose traffic and customers over time. Clear navigation is a key component of website optimization.
Dark-Mode Unfriendly Design
Lastly, watch out for third-party “dark mode” compatibility. Many people use extensions like Dark Reader in order to invert bright white web pages into white text on charcoal gray. However, graphics and web design techniques don’t always translate correctly. If your page does not work when converted into dark mode, you may be losing a great deal of light-sensitive traffic. If your pop-ups and assets can’t be closed because the “x” is invisible, if you use a background graphic instead of a solid color that looks bad when converted, or if the colors of your website invert badly, universal dark-mode users will click away as soon as they realize that your page will not be easy on the eyes.
If your website is evidencing these or other advanced-level problems that are driving away visitors, it’s time for advanced solutions.