You put enormous amounts of time and money into your website to teach visitors about your products and services. So when visitors arrive, the goal of your web design is to keep them around long enough that they get to know you.
Unfortunately, there are several elements on your website that irritate visitors and get them clicking the back button faster than your pop up can load.
Web Design Issues
To make sure you aren’t offending your visitors, here is what visitors notice and hate about your website and web design:
Your web design doesn’t use images – Images not only break up the text on your website, but they give readers a visual idea to the main idea of your piece. The internet has increasingly turned into a visual world where being able to get many ideas from looking at a picture is more acceptable than large blocks of text.
The paragraphs are too long – Long paragraphs on your website will get skimmed more and read less. People want to get through your content quickly, absorbing what they need to know, while having time to move on to the next piece. Remember attention spans are incredibly short so paragraphs with more than 3-4 lines of text in your web design look unfriendly.
Too many flashing ads – Other than being distracting, flashing ads reflect a 90s website and look extremely unprofessional. Even some modern and fast moving ads are distracting. Ads can be designed to look nice and call attention without aggravating the visitor and detracting from the reason they visit.
Text is too light – In many themes and templates designers play with the color of the text. While it might be a pretty feature of your site, it isn’t usually the best for readability. Text should always be dark enough for even the poorest vision to see.
Color scheme – A dark background with light colored text is almost never a good idea. It is difficult to read, and will almost definitely increase your bounce rate. Use your company colors in your header, graphics and logos.
It’s difficult to skim – Half of all internet visitors will skim your content. To make the content useful for them, your web design needs to accommodate subheads, content in bold, quotes and other visual elements that grab their attention. Make sure they can pick up the main ideas from skimming your content.
Auto play audio and video – Visitors hate being shoved into audio or video as soon as they land on your website. They want control over their experience and if they don’t have it, they’ll leave. It’s easy, and in your best interest, to make sure visitors aren’t annoyed when they visit, so it’s best to turn off auto-play options.
Keyword stuffing – There is too much focus on SEO and not enough on your readers when the keyword you are focusing on is mentioned too many times through the content. Use keywords in the main headline and a couple of places in the article.
No social sharing options – Social media is increasingly becoming part of your web presence. When you don’t give people the option to share your content, you lose a valuable opportunity to get more traffic.
Forms are too long – Asking for unnecessary information makes forms too long, difficult to fill out, and less likely to convert. Research shows that 5 fields in your form will deliver the highest conversion rate.
Lack of direction – The design and layout of your website should highlight key information and lead the visitor to take an action. Place a call to action after every article, and include multiple calls-to-action on your homepage.
Pop-ups – Pop ups annoy everyone, and send many visitors packing. While marketers swear by the use of them, it’s impossible to know exactly how much business is lost by using pop-ups. But you can be sure that you lose visitors, and that should be enough to stop bombarding them with pop-ups.
Even though your website is your company’s online home, it needs to be more like a store that is set up to welcome visitors, and ultimately turn them into more business. Visit the site, talk to real users and watch them interact with your website to gain insight into how they look for information and make decisions on your website.
If you’re unsure of what’s wrong, talk with a strategist at HiveMind Marketing. We can help you identify what’s wrong, and what’s right, with your web design and overall user experience.
Also published on Medium.