In your eyes, your website is dynamic, colorful, really beautiful. But what about your visitors? What do they think of your website? While it’s impossible to read the minds of those who visit your website, there are certain things that nearly everyone who uses the internet hates. In fact, these are things that most people hate enough to prevent them from coming back to your website. What are they? Here are five of the worst.
Music or videos that begin playing as soon as the page loads. Today, visitors are looking for a good experience. When someone is researching or simply wants to read your page, nothing is more annoying than a video or audio disrupting his or her experience. Your visitor should be able to enjoy consuming your content on their own, without you forcing unwanted annoyances on them.
Pop-up ads. This one is SUPER annoying. While there are millions of websites on the internet that employ the use of pop-up ads thinking they will capture the attention of the visitor, it does nothing but irritate the user in truth. Imagine if you were reading a paragraph you found engrossing or browsing the options to see where you want to go next, only to have an ad pop out of nowhere and block your view. Very irritating indeed.
Long loading time is not an option. If your website is filled with flash animation, image sliders and other bells and whistles, it can drastically slow the loading time of your pages. Have you ever arrived at a website and sat there – and sat, and sat – waiting for the page to load? Chances are you left, which is just what your visitor will do after a few seconds. Those searching online for products or information are short on one thing – patience. Use tools like YSlow or Pingdom to test your page load speed and troubleshoot any issues.
Content that’s over-optimized or gibberish. Sure, it’s important to optimize your content for your chosen keywords; however, when it gets to the point that your content hardly makes sense anymore because of keywords placed every few words, readers will leave to find another website that offers interesting, valuable, easy-to-read content that is well-written. Focus on quality and providing your reader with the best possible experience; keywords will fall in naturally, which your visitor and search engines prefer.
404 errors. Hitting a dead end is definitely not what your visitor is looking for. When the user clicks on a link to a page and ends up reading “page cannot be found”, it’s not a good thing, even if you have the most creative or unique 404 error message. Check your links regularly to ensure they are working, and don’t forget to include redirects if you decide to delete or move a page on your site.
Is your website entertaining and enlightening your visitors, or simply annoying them? If you’re committing some of the above “fouls,” you could be turning your website into your visitors’ worst enemy. Your website should engage, not interrupt and disrupt.