Mistakes that will ‘kill’ your website

Annoying pop-up ads turn off viewers

In previous blog posts I’ve discussed features that are integral to outstanding, high conversion rate websites. These encompass things like high quality design, seamless navigation, strong copywriting, web-specialized photography, video and professional branding.

Even if all these factors are in alignment, however, viewers will be repelled if you make the following mistakes–

Problem:  A website that tries to be all things to all people. Presentation of products and services is muddled.
Solution:  Include easily understood, direct headlines and taglines. Clearly define/highlight a call to action, whether it be to watch a video or buy a product. If you are a large company with a broad range of offerings, develop sister websites that speak individually to your different customer bases.

Problem: An ‘About Us’ page full of jargon or over inclusion of SEO terms. Search engines have sophisticated algorithms that penalize sites using this outdated tactic of writing content for ‘bots/crawlers.’
Solution: Speak in clear, concise language that non-experts (i.e., most of your customers) can easily understand.

Problem: Annoying pop-up ads that turn off viewers.
Solution: Don’t use them! Employ other strategies to gain email or other subscribers. Compelling content is the best approach, not offensive pop-ups.

Problem: Invasive music and/or talking head videos that launch immediately when customers access your site.
Solution: Viewers, especially in work settings, experience this as an aggressive sales tactic. Let visitors chose whether to play your multimedia content; don’t push it down their throats.

Problem: Generic people doing generic, transparently fake, ‘business things.’
Solution: As recommended in my last blog, invest in a professional photographer to take pictures of your real employees on site.

Problem: Internet links are slow to load, take viewers to irrelevant pages or nowhere at all.
Solution: Only include links that will take viewers where they want to go.

Problem: An old (or new) website that lacks social media links. People want to share interesting content from your site but can’t.
Solution: Update your website! Why lose the business exposure, improved search engine rankings, and lead generation opportunities that social media links provide?

Problem: People would like to know more about you or gain your advice on their challenges, but can’t because you have no blog.
Solution: Creating a blog requires time, but little or no cost. Addressing people’s issues and providing information about your industry/profession will improve your search engine rankings and increase your conversion rate.

Problem: Your call to action promises something it doesn’t deliver. For example, you post a 25% off coupon but when users click it, the terms of use are so restrictive that only a small number of them can redeem it.
Solution: If you inadvertently do this, apologize immediately and establish an offer that matches your original promise. Not doing so will undermine your reputation and lower your conversion rate.

Problem: Designers have created stunning websites using flash, but search engines can’t read it!
Solution: Simply avoid Flash if you want to do business on the Internet.