While browsing the web, we often find websites that are amazingly good or terribly bad. With some you want to stay for long and with some you want to leave as fast as possible. Just like a dream and a disaster. So, what is it that makes you annoyed with a website? What is it that ruins your experience when you are out there hunting for information or shopping online? Be it long loading time or ill-placed advertisement, anything that interrupts your user experience can drive you crazy. And that’s not it; poor user experience is likely to cause high page abandonment rates, low search listing positions, poor lead conversions and overall a bad reputation.
The issues might be small, but it can make people hate your website once and for all. With that in mind, here we have made a list of several website offenses that can leave a sour taste in the mouth of visitors and should be avoided.
1. Slow Loading Time
Some websites just take forever to load. Thanks to our short attention span, we keep checking mobiles over several times in a day and the same thing happens when we come across long loading time, which is, run out of patience. As per research, 47% consumers want a web page to load in less than 2 seconds time and if it takes more than three seconds to load, almost 40% leave the site. Slow loading time irritates the user, harms the conversions and brand image, especially in the case of mobile users who are dependent on slower cellular data for surfing the net. People tend to blame the site as they think it is the content provider who is responsible instead of mobile service providers.
If you want visitors to love your website, you have to pay utmost importance on the site’s loading performance. Various factors such as image size, videos, code etc. can affect the loading time and should be monitored. Constant check should be made and the site’s infrastructure should be changed to fix the issue.
2. Unclear Navigation
Does your website navigate clearly as soon as the user land on it? Do they know what they have to do next? It is a common misconception that the websites lose out on business because of lack of call-to-action. Actually, sites suffer as don’t provide the right direction to the consumers and don’t guide where to click next. It is important to have a page with bold headline copy sans jargons that tells what to do next and have a main call-to-action that informs how to proceed further- for filling a form, subscribing a blog, playing a video or any other task that you desire to perform.
3. Not Responsive
With people getting tech savvy day by day, they are preferring multi device environment for internet access. For that matter, 60% of internet access is on mobile devices only. So, it is very important to have responsive websites which are specially optimized for small screens, be it iPhone or 27’’ Retina iMac display. There nothing more frustrating than to scroll from side to side to read a page on a site. Users tend to get turn off if they have to zoom again and again as the words and buttons are too small for them to read. So, it is advisable to design responsive websites so as to avoid painful UX and enable the users to experience awesome web browsing irrespective of the device.
4. Too Much Pop-ups
Yes, pop-ups are a big annoyance to everyone. They can just spoil the entire reading experience especially the ones which are pretty lame for users like ‘want to improve your website? No thanks’ kinds. If you want to use pop-ups, try to use them in a limit so that you are not constantly throwing content that proves a burden on them. These can be added in a smart manner by allowing display of pop-ups to different users who have been on the site before or have reached a crucial stage of product purchase. You must track the number of clicks on pop-up call-to-action to see how many submissions it has resulted in.
If the results aren’t significant, you should edit it or remove it to refine your user experience. Never make the users guilty to take the desired action; a polite no can help them to express their lack of intent. An excellent approach to replace pop-ups can be slide-in call-to-actions which are like small banners that automatically slide from side or bottom of the page. This can cause less interruption and enable the users to read the content with ease.
5. Auto-Play Media Content
All you just wanted was a silent browsing session, but thanks to the theme song or the person rambling in the video, which you didn’t even press play to, now all in drain. Okay, now what will you do next? Probably search for the mute or stop button or quickly select back in the browser to get rid of the nuisance. And this way, many visitors are lost by forcing multimedia content on them. Let the audience choose that video on the site; don’t impose it on them. Whatever multimedia content they want, they should be given the option to go for it themselves. These days even Facebook and Twitter have auto-play videos, but they are on mute mode unless users make the decision to put them on sound.
6. Distractive Animations
Images are meant to catch users’ eyes, but that doesn’t mean that you include something that just distracts the user and is of no use to them. It takes three seconds for a user to scan the page, after that they use ‘back’ if they don’t like it. There is no use in burdening the page with unnecessary animations as it just disorients users and make them lose their focus. If people don’t find what they are looking on a site while browsing, they get frustrated and leave the page. Auto-play videos, animations, flashy advertisements and other entertaining content might look spectacular, but can distract users high time and ruin the purpose of their visit.
7. Contact Info Absent
Although from the looks it might seem that a ‘contact us’ form is the best option to create an opt-in email list, but it is of no use in lead generation. Also, it doesn’t reveal whether the user wants actual communication with you or not. There are more chances of a problem or request to be sorted for a one-time purpose. Even if they have a one-time request, still ‘contact us’ module should not be the sole way of communication on your site. If customers need help, they want it immediately. They don’t have the time and will to fill the form and then wait what happens. Make sure to stay in touch with people through phone, mail and social media and display the contact details clearly on your website to address all their problems.
8. Nonsense of ‘About Us’ Page
‘About Us’ is meant to explain what the business does and who all have made it happen. Using words and phrases which are cliché and hold no relevance to the context should be forbidden. It can be a captivating story, but highlighting the creation of the company by its makers. It is all about connecting with the audience and should be exactly in the language they understand, not the one that hurts the brain with all its unintelligible content
9. Purpose Is Not Defined
In the same line as ‘about us’, sometimes the users get really offended when they are not clear what the company has in store for them. The best trait of a remarkable webpage is that it highlights what brand/company is, what it does and what all can the visitors expect from this site. Well-known brands such as Pepsi can afford not to describe who they are and the work they do, but most of the businesses have to answer these basic questions as it clears the purpose of the brand and ensures the visitors that they are on the right site for their needs. If the customers can’t decipher what the company is all about, they won’t stay for long.
10. Useless Stock Photography
Agreed, images are a great tool to enhance the experience and make things more illustrative to the users. But putting bad stock photos that are useless will do more harm than good. Showing images in which all the employees are happy or board members are focusing with a keen interest will not create the same impression for the real scenario. Nobody will assume that such thing actually happened. Such kinds of pictures are too generic and silly as they do nothing to convince the visitors and are not even helpful for the business. Prefer using on-cheesy stock images and something which shows real photos of employees, customers, product, company and location so as to make it relate-able for the visitors.
11. Full of Keywords
A website loaded with big heavy paragraphs is a big pain for the users. Apart from ruining it visually, a copy full of keywords is not suitable in the context of information display as well. Filling your content with too many keywords is a common SEO (search engine optimization) mistake that the marketers commit. Although keywords are very important to achieve SEO, but if gone wrong and stuffed on the page, Google will penalize your website for its excess use. Besides, a keyword loaded copy gives a terrible reading experience to the user. So, instead of stuffing and cramming keywords everywhere, try to optimize its use.
12. One Brand, Many Websites
Many customers tend to get stuck in the rut of two-site syndrome. This happens when a company’s information website is built on a totally different platform to that of its ecommerce portal. Separate platforms disrupt the user experience as by merely clicking ‘buy’ visitors land on a new website altogether. Different websites come as a jolt to the expectations of the customers and affect the conversion rates considerably. It is important that the marketing and ecommerce teams conjoin their sites through single shared platform to avoid negative customer experience and make purchasing an ease for them.
13. No Social Media Sharing Options
Whenever customers come across something interesting on a website they have an instant urge to share it on social media. They scroll and look for plugins, but are highly disappointed to find them missing on the website. Social media buttons make it simpler for the readers to share interesting stuff as they don’t have to bother copying and pasting URLs. In addition, sharing options will make the content viral which will generate more site traffic, improve search engine rankings and create more leads for the site.
Having a social media page has also become a necessity these days as it is kind of an interactive testimonial platform through which customers express their opinions and leave comments (both positive and negative) based on their experience. By showing your presence on social media you are proving that you are not scared of negative comments or criticism by the users and are ready to brace whatever they throw at you.
14. Blog Is Missing
If your website doesn’t have a blog, you are losing out on an important channel to convey information to the visitors. Also, you are tossing out the opportunity to gain a place in rankings. It is generally the tendency of the customers to do their homework and conduct an in-depth research on the background of the company before they contact a salesperson. If the company’s blog provides all the information they want to know, there are chances that the customers will trust the company and undergo sales process with the belief that they will be assisted at every step.
15. Abundant Text
According to research, users read only 28% words on a page. So, it is very important to give them text that is worth their time and effort. Offer text only if it is needed and for additional info, adopt a manner that is unique and captures their eyes. Illustrations are always very powerful so provide pictures & informational videos to support the text. Such a dynamic combination will attract the visitors more and make the conversions scale high.
16. Unsuitable Headlines
A skilful content curator knows the importance of titles that are suitable for the page. Apt titles help to capture audience’s attention and they are persuaded to click and read further. Unrelated headlines disrupt the information flow and leave the users really mad due to which they abandon the site. Headlines are like bait and should be crafted with thought as they have the advantage of creating curiosity amongst people. A title should excite not annoy people with the content. Misleading titles are a big no-no as they spoil the credibility of content big time.
17. False Call-to-Action Copy
Just like the above point, the calls-to-action should match what they claim as offer. Customers are really offended if they come across a call-to-action that promises something, but on redeeming that offer it is kind of a gimmick which also has terms and conditions attached to it. Can be just on limited products or applicable on in-store purchase, whatever be the condition, visitors feel disappointed and doubt the brand as a whole. Yes, it will definitely harm the reputation and even make the conversion rates suffer.
18. Old Content
Nothing puts off the users more than out of date content. Designing a website is not a one-way path where you just create a site and you are done. It is important to brush up the content either through latest posts or some other updated info which might be of use to the visitor. This way, customers will have more bent towards your site and even your search rankings will accelerate by great numbers.
19. Trouble With Links
Internal links are meant to help the users with other relevant information. Unless executed properly, they pose more trouble than help. Such links disorient the users by directing them to irrelevant pages, connecting strange phrases with copy and harming overall readability of the content. Try to make linking effective as it will reward you by improving the organic ranking of your main pages on your website. Mention links that match the pages and contribute in making user experience rich. Further, mark the link on the anchor text where it stands most suitable.
20. Time- Wasting Sliders
Image sliders demonstrate the tasks you do or the tasks you have worked on in a space-friendly manner. It is good to capture attention of the viewers unless used in an efficient way. If the sliders load quickly and don’t need a new page to load with every user click, the user will stick to the site. But if takes forever to load and with every click there is a new web page on display, the users are bound to suffer with the tedious page load time. Note that if it takes very long for a page to load, it is likely that the users will abandon it. So, make it a point to have quick loads and avoid reloads altogether for a page.
While making a website there are certain features with which you go wrong or forget to include altogether in general. Mistakes like not making the website mobile friendly or not including social media buttons can actually drive users nuts. They start hating your website and label it bad. I hope you will keep the above mistakes in mind and not commit them while designing your website. Yes, next time avoid these faux pas and rocket your conversion rates to success.
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