One of the tenets of inbound marketing is to not annoy people. So why are there so many websites that still have elements that people hate?
Poor user experience can cause things like:
- high page abandonment rates
- low conversion rates
- poor organic search listing positions
- disparage your online reputation
The folks at Hubspot compiled this list of the 17 most annoying things seen on websites to act as a guide for what not to do when designing your website:
1. It takes forever to load.
Our shortening attention spans are not just making us check our phones several hundred times per day; they’re also making us really impatient when it comes to waiting for websites to load. Slow loading time frustrates your site visitors and affects conversion rate and brand perception — especially for mobile users, who are sometimes relying on slower cellular internet connections when browsing the web.
2. It isn’t optimized for mobile.
When browsing the internet on a mobile phone, have you ever been forced to scroll from side-to-side to read copy on a website? Or have you had to pinch-to-zoom because the words or buttons on a page were way too small?
3. It offers poor navigation.
When someone lands on your site, do they know what to do? Where to go? What their next steps should be?
4. It uses excessive pop-ups.
Excessive pop-ups that disrupt the reading experience can be seriously annoying. Use them in moderation and make sure when you use them, they are used well.
5. It contains multimedia content that autoplays.
Shhhh … I wasn’t supposed to be on this site at work!
6. It boasts disorienting animations.
Animations, autoplay videos, blinking and flashing paid advertisements, and other interactive entertainment may seem really cool, but if they’re too obtrusive or disorienting, they can detract from a visitor’s focus during those critical inital three seconds before they click the “back” button.
7. It’s littered with generic or cheesy stock photography.
It’s much better to show real pictures of customers, employees, your company, your product, and your location.
8. It contains a contact form, but no additional contact information.
There’s nothing wrong with having a “Contact Us” form on your site, but it should never be the only means of communication between you and your customers.
9. It has an unintelligible ‘About Us’ page.
Does your ‘About Us’ page explain what you do in business jargon, or using the words and phrases common to the general population?
10. It doesn’t clearly explain what your company does.
In the same vein as a bad ‘About Us’ page, it’s really frustrating to click around a company’s website and not get a clear sense of what the company actually offers.
11. It contains keyword-stuffed copy.
Remember back in the early 2000s when you went to a website and saw paragraphs and paragraphs of copy? Aside from being visually overwhelming, if you read that copy you’d find nothing more than a bunch of keywords meant for crawlers, not humans.
12. It’s missing social sharing buttons on content.
If you’re writing for humans, you probably have some really interesting content on your site — content that people want to share on social media, perhaps. That’s why it’s a huge disappointment to scroll up and down looking for a “Tweet This!” button, only to realize there aren’t any social sharing buttons on your website.
13. It doesn’t have a blog.
If you don’t have a blog, you’re missing out on an opportunity to provide your visitors with a ton of valuable information. And you’re missing out on search engine ranking opportunities, too.
14. It employs titles and headlines that are incongruous with your content.
If you’re an avid content creator, you know how important a well-crafted title is. Great titles are what cause people to click through to read what you have written. But if they’re met with content that’s unrelated to the title you provided, you’ll disappoint visitors — and they’ll often abandon your site.
15. It displays call-to-action copy that doesn’t align with the offer.
Along the same lines, your calls-to-action should align with what visitors receive when they redeem your offer. There’s nothing more frustrating than being promised a 50% off coupon in the call-to-action copy, only to redeem it and find there’s a caveat that says you must first spend $1,000. On select items. In-store purchases only.
16. It contains internal linking that isn’t user-friendly.
Include internal links only to relevant pages on your website that will enhance a reader’s experience, and include that link on the anchor text that makes the most sense.
17. It displays image sliders that take forever to load.
The longer it takes a webpage to load, the more people will abandon it. So make sure yours loads quickly and doesn’t require a reload. You’ll also want to accompany the visual elements with written copy above or below the slider. Many readers are scanners and wont’ invest the time to click through every image in the slider.