One of the most important rules of an online business is to make your website user-friendly and not to irritate the visitors. Despite knowing this, people have a tendency to go overboard with their website designing and put features there that irk the visitors instead of getting them engaged. Rather than halting the visitors and converting them into customers, if the website drives them away with its poor design and unnecessary add-ons, the advantage of the good traffic and the huge potential customer base for business is lost.
Poor user-experience of a website not only annoy people but it could also lead to high bounce rates, poor organic search listing position, and low conversion rates. There are a few things that people absolutely hate in a website and all internet marketers should keep these in the mind when building their business website.
#1: Poor visual content
The first impression of a website depends on certain factors like colours, structure, font, symmetry, spacing, text load. It is said that it takes about 50 milliseconds to form an opinion about your website when a visitor lands on your site to decide whether to leave or remain on the page. Good visuals make visitors stop at a page before the rest of the content takes over. The better the first impression, the longer the visitor stay. So, if your website has poor visual content, people are going to dislike it and click away to other sites.
#2: It takes a long time to load
People absolutely hate slow loading time for a website and it is said that 40% of visitors leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Further, it is said that even a one-second delay decreases customer satisfaction by about 16%. And when people visit your website through mobiles with slower internet connectivity, they do not see it as the internet service provider’s problem but think that it is your fault for having designed it badly. See? It affects your overall brand image too. So, when you’re building your business website, make sure that you put optimising the content on the top priority for a better user experience.
#3: Too many pop-ups
There are websites that greet you with a pop-up before you could even land on the homepage. Now, that’s taking things too far, isn’t it? Nobody likes a website that uses excessive pop-ups that disrupts the reading flow. CTAs are needed but they need to be used in moderation. Many websites use annoying language that tries to guilt-trip you if you do not take the call-to-action. This should be avoided at all cost.
#4: Website not optimised for mobile
When your website isn’t optimised for mobiles there are many undesirable things that happen. The content sometimes doesn’t fit on the screen of your device and you have to either scroll the content sideways or zoom out (pinch-to-zoom). Also, there are times when users have to pinch-to-zoom the content because the texts or buttons are way too small for reading. All these happen because your website isn’t optimised for mobiles. A major chunk of the web traffic is from mobile devices and if your website isn’t optimised properly, you’re surely going to lose many visitors.
Google also penalises websites that aren’t mobile-friendly because providing an enhanced web browsing experience for users remain its top priority. So, websites that aren’t optimised for mobile devices are likely to lose out in organic search rankings too.
#5: Have dead links
Visitors absolutely hate websites that have dead links that lead to nowhere. If a URL of your website redirects to an error page, your brand image takes a serious beating. Your business exhibits an amateurish image and people have no patience for that.
#6: Poor navigation
If the visitors landing on your page are confused where to go from that page or has unclear call-to-action, you are likely to miss out on their engagement and, on sales and leads. People dislike confusing menu buttons and fall-back pages.
#7: Too many animations, moving texts, music or fancy cursors
If you want to annoy people, make sure that you have many animations within the content, music, moving texts or fancy looking cursors. They are good ways of driving away visitors!
#8: Too many ‘Click Here’ CTAs
An excessive use of ‘Click Here’ CTAs could easily turn off people. While CTAs are essential, the ‘click here’ instructions sounds too demanding when they are splattered everywhere in the content.
#9: Use of random, irrelevant images
Do you use stock photographs that are completely unrelated to your content? Or do you do use cheesy stock photos that look ridiculous and original? Visitors are turned off by these photographs and they are unlikely to return to your website again.
A badly written About Us page gives out a negative impression about your business. Some websites give a roundabout, unclear message. Use of too many jargons, circumlocutory hamming, and pompous sounding expressions are hated by people. Instead, people like a direct, first-person narration that is written the way people speak.
#11: No social sharing buttons
There might be times when people want to share a content on your website in the social media and when they see that there are no social sharing options, it’s a huge let-down.
#12: Multimedia that autoplays
This is one of the most annoying things in a website – a multimedia content (a song, an animation or a video) that autoplays without your pressing the “play” button. And if this content doesn’t have the “mute” or “stop” button, all one can do is click the back button or else click away to a different page/site. This is a perfect example force-feeding a content without the visitor’s consent or choice. Anything that is force-fed upon is a big turn-off.
#13: Overdoing internal linking
We all know how internal linking provides a good opportunity to engage the audience. Internal linking also has great SEO benefits by improving the organic rankings of important pages in one’s website. However, it is seen that some websites overdo this internal linking by redirecting users to different irrelevant pages. You cannot possibly expect that the users would be delighted when they land in pages that are not related to the “anchor text” that they had clicked.
#14: Long list of products and services
If you list all your products and services in one long, continuous scroll (sometimes exceeding the footer area), do you think people would love it? This reflects a poor designing concept and an inability to use the smart navigation to help visitors find the information they are looking for. Just another way to irritate the visitors.
#15: Titles that are incongruous with the content
Providing titles and headings that are incongruous with the actual content is unthinkable but some websites excel in doing this. People abandon a site instantly when they find that the content has no connection with the title at all. This is seen as an attempt at misleading visitors by employing catchy titles. A step that could backfire easily.
#16: Too many social buttons
While social sharing buttons are a great way to engage the audience, but they are used excessively, they can irk the visitors. Some websites go to the extent of putting floating social share buttons that cover the text area even. Looks rather messy, don’t you think?
#17: Grammatical errors and typos
Nobody likes to read contents that have simple grammatical mistakes and misspelled words. It reflects a carelessness on the part of the business owner and the brand.
#18: Excessively hyped up content
When a content provides information that sound too hyped up and too good to be true, people start getting suspicious of the veracity of the claim. Too much hype also make a website look scammy.
#19: Lack of response on social channels
When a brand does not respond to people’s queries or does not acknowledge the comments made on social media (Twitter, Facebook), it reflects a callous attitude. It sends out the message that the brand does not care about its customers. This is suicidal for the brand.
#20: There’s no blog
Blogs are a great way to provide the customers with valuable information and build up a brand following. People do not like a website that lacks a blog because the information they seek is mostly found in the blog. Customers look at a website’s blog to have an assessment of the authority of the site in the niche. You cannot expect people to fall for your site when you are not providing the answers or solutions to their problems.
The list of things people hate in a website provided above cannot be claimed to be exhaustive. Some of the things stated are subjective too. Also, there might be many others that have not been included here. Readers are encouraged to add more by writing in the comments below.