A family out for what seemed to be some simple fall fun activity were trapped in a cornfield maze and had to call 911.
“We received a phone call that someone was lost in the maze. We dispatched an officer,” said Sgt. Bob Bettencourt of the Danvers Police Department.
Police arrived and the family was rescued. It took officers with their K-9 over 10 minutes to find them!
How many times have you visited a company’s website for the first time and all of a sudden what you thought would be an easy task turned into a nightmare?
You start out on your journey on the home page. Your eyes glance over the maze of information. Which way do I go?
You start with the main page navigation. It’s no help, it leads to many dead ends.
You click on a products page that looks like it will lead to what you are looking for and again you made a wrong turn. So you try and go back. No link to get back to where you started. Is it time to call 911? Not yet, you say.
There’s a light blue colored word; is this your way out? A light blue colored word normally would signal it’s a link… you click, you wait and nothing happens, so you keep clicking. Then you realize, no, not a link, just a light blue colored word. Another dead end!
One last attempt. Where is the Contact Page? The website is dated so the website designer put the Contact Page as part of the About Us drop down menu. Not where it should be in 2017! So you look at the top of the page and now the bottom of the page and you find no phone number to call, no email, not even a social media tag… Again no help.
You’re now completely frustrated and what should have been an easy adventure is a bad nightmare. Is it time to give up and call 911? This is the internet, so you click the Arrow (also known as the Back Button) and it takes you out of this website nightmare. Since you started your journey using a Google search, you now have a full page of other website options. You can continue your journey someplace else.
For the cornfield maze owner, having the police rescue your maze attendees is probably good for business. For the website owner who caused your nightmare, they just lost your business forever and probably many more possible customers just like you!
Take a look at your website like it’s your first time visiting it.
How easy is it to navigate?
Do you have your contact information readily available?
Is there anything on the site that might be confusing to a first time visitor?
Do your external links open in a new window or when I’m finished and close out, I close out your site as well?
Are you using proper page titles or did you try and get fancy and whimsical?
Do you have a clear call to action?
Your web visitors will not call 911, they will get lost and leave. Make sure your site offers a clear path and your visitors will follow.