Sometimes website redesign is a necessity for success. There are enough ways to lose customers without contributing to the problem by making visitors to your website angry. And yet, we tend to see some of the same mistakes again and again – errors that cause businesses of all sizes to lose traffic, and revenue, that they can’t afford to go without.
Because we don’t want to see you repeating the same kinds of blunders, here are 10 in particular to look out for:
1. Missing pages and links. Few things are as frustrating on the web as thinking you found just what you are looking for, only to discover that it’s missing or has been removed. Keeping your site current can be tedious, but it’s also an easy way to keep visitors returning.
2. Overly aggressive advertising. From pop-up advertising to blinking banners and other overused tools, customers don’t like ads that are too aggressive – regardless of whether they are for your company or outside sponsors.
3. Automatic sounds, music, or animation. This isn’t as common as it once was on the Internet, but if your page automatically starts playing things like music, sounds, or animations, you can bet that potential customers are abandoning your site within seconds.
4. Terrible stock photography. Although stock photography has become a staple of business web design, over-using it (or choosing the wrong kinds of generic images) instantly takes away your credibility. If you have to use stock images, make sure they are at least interesting and relevant to your business.
5. No contact information. So, the customer has spent enough time on your website to become interested in what you offer and want to find out more… or even make a purchase! If they can’t find your contact information – or have to deal with a complicated form to send you a message – then the opportunity is probably gone before it really materialized.
6. Too much corporate-speak. Far too many business websites have a lot of text that says absolutely nothing. If yours is filled with paragraphs of things like “market-driven initiatives,” then you can bet that bored buyers are clicking elsewhere.
7. Pages written for Google, not humans. We all realize that search engine traffic is important, but live human beings should come first. If your site is “over-optimized” for SEO, it’s almost certainly discouraging sales and inquiries. Visit this site for a great explanation of SEO.
8. Misleading titles or ads. This isn’t necessarily referring to deceptive advertising, although that’s always a bad idea. Instead, we mean that a customer should be able to find exactly what they are expecting on your landing pages, based on the ads, headlines, and links that came before.
9. Pages that are too long. Few people have the time and patience to read dozens of paragraphs of unbroken text. If you really have so much to say, write it up into different sections or pages on your site.
10. Sites with no real value. What are you offering visitors that they can’t find elsewhere on the Internet? All of these other issues are small compared to the relative value of your site’s content, so make sure yours is interesting, current, and unique.
If you’re just getting started on your website, or want to know what you should be doing instead of what you shouldn’t, read some of our previous posts about Content Strategy and Content Marketing:
Are you considering a web design or redesign?
The effort poses many questions: What will make my site better and more effective? What do I absolutely need to take into account for my end users? Are there serious SEO issues or new search engine rules that I should watch out for? The following free eBook answers the most critical questions related to a successful web redesign project:
- Key elements and features “must-haves” for your homepage.
- Critical steps to protect your SEO and content during a site redesign.
- Steps you can take to improve your site right now while the redesign project is underway.
What kinds of mistakes have you seen businesses make with their websites?