A badly designed website can cause a high bounce rate, low conversion rates, poor organic search engine listings, and an overall bad reputation of your business or organisation.
Here is my top 10 list of why people hate your website, and what you can do about it.
With so much competition out there, getting business is not easy, and a website is often the first impression of your business for most. So don’t frustrate your website visitors, try and make that first impression count!
1. Too Slow
Probably the top reason, why people hate your website, is they’re just too busy today to wait an extra few seconds for a website to load, especially on mobile, where the connection may not be so quick. Reports show 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less, and 40% abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load. With websites being more sophisticated, images and videos being encouraged to help with engagement, these factors are contributing to extra download times. It’s important more than ever to make sure websites are optimised for load performance and speed. Google takes speed seriously too, and its algorithm penalises websites with slow download speed in their search results.
2. Not Mobile Friendly
It’s one of the top reasons as to why people hate your website. If you need to scroll from side to side or pinch-to-zoom to read and navigate around, then you’re aggravating your visitors. It’s not only people that try and avoid websites like that, as Google’s algorithm gives preference to mobile-friendly website’s. With over 50% of website traffic now coming from mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly website is a must!
3. Too Many Popups or Ads
Popups used correctly can be a good thing, especially for building email lists but used in the wrong way, they can be invasive and increase your bounce rate. They can interrupt the user’s experience on a website and may distract them from the user journey. So make popups have a purpose, be relevant and not seem spammy, A/B testing may be a good option to test what works and what doesn’t.
4. Contains Auto-play Content
Clicking on a link and then suddenly loud audio blasting out while on public transport or at the office, is something that most of us have experienced, it’s annoying, embarrassing and unnecessary. So don’t enforce auto-play, always keep any sound on mute until users decide if they want to engage. If your content is relevant and looks interesting, then most visitors will want to hear anyway.
5. Poor Navigation
When users land on your website for the first time, do they know what to do? Where to go? What their next steps should be?
These are important questions, if the user doesn’t know the answer to these questions, they will leave. Make the navigation simple, don’t bury pages too deep, group related subjects together, use clear headings, and include sitemaps on larger websites.
Web design and technology move fast, so if you are not careful, your website can look outdated quickly, and if your website looks outdated, maybe your business is as well.
It’s not just about looks, outdated content and information can be annoying too, so make sure everything is current, relevant and includes your up-to-date contact details.
Google also hates outdated content and prioritises web pages which are regularly updated.
7. Poor Content
Having keyword-stuffed, un-relevant content, with too much text, poor grammar and typos, make a website hard to read. It also looks unprofessional and generally less appealing for both visitors and search engines.
Content needs to have a purpose, don’t just use text as visitors scan text and only read 28% of words on a page. So use more dynamic ways to be engaging and relevant with your audience.
8. Stock Photography
Maybe not so annoying as others on this list of “reasons why people hate your website”, but stock photography can look way too generic and can seem patronising too. Do you expect users to believe that it’s your actual office, product or employees?
More importantly, they are just not personal enough. It’s better to show real pictures of customers, employees, products, and your office, which also helps build trust. If you must use stock photography (which I am guilty of), use it sparingly and make sure it’s not too cheesy.
9. Not Trustworthy
This is an important one for businesses, if visitors don’t see the trust signals they will not buy your product or service. The acronym (EAT) – Expertise, Authority, Trust is a useful one to keep in mind.
A website people trust and recognise as the authority, which shows reviews or testimonials, and includes industry awards, certificates and achievements will help. Having a secure SSL website, with secure payment badges and practising all of the above, will make you and your business stand out from the crowd, look more trustworthy and professional.
10. Lacks Contact Information
It’s frustrating having to search high and low for contact information and even worse if it’s not shown at all. Including a physical address for some businesses is a must, let people get in touch with you via email, phone, or social media, and make that information clearly visible on your website.