Don’t Waste Your Customers’ Time with Your Site

Don’t Waste Your Customers’ Time with Your Site

By Chris Crum – Thu, 04/08/2010 – 4:25pm.

If it’s Not Easy, They’ll Just Leave.

If you’ve ever analyzed your website’s bounce rate, you may have found problems with people leaving before they get through the buying process. Have you noticed that a lot of people left your site at the point where they have to fill out a form? This may be because you’re asking for too much information.

By this, I don’t necessarily mean that you’re asking for information that people don’t want to share for personal reasons. Perhaps you’re just asking for too much in general. You’re taking up too much of the customer’s time.

Time is an incredibly valuable thing these days, when consumers have much more information coming into their lives than ever before, particularly online. People have news feeds, Facebook, email, online video, search, and plenty of other things to take up their online time. Sure, shopping is one of these things, and you may fit into that, but it doesn’t change the fact that time is a factor.

Essentially, it should be as quick and painless as possible from the point where a customer reaches your site, finds what they’re looking for, and buys it.

“For instance, if you have an email form and you’re collecting email addresses to put them on your email newsletter, you may ask their name, their interests, their email address, have some checkboxes – where did you hear about us…thinking that that’s just a normal field, but when someone looks at it, they say, ‘I don’t really want to spend the time to fill that out,'” says Brandon Eley, author of the book Online Marketing Inside Out.

“Reducing the number of form fields that you put on a form dramatically increases the number of people who will actually fill it out,” he adds. “So only ask for the information that you really need. The same goes for a check-out process or a registration process. Make it as simple and concise as you can, and you’ll really increase those conversions.”

In addition, it is a good idea, if you run an e-commerce site, that you have a consistent navigation system in place throughout the site, so customers can always get to what they are looking for without having to look for how to look for it. Have a search box on every page. Don’t make it hard on the customer, because they’ll just leave and find a more usable site.

Time is increasingly scarce, and that means people have less patience. Why do you think Google is talking about making site speed a ranking factor in search results?

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