We work with all kinds of companies that either hate their current site or are just beginning their business and need a website that matches their passions. Through our years of experience, we’ve been able to gather a few features of some common websites that are super annoying to the user and often cause them to click away and go with another company. Here’s the 7 most popular website mistakes we see:
People usually add a pop-up with the best of intentions: We need more email subscribers! Or maybe they want you to Like them on Facebook. Whatever it is, distracting your user from the content with a box that contains information they don’t like kills your user experience.
It also nearly always leads to the same response: click Back. If your site isn’t properly mobilized, then finding that X out button can be even harder and as a user, I’m frustrated and now I’m leaving. All before I even saw your products, brand or mission. What a shame.
Instead, go for forms and links that scroll with the user, or have indications pointing to it, rather than shoving it in someone’s face.
2. Requesting Sign-ups Too Early
Websites that give you a little bit of information and ask you to sign up to receive more information often are a waste of time for users. A user is more than likely not going to subscribe and leave the website. A more valuable concept is to offer trials so a user can be part of the entire websites experience. After the 5 articles, or 10 day trial, the user is more likely to be converted to a subscriber than if they are asked to subscribe from the beginning.
3. Where’s the Contact Information?
Open up your homepage. Do you immediately see a phone number, or an email address? If you don’t, you need to place your contact information in a more obvious spot.
Does your contact information include both email and phone number? How about a mailing address? It’s these little touches that allow a user to reach out to your business using their preferred method, making everyone happy. Listing that your business actually has a physical presence is also another way to appear more legitimate on the often sketchy internet.
If you have social media profiles, don’t forget to include them as well for customers who may want to contact you in more of a passive or informal way.
4. Lack of Updates
Static websites are unattractive to users because users feel that the site is not maintained or updated on a regular basis. In a worse-case scenario, they may just assume the company no longer exists. Users will transfer this feeling from the website to the performance of the actual business, which may not be true, but it is the typical reaction. As far as users are concerned the website is the online face of the business. What happens there translate across the board.
Take the hospitality industry for example. Hotels often provide turn down service at night time and cleaning services during the day. What if such techniques were employed on their website? Is there daily maintenance that occurs in your business, but not on your business’ website? Why is that? Users will notice that inconsistency and falsely link it to business performance. Well groomed and well maintained websites are a clear indicator of business performance. Worse than that, having incorrect information or content from more than a year ago discredits you as a business. And no one wants that.
5. Unhelpful Forms
Forms that ask for all your personal information when reading an article or shopping for goods are annoying, disruptive and weaken the user experience. Why do I have to give you my street address if I’m simply browsing for new cooking recipes online? Yes, maybe the data is great for back-end analytics, but it disrupts user experience, increasing bounce rate and decreases their chance of becoming a converting user.
6. Long Loading Times
In the fast paced, 100-things-on-your-brain-at-one-time world that we live in, if a website takes too long to load, you are more than likely going to lose that user. Paying the extra few dollars a month for faster servers, or faster data transfer service can be beneficial to decrease bounce rate and increase time spent on your website. If videos or more engaging content takes long to load, users will find a site that can grant them access to the information they want quickly. Why do advertisers use models for ads, or why are cleaner, sharper, newer pictures the trend? Advertisers play to peoples psychology, so if the pictures are clean, so is their office, so is their product, and by using said product, consumers can be too. So keep your site fast, if you are looking for increased business.
7. Automatically Playing Content (especially with sound!)
Yes, it makes sense to enforce your brand as strong as possible and automatic ads put your brand right in the user’s face. Good or bad attention is in the eye of the user, but for most users, it is easier to hit the back button or close the browser than it is to navigate to the right spot on the website and close the video or turn off the sounds. This unattractive trend has been in the industry for years and must come to an end to save businesses from this tacky form of advertising.
If you don’t know how users are behaving on your site, install Google Analytics immediately! A totally free tool, Google Analytics tracks and makes sense of the traffic that comes through your website. The data gleaned from this useful tool can be invaluable to your company’s marketing and branding efforts. Online Optimism installs Google Analytics for FREE for any Louisiana business because we understand how valuable it can be and no company in 2015 should go without it.
These are just a few of the most common mistakes we see on the web and we spend all our time on the internet. If you have questions about what you can do to improve your website or just want to start from the beginning, give Online Optimism an email, tweet or call at 504-521-6222 to get more info and speak to our specialists!