12 Most Annoying Things Driving Traffic Away From Your Website
I work with home-based businesses all the time teaching them the importance of having a website. My number one goal is for all business owners (not just the home-based business owners) is to help them understand creating a website is the most important step they can take in building their online presence. It bothers me how business owners go to the trouble of creating a website then add annoying things to the site that drive traffic away.
1. Music that automatically starts to play
I absolutely hate it when I visit a website and music starts playing. It is really unprofessional (yes, even if your site is about music). You never know when or where someone may be when they are visiting your site. Unexpected music will make someone click away fast!
2. Videos that automatically start to play
I know you only have between 5 to 7 seconds to make a connection with your website visitors. One thing is for sure, building a relationship fast is crucial. However setting videos to automatically start every time I load the page drives me nuts!
3. Using too much Flash
In the early 2000s I loved Flash, thought it was the coolest. I even took classes so I could learn how to create and use Flash for my clients. The problem… Flash was only cool the FIRST time you watched. Another problem.. there are millions of iPads sold around the world, but guess what?! Unfortunately, Flash doesn’t show up on the iPad; the area with the Flash appears as an empty space. Good thing I never mastered that skill.
4. Graphics that are animated or include scrolling text
These things may be cute on websites for children but not so much for business websites geared to adults. Every time I see animated images or text darting from side to side I am majorly distracted. I know the idea is to get you to look at them however, I have yet to see them used in a away that compels me to action.
5. Content that has not been updated
Just because you paid your web developer or designer I have a newsflash for you: YOUR WEBSITE IS NEVER DONE!
6. Adding pay per click (PPC) ads
Sorry to tell you but PPC ads will not generate sales for your business. Its a big mistake for business owners to place PPC ads on their sites with the hope of making money. Reality check: PPC ads only generate a few extra pennies unless you create a website specifically for generated ad clicks. What business owners fail to realize is these ads are driving much needed traffic away from their own site.
7. Visible hit counters
Though these may not necessarily drive traffic away they are annoying to look at. Hit counters are useless because they don’t accurately track your website traffic. Business owners have plenty of sophisticated, easy to understand and free analytics tools available. For example, give Google Analytics or Clicky, for a real-time solution, a try.
8. Not social media friendly
I have lost count on how many websites or blogs I visited with really good, useful and informative content. These sites have unfortunately neglected the opportunity to leverage social media as a free way to massively distribute their content. Don’t worry if you have not (or are afraid to) jump on the social media bandwagon you do not need a Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin or Google+ account to use these buttons on your website or blog.
9. Images stretched to distortion
I’m a strong advocate for business owners to take a DIY approach to creating their website. ALERT: Adding a distorted picture to your website is a dead give-away your site was created by an amateur. Here’s a simple fix: use a free image and graphic cropping tool to create the perfect size.
10. Too much content on the home page
Who has time to read a dissertation? You don’t have to tell your visitors everything about you and your business on the home page. Make your website about the visitor by providing them with essential information like the benefits of doing business with you. Then write compelling copy with a call to action to entice your visitors click to learn more.
11. Too many choices
Having to many choices can lead to a confused visitor. Listen up: a confused mind always says no. Limit your menu choices between 5 and 7 then make sure your navigation appears in the same spot on every page. Remember K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple (but) Savvy.
12. Pop-ups, pop-ups, pop-ups
Love them or hate them, THEY WORK! I only added this one because of the controversy created when I added the pop-up to my own blog. There was so much chatter I wrote a special blog post about the Dirty Little Secrets About Using (or Not) Pop-Up Ads. Who knows you may change your mind too after reading it.
Featured image courtesy of Art ascii(Paul) licensed via creative commons.