Post-Traumatic Web Disorder: Is Your Website Causing Users Stress?

Since our early days as creators of "one-page landing pages" Broadway Social Media has been relentlessly focused on the testing and measurement of websites. To what end? To increase sales and lead generation. We believe that websites should be more than just a "brochure" for a company. They should also produce income and leads.

We have found that an average website with a superior sales message and superior user experience will outperform a beautiful website that does not give the user exactly what he or she wants. In other words, simple, ugly websites can outsell beautiful and complex websites. Poor user experience almost always translates into poor sales. There is simply no substitute for meeting a customer's needs and expectations and doing so quickly and efficiently.

Recent research has shown another reason to focus on testing and measurement: STRESS. According to a recent research study (pdf) customers experience physiological stress when dealing with website issues such a slow loading times. And, as you might imagine, those who report problems mention that they often leave and never come back:

“If it stresses me, I’m less likely to use that website again”

“If it doesn’t work, I move on”

The problem is that very few users will actually report a problem to a business. This means that problems with your website can go undetected for months, costing you a great deal of lost revenue. And people tend to remember negative experience more than positive ones. Online this translates into what we call "Post Traumatic Web Disorder." A person may avoid your website and products without even realizing that he or she is doing so. They don't want to have a trigger that will remind them of the bad experience.

Healing "Post Traumatic Web Disorder."

The simplest solution is to hire someone new to your business to engage in the process of interacting with your website. A skilled consultant will be able to quickly identify potential problems. And if you want to increase sales and engagement, have a company such as Broadway Social Media engage in actual research on your website. It is possible to test the inclusion or exclusion of certain website elements and how they increase sales.

Landing page tests can be simple and involve only testing one or two elements. Or they can be complex and test multiple elements at once. We once did a simple test with an mp3 download test in which we made only one change: The new website had a "safe shopping" logo that noted that all transactions were 100% guaranteed. The page with the logo outsold page without it, by a factor of 3 to 1. Is there a simple element or change to your site that could drastically increase sales? There most likely is. But unless you have someone conducting research it will be hard to find.