There’s no doubt the internet has allowed online publishers to operate on a global and level playing field, but a number of trends have returned for better or worse. Whether you love to hate them or hate to love them, mobile optimization, popups and streaming videos are here to stay.
Successfully incorporating such elements into the aesthetic of your site can be tricky. However, the one thing to keep in mind when doing so is prioritizing user experience above all else. If you don’t, you may end up turning potential customers away at the door.
If you’re thinking about moving ahead along these lines, here’s what you need to know about the three most annoying things that cause your visitors to hit the back button and navigate away:
1. Your Website is Frustrating for Mobile Browsers
According to SmartInsights, mobile device users now account for the majority of those searching online. This means that anyone who isn’t catering for their target market via mobile responsiveness will be missing out — especially since the Mobilegeddon algorithm update that favored mobile-friendly sites over those that are only functional from a desktop.
Here’s a great example of an effectively optimized mobile site from Wacom that exhibits a simple and yet sophisticated interface that users find intuitive to use.
Visitors are able to clearly see what’s available without side-scrolling or re-sizing. The button for the shopping cart is represented in an aesthetically pleasing manner that draws the eye, and this is especially important in today’s age of 8-second attention spans.
To check the mobile-friendliness of your website, Brick & Mobile has developed a tool that will display your media space as it would appear on various handheld devices.
2. You’ve Got Popups on Popups
While opt-in practices are widely popular with online marketers, some websites seem incapable of taking no for an answer. And when 70% of Americans are annoyed by bad ads, what often occurs is a sharp decline in sales and conversion rates.
There are two things people like to do on the internet, and they’re something people have come to expect — the ability to click and scroll without imposition. Unfortunately, it can feel like we’ve regressed to the early 2000s with the amount of popups that emerge from hiding within seconds of the page loading.
That reflex to immediately hit the back button has become so ingrained in the collective minds of online shoppers that it’s next to impossible to place calls to action strategically in this way. That said, there are a few ways to work around this and make your popups work for you.
For example, try implementing exit-intent or scroll triggered popups that are less intrusive than their annoying counterparts.
OptInMonster is a tool that allows publishers to convert visitors before they leave for good and demonstrates the power of exit-intent popups when they’re set up correctly. But it isn’t enough to make the ad appear. The message has to extend a genuinely attractive offer.
WPBeginner used this tool and they were able to increase their email subscriber list by 600% in under 4 weeks after testing and A/B slit testing the popup. With those kinds of numbers, it’s easy to see why marketers are rallying to this revisited call to action.
Just remember that as far as social triggers go, research has proven that the words “you” and “free” are the two most persuasive words in the English language. It’s for this reason they’re incredibly useful in negating shopping cart abandonment.
3. You’re Using Autoplay Video
Ever since Google Chrome streamlined the way users interact and use their browsers with coalescing tabs, the online browsing experience has never been the same. But how is this relevant in the grand scheme of things?
Well, it goes to the way people like to search for content online. When a user has 20+ tabs open at the same time, that little autoplay video you hoped would come off as convenient and informative becomes a nuisance and a needle in a haystack of tabs to boot.
With the prevalence of autoplay video ads (*shudder*), it’s very easy to mistake that product video for an ad, sending your visitors running the other direction.
That’s why CJ Pony Parts, a Mustang parts dealer with hundreds of product demos and installation videos on their YouTube channel, never autoplays their videos on their blog. They give their visitors complete control over when to press the play button.
This approach holds a significant advantage over autoplay videos in that they’re immediately distinguishable from ads and are therefore more likely to capture audience attention. Take a leaf out of their book and do the same. You’ll be glad you did.
Appealing to Your Demographic
It’s important to note that your target demographic will contain members from a diverse range of socio-economic backgrounds, and you won’t be able to please everyone. Certainly, you won’t need to implement these fixes to address problems that aren’t there.
But hopefully, you’ll have found a few of these tips relatively helpful and will have a clearer idea of where to start when improving your site for the modern audience. Take the time to test any changes you make to your site — be they micro or macro — and learn from your mistakes.
Overall, if you can make things more accessible, your audience should feel much more inclined to part with their disposable income. This means your conversion rates should see a dramatic increase.
Adrienne Erin is a freelance writer and designer who blogs at Design Roast. She has been blogging for the past 3 years and loves picking apart online campaigns to see what makes them tick. You can follow her on Twitter as @adrienneerin.