When you’re designing your own website, or working with a web development team, you may have a beautiful vision for your final design. Many business owners have set up a website doesn’t seem to work for them, in the ways that they hoped. They end up with high page abandonment, low conversion rates, and poor search engine positions. An optimal website will keep users on the page, resulting in higher search engine rankings and a higher likelihood of these users converting into customers. If your website isn’t working for you in this manner, you might want to see why people may be abandoning your website in droves.

Website design is far more involved than a lot of clients expect when they step into the process. There are decisions to be made, designs to proof, calls-to-action, and overall attractiveness to consider, even when you’re working with a team of experts. You may want all the glamour in the world, but without the right execution, your website could end up being the bane of a customer’s existence. 

Here, we’re offering the top 10 ways you will turn people off on your website, to help you avoid the pitfalls of design. 

1) Long Load Times

If your website takes too long to load, a potential customer may leave before they even obtain the information they desired. Frankly, people are impatient. You could lose a customer within seconds. Especially so, if your competitor’s site loads faster than yours and has all the pertinent information they require. 

According to KISSmetrics, 47% of consumers expect a website to load in two seconds or less, and 40% abandon a website that takes more than THREE seconds to load. While that may seem out of bounds for many of us, you can’t argue with the numbers. Even a one second delay can reduce your customer’s satisfaction or desire to work with you.

You want to make sure your page is optimized, and you don’t include too much on one page. Each page should have a single subject that reflects what the consumer clicked on it for, to begin with. You’ll also want to check into your image sizing, any additional videos added in, or potentially work with a professional website consultant to figure out your points of opportunity.

2) No Mobile Optimization

Have you ever visited a site on your phone, that wasn’t optimized for your phone’s browser? You have to pinch and zoom text, you may struggle to click links, and the overall experience is quite cumbersome for the end user. 

In fact, mobile traffic accounts for half of web traffic, worldwide. The traffic is so significant that Google made changes to their algorithm to reflect that back in 2015. Moreover, they have announced that they would strengthen the ranking signal from mobile-friendly websites as of May 2016.

That said, if your website is not optimized for mobile, you’re lightyears behind.

3) Burying Important Information

It’s important to understand why users come to your site. For example, if you’re a restaurant, chances are people want to come to your site to see what your menu is like and to learn more about the dining experience. They may want to make reservations or contact the restaurant for other questions and queries. 

Can you imagine if there was no contact information, no reservation information, and even no menu? Even worse, imagine if the information is there, but buried behind lots of other content or mysterious captions that don’t make it obvious how to get the information they require. 

Keep the straight forward information exactly that — straight forward. Anything else you want to add about your business is just a sweet cherry on top. Just make sure that people can have their basic questions answered quickly and easily. 

Adding an FAQ section will add a little extra ease of use!

4) Poor Direction and Purpose 

Sometimes navigation isn’t so obvious. You want your customers to know where to go, and to easily be able to figure out what to do once they arrive on the website. 

You’ll want to include very clear headlines, clear calls-to-action, and have each page have a clear and concise purpose. Otherwise, people will be stabbing in the dark and will ultimately leave before they get the information they came to acquire. 

Each page should be clear, and should have a clear directive to get the consumer to understand what next steps they can take. Otherwise, they’ll leave without questions answered and you’ll have lost potential business because they simply aren’t sure what next steps to take.

5) Not Meeting Expectations

A click-through promise is ideal, and must be met every time. Not only do you want to give people direction and purpose, but you also want to give them exactly what they have come to find. 

If you want people to make reservations, appointments, or to buy something, have a clear call-to-action on each page, and make sure that when they click on any link on your site, it matches expectations.

Remember, consumers want information fast and they want to be able to find it easily. You wouldn’t stuff your great granny’s recipes in a file folder labeled “Tax Documents 2012”! You’ll certainly never find it that way. Make sure each page is clearly labeled and has a specific purpose.

6) Bad Website Copy

One way to turn people off is to include copy that is full of industry jargon, or really bad grammar. If they can’t understand what is being communicated, they’re less likely to stay on your website, and –ultimately– less likely to convert!

7) Autoplaying Multimedia Content

Imagine sitting in a silent room and suddenly hearing embarrassing music from someone’s phone. We’ve all seen it happen. The person in question always looks flustered, and they quickly fumble to turn it off. They didn’t expect it, and the others around them certainly didn’t expect it either. 

While it might be kind of funny, this is a fast way to get people to click out of your site right away. This is a trend that died out years ago. We strongly advise against it, as it alienates visitors and certainly doesn’t encourage them to return.

8) Cheesy Stock Photos

The temptation to use stock photography is real. However, most consumers know and understand that stock photography is… well, stock photography! It comes across as disingenuous. 

It can occasionally be relevant, but we recommend using it sparingly if at all. IF you have the means, we highly encourage hiring a photographer to help add real personality to your project.

9) No Contact Information

Too many businesses forget this pertinent detail. After all, sometimes consumers visit websites just to obtain this information.

Always include a contact page that exclusively and clearly outlines how to contact you and your business. 

10) No Blog/Additional Content

This may not seem like it would be a turn-off, but it certainly can be! Not only is a blog helpful for boosting potential rankings for various search terms, but a good quality blog can help you create trust with your website visitors. 

When done appropriately, a blog can help you demonstrate that you are trustworthy simply by being able to provide customers with information beyond what your business does. It can prove you’re in touch with your community, or your knowledge in your industry. People do business with companies and individuals they know, like and trust. 

If this is all too much, or you simply don’t want to be bothered with making the design decisions and outlines for your website, you may want to consider finding a professional to make the assist. After all, professionals are up-to-date with the most relevant information to ensure that their craft is exactly what their clients need to be successful in their web-based endeavors.
If you are in need of a website consultation, check out our web development services to learn more!

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