Business blogs and websites are sometimes designed the way they are to cater specific purposes; for example, IT-related websites tend to be more edgy and flashy to project an image of technological competence.
While these are valid reasons, there are also instances when the functionality of the site becomes a curse to the very purpose of attracting visitors. These supposed “features” only end up fuelling disappointment for people who could have otherwise become potential clients.
Here’s what’s worse: there’s a huge possibility that you are not aware of these flaws. Why? Because people never get the chance to give you feedback – they couldn’t stand staying on your website that long.
Perhaps you need to reconvene with your web designer and check if the following things are hurting your site retention:
- Auto-sounds. This is not MySpace. Installing musical backgrounds is a way to freak out visitors, not impress them. Also, a big NO to ads that produce annoying sounds when your mouse hovers over them.
- Newsletter pop-ups. The intention is good, but the execution may kill it. Before you offer sign-up forms, give your reader at least the chance to read 50% of your post. Pop-ups that happen too soon will only make them click the back button just as fast.
- Flash without skips. You have the right to put flash videos on your site, if you have the resources and skill. But never, under any circumstance, deny a visitor the right to skip it. Not everyone has that luxury of time.
- Oversized banner photo. Don’t put your CEO’s face on every page where it consumes half of the space so people have to scroll down a mile before they could see content.
- Tasteless fonts. There are people who are actually convinced that using Comic Sans in business websites should be punishable by law.
- Date-phobia. Indicating the time stamp on your posts is not only the ethical thing to do, it’s also a sign of competence and relevance.
- High-contrast colors. Sadly, sites that use yellow text over a royal blue background still exist. There’s no point of putting content on your page if you’re not going to let them read it like a normal person.
- No “About” page. Give your visitors a more convenient way to learn about your company other than looking you up on Wikipedia.
- Ad pages. A photo of a tropical cruise placed beside a blog article is still acceptable, but routing a visitor to an entirely separate page just for ads? That’s crossing the line. Those are called interstitials, and it’s a huge insult on a person’s patience.
- Typos. Your lack of attention to detail could send a bad signal to your readers. There is just no excuse for word errors in a platform that survives through words.