7 Reasons Why I Hate Your Website

Mobile siteThere are many, many reasons why someone might hate your website. If it works for you—gets you a great number of leads every month or your e-commerce sales have gone up since the redesign—you can shut this page now and go back to work. But if you wonder what it is about your website that’s just not bringing in the leads, read on: your website might be committing one of these mistakes.

It Annoys Users

Forcing me to wait through a two-minute Flash “intro” before I can even get to your site will really annoy me. Almost as bad is making me click on an “enter site” button. I AM on your site, so why do I have to ENTER it?

Other things that annoy your users:

    1. Music that plays as soon as I enter your site so I have to frantically mute my computer while coworkers raise their heads and look around
    2. Cluttered design with little white space and too many different elements
    3. Bright clashing colors or light text on dark background to give me a headache
    4. Lots of Flash, so that getting to your “management team” page feels like a complicated and difficult game
    5. Your website takes so long to load I can make myself a fresh cup of tea while I’m waiting

It Does Not Feel Real

Your website should look and feel like your business and help me trust you. These don’t help:

    1. Stock photos of models that don’t look like your actual employees
    2. Stilted language that reads like a legal document or a press release that was written in the 80s
    3. No testimonials or client names or press coverage or product pictures anywhere: are you an actual business?
    4. Product pictures that look old or blurry
    5. Lack of consistency: across pages or with your brand

It’s Difficult to Find Information on

Is information on your site easy to find? At first glance, can a new visitor spot how to get to your contact page (or give you a call), find out more about your services, know your business hours, and send you a message through the website? If you’re a restaurant, can I get to your menu in two clicks or less?

It Is Difficult to Find

Will I be able to find your website easily if I know your business name but not your website URL? If your site doesn’t turn up even when I use the exact business name in quotes along with the city you’re based in, you have a big problem.

In spite of having a difficult-to-brand name, the website of the C Salon in Chicago turns up first when I search for [c salon]. I’m impressed!

You Just Don’t Care

Do you pay attention to the details? Are your page titles descriptive and consistent across pages? When I search for you in Google, does the snippet tell me enough about your business? Do you have alt text on your images? Can I pore through your entire site without finding any typos? Does your contact form work perfectly every time and thank me when I’ve submitted my information? Is your text large enough to read so I don’t question my eyesight?

If any of the above isn’t true, it will make me question your interest in providing a good user experience. In other words, you’re telling me you just don’t care about me. So why should I buy from you?

You Just Don’t Get It

It’s the age of social media, smartphones and tablets: but does your website know it? Do you have social media buttons up? (Do you have a presence on at least two popular social media sites?) Is your website optimized for mobiles and tablets? Will I get thumb-cramp if I look for your phone number on your website from my smartphone?

It Looks Like You’ve Moved Away

Does your website still say Copyright 2010? Do you have your blog prominently featured on the site with the last post from six months ago? Do you have a page that says “upcoming events” with the last event dated November 29? How do I know if your business even exists anymore?

To get business online, you don’t need to have a website that will win a Webby, but you do need your customers to stop hating your site. So get started!

About Unmana Datta
Senior Marketing Manager at Affinity Express, Unmana is an obsessive consumer of blogs and social media, and fascinated by their use in marketing.

7 Responses to 7 Reasons Why I Hate Your Website

  1. R Satyaprakash says:

    Now a days people need more flashy design on their webstie, while creating many forgets to optimize the script/elements, which is the one of the reason it takes a long time to appear on the screen…
    It is very true anyone who enter your the website he or she wish to get quick information for the website..if they get delay to get information that means your have missed one business or a good lead…….which could be big lead

  2. I totally agree with just about everything you wrote here. Great post. Those ARE the things that annoy me most about websites. Music, most of all! I hate it when a site has music that automatically starts when I get on the page!

    I think flash is becoming more common and less intrusive these days. It used to be that flash took forever to load and I would just leave the page. But more and more these days I find pages where there is just a little flash and it loads quickly and actually enhances the page. This page for instance: http://www.greenmeadowsinc.com/ That is a website from another company in my industry who I think made very good use of flash. It makes his site stand out among the competition.

    On my own site, we’ve just used flash for our scrolling photos on certain pages. But otherwise, nothing that takes forever to load and nothing too crazy. I think flash on a limited basis can be beneficial. It also offers features you can’t get otherwise, like movement. If you do it right, it can really make your site stand out more.

    Good post. I think the biggest thing I need to work on is making my site more readable on cell phones, etc. I haven’t put any time in that.

    Does your company offer consulting? Where I could just pay you a flat fee to go over my entire site and create a 1 or 2 page paper with a list of recommendations? You seem to have a great eye for websites. And as sad as it is to say, that’s rare. Even among web designers.

    • Unmana Datta says:

      Thank you very much! I agree with you about Flash–I didn’t mean to imply ANY use of Flash is bad–just that it has to be used well!

      We offer design services, not consulting. Sorry! 🙂

  3. I think one of the things that deters people the most when it comes to websites is not taking into consideration the ease of navigation for the site. When I come to a site looking for something specific and it takes 4 or 5 levels deep from a top level navigation item. I’m much more inclined to bounce off the site because of a poor user experience. Outside of that major point I would agree with the other elements you described above, especially the Flash intro’s I hat them too!!

    • Unmana Datta says:

      Thanks for your comment, and I totally agree with you! I referenced that in “It’s Difficult to Find Information on”, and yes, having to click six times to get to a piece of information I want is annoying.

  4. These are great comments. I really like what they have said. I just want to echo the same things. Great article!

    William | http://www.landper.com

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