The she-beast sphinx had the face of a woman, the body of a lion, the wings of an angel and the smile of a cat that had got the cream.
“Solve my riddle, stranger,” she cooed, eyes glittering. “Or I’ll vanquish you on the spot.”
The stranger gulped. Glanced at the riddle.
… And promptly fled the scene.
In ancient Greek mythology, this was just a regular ol’ day and story of the beasts that roamed the lands and terrorised its people.
In today’s world, this is a modern tale of one puzzling website and one busy visitor ready to mutter, “Ain’t nobody got time for that” and click over to site that’s way less curious and way more captivating.
Which means less vanquished-on-the-spot and more bank-account-dwindling as you helplessly watch your dream customers sashay over to your competitors’ sites.
I don’t want that for you.
You deserve to be the hero of your story – not the victim of a puzzling website!
Which is why, today, I’ve devoted a chunk of my time to walking you through the variety of ways your website could unintentionally be confusing your dream customers and convincing them to click away.
She-beast-battling sword at the ready?
Our quest awaits!
Seven ways your website is puzzling your visitors off the page
You don’t clearly articulate what you do.
If your website doesn’t clearly and compellingly explain what you do within the first few seconds of someone arriving, it’s possibly too puzzling for your visitors.
Your visitors want you to make things easy for them. So the last thing you want is to make your visitors feel like they must solve a riddle just to figure out what you do.
You don’t illustrate your value.
Okay, so you’ve told them what you do.
… But have you explained why they should care?
Failing to meaningfully express the value of your work and offering is a common (but pricey) mistake many websites make.
But it’s an easily avoidable one! Simply hone in on what matters most to your audience and ensure your web copy adequately addresses their emotional needs.
Your contact details are impossible to find.
Even if you are available worldwide, your audience will still want to know how and where they can find you. It’s the human side of us: We don’t want to work with businesses. We want to work with humans.
Which is why failing to supply contact details (or hiding them in an oft-ignored area of your site) may weaken the trust you’ve built with your visitors.
Your prices are MIA.
If you force your visitors to hunt down your prices or price list, you run the risk of sending them on a quest they’re destined to never complete.
Remember, the goal here is to make things as easy as possible for your visitors. You want to remove as many barriers as you can, so that it’s easier than ever for them to say “yes” to you and your offering.
Your user experience is confusing.
A great website offers a clear journey for your visitors to go on. It has a beginning, a middle and an end which, ideally, involves them whipping out their wallets or contacting you for more info.
If any part of this journey is unclear, then the journey will go uncompleted. Which means farewell friend!
There are no call to actions.
Part of cultivating a compelling user experience is in setting up clear call to actions that tell your visitor what to do next.
They’re like the GPS directions uttered by your sat nav. Without them, your visitor can easily veer off-track and even off your site.
Your brand and copy are mismatched.
Think of your visual branding and website copywriting as forms of virtual body language. In lieu of an actual human to converse with, your visitors rely on the cues and signals of your visual branding and website copywriting in order to connect with your brand.
If these signals are mismatched, it’s akin to somebody saying one thing, while their body language says another: It makes your visitors feel super uncomfortable.
The good news? All of these mistakes are totally fixable.
Official creator and word nerd at Wild Spirit Co. I’m a former journalist and communications manager turned word-wrangler for hire. These days, I fist bump with clever entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses searching for words that woo and copy that converts. I have nine years of experience tucked into the waistband of my yoga tights (which I do everything but yoga in) and am the go-to girl for personality-packed communications that blend strategy with storytelling.