7 Reasons Why I Hate Your Website
It Annoys Users
Forcing me to wait through a two-minute Flash "intro" before I can even get to your site will really annoy me. Almost as bad is making me click on an "enter site" button. I AM on your site, so why do I have to ENTER it?
Other things that annoy your users:
- Music that plays as soon as I enter your site so I have to frantically mute my computer while coworkers raise their heads and look around
- Cluttered design with little white space and too many different elements
- Bright clashing colors or light text on dark background to give me a headache
- Lots of Flash, so that getting to your "management team" page feels like a complicated and difficult game
- Your website takes so long to load I can make myself a fresh cup of tea while I'm waiting
It Does Not Feel Real
Your website should look and feel like your business and help me trust you. These don't help:
- Stock photos of models that don't look like your actual employees
- Stilted language that reads like a legal document or a press release that was written in the 80s
- No testimonials or client names or press coverage or product pictures anywhere: are you an actual business?
- Product pictures that look old or blurry
- Lack of consistency: across pages or with your brand
It's Difficult to Find Information on
Is information on your site easy to find? At first glance, can a new visitor spot how to get to your contact page (or give you a call), find out more about your services, know your business hours, and send you a message through the website? If you're a restaurant, can I get to your menu in two clicks or less?
It Is Difficult to Find
Will I be able to find your website easily if I know your business name but not your website URL? If your site doesn't turn up even when I use the exact business name in quotes along with the city you're based in, you have a big problem.
In spite of having a difficult-to-brand name, the website of the C Salon in Chicago turns up first when I search for [c salon]. I'm impressed!
You Just Don't Care
Do you pay attention to the details? Are your page titles descriptive and consistent across pages? When I search for you in Google, does the snippet tell me enough about your business? Do you have alt text on your images? Can I pore through your entire site without finding any typos? Does your contact form work perfectly every time and thank me when I've submitted my information? Is your text large enough to read so I don't question my eyesight?
If any of the above isn't true, it will make me question your interest in providing a good user experience. In other words, you're telling me you just don't care about me. So why should I buy from you?
You Just Don't Get It
It's the age of social media, smartphones and tablets: but does your website know it? Do you have social media buttons up? (Do you have a presence on at least two popular social media sites?) Is your website optimized for mobiles and tablets? Will I get thumb-cramp if I look for your phone number on your website from my smartphone?
It Looks Like You've Moved Away
Does your website still say Copyright 2010? Do you have your blog prominently featured on the site with the last post from six months ago? Do you have a page that says "upcoming events" with the last event dated November 29? How do I know if your business even exists anymore?
To get business online, you don't need to have a website that will win a Webby, but you do need your customers to stop hating your site. So get started!