In an ideal world, all websites would be helpful, easy to use portals of information that offer intuitive navigation and no errors. In the real world, however, most websites are riddled with minor annoyances — problems with content or visuals that, when annoying enough, can make a visitor click away faster than you can say “cascading style sheets.”
The potential for things that stink about a website is, unfortunately, pretty large. Here are ten of the most common.
- Bad images. Whether your logo isn’t quite right, your photos look like they were taken off a first generation smartphone, or you’ve resorted to using generic stock photos, poor visuals on a website are a huge turn off. This is an area of your site that you’ll want to concentrate on; the web is, after all, a visual medium. Click here for a list of our favorite FREE high resolution stock image websites!
- It looks bad on mobile devices. Well over half of internet users are on mobile devices. If your website isn’t optimized with a responsive design, or if it’s just too hard to read on a small screen, all of those users will probably close it up quickly. And now, Google’s algorithm has changed, and websites that are not mobile-friendly do not get priority on Google search. Contact us, and we’ll test whether your website is mobile-friendly with Google’s tester for FREE!
- There are pop-ups galore. We’ve all been in this situation: calmly reading or looking at something online, and then boom! There’s a pop-up, asking us to subscribe, or reminding us about a feature or event, or even worse, an ad. One pop-up is manageable. Two is obnoxious but not a deal breaker. Three or more, and you’re just asking people to close up your site.
- There are no buttons for social sharing. It’s the big philosophical question of our time: if you can’t share it, does it really exist? Make sharing easy for your visitors — and improve your page view numbers — by including sharing buttons for sites like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, and so on. Don’t know how to add gorgeous share buttons to your site? Contact us, and we’ll get them on your site in 15 minutes!
- You’ve got out-of-date content. When a visitor sees too much content about upcoming events that happened last year, they’re likely to think that your site hasn’t been updated in a long time and that it’s not fully accurate. To avoid this, keep your front page fresh, and consider adding a blog for regularly updated content (and then update it regularly!).
- You’ve got overwritten content. In today’s world, our brains are constantly processing information. We have our phones in front of us at all times with millions of news outlets and social media channels at our finger tips. Because of that, our attention spans have become small. We like to view quick videos, we like to read bulleted lists, we want the information quickly or we’re moving on. Writing for the web is not the same as writing for an essay, a magazine, or a newspaper. On a screen, short paragraphs, narrow columns, and embedded links are the way to go.
- Your content is overloaded with keywords. Not only is this annoying from a readability standpoint, but it actually does you no favors when it comes to Google’s search ranking algorithm (which has penalized keyword stuffing for a while now). Content should be written in a natural voice, with keywords used a few times where appropriate.
- Your audio and video content is on autoplay. This is especially bad if the content is preceded by a loud and obnoxious ad. And if your sound is turned up? It’s even worse. Bottom line: no one likes autoplay. Turn it off.
- You use passive aggressive language. This is a relatively new annoyance, seen mostly on invitations to subscribe, but it’s no less of a turn-off than the other items on this list. You’ve surely seen it: you get an option in large type that reads, “Yes! Please subscribe me to your newsletter!” Underneath, the “No” option reads something like, “I don’t like to know about the latest and greatest.” This attempt to be persuasive only makes you look insensitive. Just use “No.”
- The navigation of your site is hard to follow. What’s your phone number? What products or services do you offer? Where’s the information about your upcoming event? If your visitors can’t easily find information like this, you may lose them.
Help is Here!
If your website suffers from any of these problems, or if you’re just not getting the number of visitors you’re after, Modern World Consulting can help. Check out our Website Design Portfolio to see how we’ve helped many of our clients make their sites great. Then, when you’re ready, get in touch with us, and let’s talk about how we can do the same for your site.