Yeah, that’s right. I said it. People actually hate your bad website. All the blood sweat and tears you’ve put into your business, and your reputation may be on the line if you have a website riddled with errors and poor usability.
Running a website is a big responsibility. There’s a lot to consider. When you are using online advertising, organic SEO, and inbound marketing techniques to drive people to your website, you have to make sure that your website can convert those users. Are you taking care of it? Making careful decisions? A/B testing your lead pages and forms?
If you are putting a lot money into the above, and finding your conversion rate low, you may want to look into the following things that your potential customers hate about your website.
It takes forever to load.
This is the biggest problem I see as a website designer. Your website is so slowwwww. Have you ever read one of those blog posts with the “20 worst celebrity haircuts” or something along those lines? Have you ever gotten to the page and find out that to actually have to click and load a new page to see Cameron Diaz’s awful hairdo, and you think, “it’s just not worth it.” So you close the page and move onto the next best thing. The same thing happens when people visit your website.
So, sure, WordPress plugins are cool. But do you need every single one? Probably not. Follow the guidelines for Google PageSpeed to optimize your website properly. If you don’t, odds are your website visitors are leaving before they even read anything.
You have grammar mistakes, spelling errors, poor writing.
If you are a crappy writer, you probably already know you’re a crappy writer. So have someone look over your website copy and check it for errors. Spelling mistakes are inexcusable. Grammar… ehh… we all have our problem area with this. But poor writing is the killer for me. I’ve had a few clients that copy/paste lots of different page text together (references from other sites and multiple writers creating different sections of a page). Without proper editing, it’s so difficult to read. Your website should have one voice, and carry a similar tone throughout. Be consistent.
It doesn’t work on their phone.
If your website doesn’t work on phones and tablets, you are truly at a disadvantage. That’s because in April of 2015, Google changed their search engine algorithms to favor mobile-friendly websites in mobile search results. Why would they do such a thing? Well, because people using smartphones hate trying to view websites that aren’t optimized for smartphones. So, the takeaway here is to get a responsive website. Not sure if your site is responsive or not? Check to see if your site is mobile-friendly. This way all of your content will look great on all types of devices. And people can stop hating your website.
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You have too many calls to action.
This point may be a little less obvious. I’ve seen a lot of websites that are trying to get their visitor to call them, and also go to the contact page, oh… and… sign up for their newsletter. But wait! We also have this webinar you need to sign up for! Not only that, they are on the sidebar, within the page copy, and then they pop up, slide in, and shake until you just can’t stand it anymore!
Seriously, that’s how it feels sometimes. And when there are too many choices, people just shut down. So my advice is to have a very clear call to action on your pages. But just pick one. One per page, and that’s it. When they get to the bottom of the article, do you want them to read something else? Or is the goal to join the mailing list? Maybe you want them to call you for a consult? Whatever that MOST important thing is, put that particular call to action on the page.
The page content is boring.
Why is your content boring? There are two main reasons.
The biggest reason is that you probably aren’t writing for the web. Web writing is different than writing articles. There needs to be a lot of scannable text. That means adding headlines, bullet points, and call outs in your copy. Most likely your customers will check the post or page out before they go in-depth and read anything (if they read it at all). So your headlines and bulleted lists (among other things) need to really tell the story of what you want to say quickly. Do some research on writing for the web and go back through your pages and see if there are ways you can chunk them out. This will stop the hate.
This brings me to the next reason your page content is boring: lack of photos. People love photos. That means that your potential customers love photos. Are you adding images to your pages and posts? Are they appropriate photos that will drive customers to click on them and read through? Do they make sense for the content?
Did you know?
You should have lots of photos. Because your audience remembers what they see in a photo more than what they read. Why do you think social sites like Instagram and Pinterest are so popular? Because they are so image heavy. So go back through your website and add some nice photography, icons, and infographics to make it more user-friendly. Your potential customers will stop yawning and start calling.
There are a lot of reasons why people can hate your website. If your website is slow to load, or isn’t mobile-friendly, check out Google PageSpeed Insights and work with a Web Developer to correct these errors. Spelling and grammar mistakes, multiple voices, poor web writing, and a lack of photos are major content flaws that can be easily remedied. Just work through your site and slowly but surely you can update everything. Also make sure that there is only one call to action per page. And make it relevant to the page, and very clear and concise. Once you’re done, you will see improvements in your bounce rates, engagement, and even amount of phone calls and emails for new customers.
What are some other reasons people may hate your website? What are your pet peeves. I’m happy to answer any questions and welcome your comments on this article.