2020 marks the end of the decade when businesses started digitalizing at a rapid speed. Many businesses have some form of a minisite to get their name out there and reach their intended audience. One of the key principles of marketing is to not irritate and bring unnecessary annoyance to your potential customers. However, many websites nowadays are still full of irritants and we simply cannot comprehend why this is the case even for established brand names and players.
A website that is designed without the user in mind is a poorly designed website. Bad user experience can lead to a poor reputation, organic ranking on search engines, and leads as users simply leave the website due to sheer frustration.
Here’s a list of our top 10 pet peeves when navigating a website; which will be extremely useful for those who are planning to make their own sites or those who are seeking to improve their site’s user experience.
Long load time
We do not have a lot of patience when it comes to content consumption. With content being constantly accessible at instantaneous speeds, consumers are no longer willing to spend more than half a minute for content to load. In fact, according to a KISSmetric report, a good 47% of consumers expect a website to load within two seconds, and 40% mentioned that they will straight up abandon a website that takes beyond three seconds to load. Every second delay contributes to a decrease in customer satisfaction by about 16%; which is not exactly a shocking figure when we think about it.
A shocking revelation about mobile consumption is that consumers blame the content providers instead of their mobile service providers when content takes too long to load. Given how content consumption on mobile is growing in relevance amongst the younger generation Z, content providers and brands need to address the long loading time before their reputation dives.
Consider optimizing your website’s loading speed, which is affected by sizes of images, code as well as embedded videos. Downsizing them can help to reduce the time taken for content to load.
Not optimized for mobile
A website that is not optimized for mobile makes browsing content on mobile more taxing because the content does not fit the screen. Some examples are when images bleed over your mobile screen and you have to swipe and pinch your way to get a full view of the website.
Google announced back in summer 2015 that it would penalize websites that are not optimized for mobile via their ranking. Similarly, they will reward mobile-friendly sites in the same manner. As previously mentioned, mobile is taking over other mediums as the top device used by people to consume content. Thus, it is imperative for business owners to start building their websites for mobile and adapt accordingly for desktops. Similarly, websites that are not mobile optimized need to get a team of backend coders to help optimize the site for viewing on mobile phones.
Research by Small Business Trends showed that a shocking 80% of small B2b business were missing a call-to-action button and page. Potential customers were completely unable to move to the action stage of the consumption process; which is absolutely counterproductive considering how much effort and time were spent to build a website since its main purpose is to generate leads and sales.
We suggest using simple and clear lexicon for all copies, and an eye-catching, impossible-to-miss call-to-action to help to guide your potential customers to the next step of their decision-making process. Consult a professional copywriter, user experience and web designer for ways to optimize the navigation of your site.
A major annoyance is when websites have multiple invasive pop-ups that interrupt users as they are reading content.
Pop-ups can be useful when used correctly and in moderation. Nobody likes being constantly annoyed and demand for attention.
Utilize pop-ups smartly. Either geo-target or make use of browser cookies to assist you in your decision to display pop-ups for certain demographics or customers based on their past visits.
Also, make periodic assessments of your pop-up call-to-action: the number of views they garner and the number of click-throughs they managed to achieve. You may want to switch up the copy, or the key visual for overall better user experience for your site visitors. Running A/B variation tests of different pop-ups can also be helpful for future campaigns.
Don’t you just hate it when embedded multimedia on a site starts blasting music, scaring the wits out of you when all you want to do is browse the website? It gets even worse depending on the user’s current situation. They could be in the middle of a meeting or class, or it could be late at night when they experience this horrendous event. This can immediately result in negative feelings towards your website, which you definitely want to avoid. A key learning point from leading social media sites is to always have auto-playing media on mute as it greatly reduces the incidences of media blaring at an inopportune time.
Another frustrating thing is when a site overpromises on what it can actually deliver, disappointing any undiscerning user foolish enough to trust the title. While this can lead to an increase in site clicks and traffic, beware that such tactics may result in adverse long term effects on your site’s reputation; in turn requiring much more effort to recover from.
Unconvincing stock photography
It is common knowledge that photos are great accompaniments to large and otherwise boring chunks of text. However, exercise discretion when you utilize stock photos on your site as poorly chosen stock photos can hurt the credibility of your site. We recommend using your own photos or subscribing to a professional stock photo website.
Lack of contact information
Do not confuse a ‘Contact Us’ page which serves as an opt-in email page to be the same as providing other means of communication. Not everyone who wants to contact your team is keen on receiving your weekly newsletters or offers. People want instantaneous responses and prefer having information such as your company’s email, phone or social media to establish quick touchpoints between you two. We suggest providing such critical information as you never know what offers may come your way when you open your channels of communication.
Go easy on the copy. Nobody likes to open another tab every two sentences into your copy searching for what a certain term means. It is likely that they would exit the site before they make it halfway through all the content available to them.
Lack of blogs
Site blogs are great channels to push advertorials, which are interesting and fun ways to help get your products or services in the minds’ of your consumers. Blogs also help to get your site picked up by search engines which are beneficial for your business.
Keeping these tips in mind, it is certainly no easy feat to upkeep a top-notch website. There are simply too many tools and things to look out for. For instance, most successful websites run an in-depth technical audit to get a detailed rundown of how their site is doing. This is just one of the many important tools that you should consider when deciding to improve your site to attract more customers. Nonetheless, we hope that our list has helped you on your site-building journey and here’s to better user experience for corporate sites everywhere!