Regardless of business size, one of the first things a business owner looks to get in order is a website – and that’s understandable given the digital age we live in. Websites are now playing a huge role for businesses, and for some e-commerce sites it’s literally everything to them. However, in many cases, businesses are quick to set up a website, but don’t necessarily ensure that it runs in a user-intuitive manner.
Taking time to ensure that your website is fully functional, both from a design and usability standpoint, can help it become a key source of leads and revenue. However, failing to do so could result in a countless number of missed opportunities.
We’ve looked at the 6 things that people hate about websites so you can avoid making the same mistakes.
Slow loading times
We’re starting with one of the biggest annoyances for today’s web user – loading times. We now live in an age where we demand everything to be instant, and instant access to web pages is simply another requirement that we’ve come to expect. In fact, the level of impatience for many stands at as little as 3 seconds – with around 40% of people stating they’ve left a site which has failed to load in that time.
There are numerous ways you can overcome slow loading times. These stretch from quick fixes such as reducing the amount of media on a page along with compressing large image sizes, to more technical solutions which might require a hand from your website developer.
Keyword stuffed copy
Website content which is stuffed with keywords does nothing but leads to arbitrary copy which provides very little value to the end user. In addition, it actually works against your search ranking, as Google now penalises sites which are seen to be using this method, meaning that there is no reason for businesses to continue this practice.
The act of keyword stuffing arose during the turn of the century when Google’s search algorithm leant heavily on the level of keywords which were featured on a website. This led to marketers focusing on getting as many keywords into their copy irrespective of the quality of the overall content, which at the time saw them rise through Google search rankings.
However, since then Google’s ranking algorithms have come on leaps and bounds and now a major onus is being placed on website reputability and user behaviour, unfortunately many marketers are still attempting to optimise their sites through keyword stuffing.
You should have a good idea of the content on your site, but we’d still recommend going over your copy to ensure that it provides value to visitors and hasn’t fallen foul of keyword stuffing. If it needs rewriting, then don’t waste time sitting around. Either get it updated in-house or hire a copywriter to update it for you, the long-term loss of being penalised by Google will outweigh the short-term commitment of time and money in rewriting the content, so the sooner you get it seen to the better.
Too much text
While we’ve stressed on the importance of providing quality content which the users will find useful, websites should also be visually intriguing. Content doesn’t just take into account written copy, images also now play a massive part. Not only do they help to provide a visual reference, but they’re also great to use to split up large portions of text.
Websites which feature too much writing become an instant turn-off for many users. As mentioned above, we live in a day and age where the typical levels of patience and attention span are ever decreasing so don’t expect people to read through paragraphs of writing.
Doesn’t clearly state what your business does
This is something which can see you lose out to your competitors very quickly. As with many decisions these days, people are quick to jump online and research their options before committing to a particular product/business/service.
So, if a visitor heads over to your website they’ll be wanting to know what it is you do and how you’ll be of use to them. It’s important you get this across with immediacy as people are usually only a couple of clicks away from looking elsewhere. If you’re target audience is better served being spoken to in plain English, then avoid industry jargon that might make your offering difficult to understand.
Keep your messaging as simple and succinct as it can be.
Overuse of stock imagery
As we’ve mentioned above, all users like an image or 2 to break up paragraphs of written copy. However, businesses that opt to use stock imagery need to be aware of the type of images they use. There are a whole host of images which are overused and can leave your website looking very cheesy while failing to give a true reflection of your business.
The images you use should add value in terms of providing a visual aid for the information on the page, or at the very least be aesthetically pleasing while still being relevant to the page itself.
Stock images such as the ones featured above are a prime example of the kind of imagery which will simply leave your business looking unoriginal and rather boring. Make sure your brand identity isn’t lost through the heavy use of generic images.
Not optimised for mobile/tablet
Mobiles and tablets are being used to browse the internet more than ever before, but there are still an astounding number of websites which aren’t optimised for either. This often makes for a torrid user experience for those people trying to browse a site which simply lacks the functionality for mobile.
Whether it’s relentless pinching and pulling to navigate around each page, numerous clicks on the wrong tabs as a result of them being too small, or a section of the webpage not displaying on the screen – the final result tends to lead to visitors no longer wanting to return to the website, at least on their mobile.
If you’re one of those guilty parties who haven’t optimised their website for mobile then we’d recommend taking a look at how much of your traffic is coming to your site via mobile. If it’s a large portion then optimising your website for mobile should be a major priority, the last thing you want is to find yourself losing out on customers simply because they’ve had a bad experience navigating around your site.
Before you go
We hope that’s highlighted a few of the things that many web visitors begrudge when browsing online – and in turn will help you to improve your website. Before you head off and revamp your site you should also remain mindful of how your website is currently performing. This will prove important as it’ll allow you to measure how the changes you make now, and those you make moving forward, impact the site. We’re firm believers of measuring all activity to help establish its success so take advantage of the numerous free tools you can find online to help monitor changes in visitors’ behaviour on your website.
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