I absolutely appreciate anyone that takes the time to work on their website and make it the best website it can be. A website should reflect a company’s values and mission. It can be informational, or for lead generation, or both. Sometimes, there are a lot of ways a website can go too far though (whether it be over optimization, superfluous features, or an over-the-top layout). I could probably think of hundreds of things that have irked me over the years, but let’s keep to a neat ten that are hopefully broad enough to encompass my true feelings about the topic.
- The “Small Virtual Walkout Dialogue” – Have you ever been on a website where after a mere 2 seconds, the miniaturized version of the owner walks out of the corner of the screen and says “Why hello there! Thanks for coming” and the X button is smaller than his left eye? I frankly can’t think of something that leaves a worse taste in my mouth. Popularized somewhere between 2011-2012. I can’t think of something more intrusive and less beneficial than this feature. And in the same vein…
- Popups that occur on site more than once – I get that sometimes there’s something helpful about a popup with an offer or call to action on the home page or another page that requires mentioning something specific. But if I find myself clicking off the popup box more than once, then it is doing more harm than good. Visitors need guidance, but they don’t need to feel dumb for being able to browse around as they should. Let your call to actions do their own talking either in the header, occasionally in the body of the page, or perhaps a side navigation.
- Websites with poor load times – If your website is the cheapest package you can get with a random host and your website is WordPress with 50 plugins activated, chances are it isn’t exactly running at optimal speed. Especially for e-commerce websites, having a separate plugin for a newsletter, one for sales, one for returns, one for promotions between midnight and 8 AM, one for displaying images in a box instead of a rectangle…. you get it. If the browser is spinning and looks like it is going nowhere, so are my chances of sticking around.
- Website that isn’t mobile-friendly – This is a topic that can be discussed until the end of time. If I’m zooming in with two fingers at any point to read microscopic font, the likelihood of me sticking around is minimal.
- Websites that have content completely catering for SEO – It is OK to have an H1 or H2 establishing the purpose of the page, but after a while when you say “if you’re looking for a “(insert city) DUI Lawyer/Lawn Expert/Massage Spa” it is kind of annoying for me, and nearly anyone else. We get keyword density, but frankly, it’ll come out naturally. When you force it, the content is going to be a bit lackluster and make the experience fairly nauseating.
- Websites that make you hunt down contact information – Kind of a “lack thereof” feature, if I’m practically hiring a detective to hunt down your email on your website, something bad is going on. Some people like to call, some like a direct email, and some like a contact form. Depending on what’s going on, I could easily prefer one over the other at any given time. All contact options should be prominent on literally every page of the website.
- Websites that have difficulty using colors correctly – Color schemes are one thing – some websites prefer fall colors year round, while some think that red everything is just the right amount of aggression to get me to call. But it doesn’t end with the layout, emphasis in the content itself with color usage is fun as well. Try not to get too carried away.
- Images that literally take over the whole screen – It seems like every year, top banners/sliders get bigger and bigger on homepages with more beautiful, refined imagery. And less content. Seriously, if I can’t figure out what your company does in about 5 seconds because you have huge stock images consuming every square inch of my monitor, I’m going to pick the competitor’s outdated HTML site from 2002 over yours. Check out these homepage tips.
- Insane meta information – Your typical website visitor may not look at your meta title and description but believe me, I will. When you are the “BEST SO AND SO” in the title and your description is actually just a string of keywords instead of, well, a description, I have to take a step back. Not only is that SEO probably not working out for you so well, but I can’t help but think that the personality of the company is coming out in a not-so-ideal fashion.
- Stock images I’ve seen a million times – So a group of smiling business professionals in their 30’s giving a thumbs up is the best way you can represent your company? Incessant usage of random graphs and charts on the rise? I mean, even Market My Market is cutting it close on this page https://www.marketmymarket.com/services/. Maybe to fill in some extra space, probably.
Guilty of any of the above? Hopefully not all of them! If you need some web updates or a completely new site, we can handle it – give us a call today.