Your website visitors have a short fuse. These days, people expect instant gratification, and they want websites to deliver – fast. So even the slightest thing can annoy them. Here are five things to avoid if you don’t want your visitors reaching for their mouse to click away from your website.
1. Having web pages that are “we’ed” all over
You know the kind of website – “we do this”, “we have been in business decades”, “we produce great work”. Yuk. It’s like going on a date with someone who spends the entire evening talking about themselves. There will be no second date….! It is the same with websites; when your website spends all its time talking about your business and how great you are, people will disappear faster than they arrived. Having a website that is not focused on the needs of the visitor is the number one annoyance that people express when I ask them about sites they have visited.
2. Making navigation tough
Your visitors want to find their way around your website in a snap. They don’t want fancy menu names or complex methods of getting around your site. They want simple, straightforward navigation. Plus they expect a search box, right up front in the top of the page, just like Google, Facebook and Amazon. Website visitors find difficult navigation immensely annoying.
3. Too many distractions
We all expect something in the way of distractions on websites. These might be advertisements or pointers to other useful articles. But there is a tendency to add every possible kind of reminder or pointer in some kind of bid to increase engagement. All it does is make people annoyed. The fewer distractions you have – the better. You don’t need fancy methods of pointing people to alternative content on your website if you have a good search system available.
4. Speeling errors
Whoops…sorry…! The heading above would have hit your subconscious before you even read it. Your peripheral vision would have caught the spelling mistake before you were aware of it. Spelling errors stick out and make a website seem less professional and unloved. Paying attention to the detail of things like spelling reduces subconsciously triggered annoyance. Plus, spelling errors can cost you clients.
5. Poor contact methods
Visitors will want a variety of ways of getting in touch that matches their preferred method. So you need to provide phone numbers, email addresses, Twitter names or a web form people can complete. In my masterclasses, people often say that they find it really annoying if they cannot find a way of contacting the company or if there is no phone number. Make yourself easily contactable if you don’t want visitors to be annoyed.
These are the top five annoyances with websites that people tell me. There are many others, but if you ensure you avoid these issues your website will engage more people for longer periods of time.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+