Have you ever visited a website just to exit right back out of it? Maybe it loaded too slowly, it didn’t grab your attention, or it was just a mess. The first impression is a crucial one, and if you aren’t careful, you could be losing readers before you even have a chance to wow them with your personality.
While you may think you are doing things to make your website look fancier or more high-tech, there is a very real possibility that you are just annoying people. And when people are annoyed, they most certainly aren’t going to become a paying customer. Of course, some things are just a matter of opinion, but it’s pretty safe to say that the following five website features are losing you business—so get rid of them pronto.
The words “Click to Enter” should never appear on a website. Ever. Not only is it rude to force people to watch your little spiel before getting to the goods, these introductions don’t even work on Apple devices. Google doesn’t recognize them and they make your page take forever to load. Do you see anything good about them? Us either.
When a customer is in the middle of browsing your site—whether they are reading your content or inspecting your products—the last thing you want is to interrupt them, which is exactly what pop-ups do. They are even more frustrating on mobile sites because trying to click the tiny little “X” to close out the window is downright impossible. However, there is one exception to the no pop-ups rule, and that is if you are using it to offer your customers an exclusive coupon code to entice them to complete their purchase. But even then, keep it minimal and only have it show up from the homepage.
You know you’ve been there: You open up several links from the search results in different tabs only to suddenly have random noise blaring from your speakers. In a panic, you rush through the tabs you just opened to try to find the source of this noise before you give away that you are searching the Internet at work. Do you want your website and its videos that play automatically do be the reason somebody gets fired? Even if the mute button is easily accessible, these videos still cause your website to load slowly—and people aren’t as patient as they were in the dialup days.
In most cases, stock photos are pretty easy to spot, and when they are, you instantly lose credibility. Sure, you can throw one in a blog post every once in a while, but make sure you are using original images for your homepage, bios, and products. Because the last thing you want is for your competitor to have the exact same image as you—it’s almost as embarrassing as showing up to work in the same outfit as your colleague.
In the world of fast browsing and quick skimming, having ample white space is key. Yet so many websites clutter their pages with pictures and text and icons, oh my! Be succinct in your copywriting, use short paragraphs, and place your pictures wisely. Try to look at each page of your site from an outsider’s view—does it look daunting or is it possible to gather the main points in a few minutes? Always remember, when it comes to the Internet, strategically placed white space is your friend.