I’m back to finish out our two-part series about ten mistakes that can cause your customers to leave your website and go somewhere else. (If you missed it, here are the first five mistakes.)


So, what else can cost you business?


1. No obvious call-to-action. This is important. You need to invite your customers to interact with you, and take the next step(s) that you would like them to take. (We will be discussing in-depth the art of the call-to-action in a future post, so check back for that!)


2. Flash. For a number of reasons, Flash is not good for websites. It doesn’t work in all platforms, or the user must have a plug-in installed to view your site. Because search engines can’t read text that is in Flash, your keywords go undetected, which is bad for SEO. Flash sites are also generally slow to load, which leads me to my next point.


3. Slow load time. Your website needs to load quickly. It’s important. Pretty much without fail, if I go to a site and see that “Loading…” message, I am leaving before the homepage even pops up. Here are some good tips for speeding up your website’s load time. Also check out this list, which I think you will discover illustrates my points 2 and 3 pretty well. The sites are cool-looking for sure, but when I went to them, several were very slow to load or never came up at all.


4. Broken links. Make sure all of the links on your site work properly. Periodically run a link-checker, especially after making any website updates, to ensure all links are still functioning, especially links to external sites, which can change without notice.


5. Outdated information. Keep the content on your website fresh. Calendars, menus, your blog – these should all reflect the current time. Case in point: Recently there was a new restaurant I wanted to check out. I found Yelp reviews which indicated they were open for business, but when I went to website, the homepage said Opening (Previous Month) and the call-to-action was vague, and not an active link. Right away, this business’ website is failing on three important fronts. It makes me wonder where else their standards are already slipping, which may be unfair, but it’s true for me.


Can you think of other things to watch for that are not on this list? Do you have any tools you use to keep your website functioning optimally? Share your knowledge in the comments!


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