Things That Bug Me About Your Website
#1- I want to pop your popups right in the nose!
This especially stinks when I want to read your stuff and check out your site. But, your popups won’t let me!
In one particular case, I rarely read or share one of my favorite writer’s work anymore because getting past his site popups is a nightmare.
Look, I know you are building your list, but once I’m on it, you’re annoying me more than anything else. Besides, I’m not getting on your list anyway before I know anything about you. So, hitting me with it before I investigate is a waste of my time.
Just so you know, I’m not imagining his popup problem because someone else mentioned the same frustration to me when I wanted him to read something on the website. Now two people are frustrated. Likely many more. How many visitors do you want to frustrate?
Is your site deflecting rather than inviting people in?
To make matters worse, my friend and I are big social sharers. Now, Mr. Popup Maniac is out both readers and social shares. My friend has 17k followers on Twitter alone!! Again, multiply us times others.
Part of the problem is you can’t close his popups, particularly on smaller devices. So please, test this out for the popups you use, or expect to bounce people, and quickly.
My friend and I couldn’t read or share this guy’s work, even if we wanted to. Now we don’t. It was just too much work for us to get past the popup mania going on there to get to the goodies.
Think about it and figure out if your popups are block ups!
Hint: Try to add popups at a natural place and with relevance on your site to make them more enticing for people to want to sign up.
#2- Your website isn’t responsive.
This only bugs me, again, because I want to read your stuff. But, because the words run off the edges of the screen, I can’t. You’re losing readers by hiding your own content. Yikes.
You do know people are using mobile as their primary device more and more, so you need to be seen–where and when people are looking to see you. Even on a small screen, on-the-go.
If you have to spend a couple of bucks on a responsive theme or hosting, go for it. If people can’t see your content correctly, you’re wasting your time anyway. You still don’t have to spend much to get this right, so it’s worth it.
While you’re testing whether you are responsive and whether your popups are blocking visitors out, think about a few other things. For instance, are the fonts you are using easy to see on any device, for anyone?
Don’t use dainty lightweight fonts that are hard to see and do make them a larger point size.
No one ever says the font is too big!
When it comes to fonts, functionality is the goal. So this time, the artist in you loses. Remember to make this about them, your visitors, and not you. Make it easy for them. Craft clarity. And visibility.
Promise to get responsive and bump up those fonts?
#3- Your typos are driving me nuts!
I can’t help it. I notice typos immediately. I’m not trying to nitpick, and we all make mistakes.
But, if you start with typos, misspellings, and off-the-wall grammar, I’m out. For one thing, if you don’t care enough to edit, or proofread, or whatever, why should I spend my valuable time to fumble through your work?
Worse, it makes you look unprofessional, no matter what your business or site is about. I’m not the grammar police but, if your site is a half-assed effort, people wonder what kind of business you run, too. Do you even care about it? Sorry, but I’m feeling doubts.
This is critically important on your site’s main pages, like homepage, about page, and others. A typo in a 3,000-word quality blog post happens, so no big deal. I swear I’m at three typos in a David Baldacci novel I’m reading right now. See, I catch them everywhere! Can’t help it.
But, for you, you’re only hurting yourself by not having perfectly right main pages, and it makes you look amateur, at best. Spend a little extra time and get this right. Just sayin.
#4- You don’t date your blog posts.
This should be against the law. I get it; your content is evergreen. Or so you think. And, you can post less because when dating posts, you need to add new content. Still, posts with no dates on them irk me.
First off, your blog needs to stay current and fresh. You want people to visit often so new content is a must. A stagnant blog won’t create engagement or act as the activity center for your digital properties. Use your blog as your content hub, a place people want to revisit.
When I don’t see a post or article date, I’m suspicious. Why? Well, not only do I want the most current information, but I also get distraught if you dupe me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read and read a post only to discover your information is presently irrelevant. Are you out-of-date in your work practices as well I wonder?
Relevance matters so, if you’re not updating posts to keep them current, at least purge useless content. Otherwise, you are alienating readers and losing their trust.
Think about publishing your best evergreen pieces as pages on your website. By default, these are not dated, just like your evergreen stuff.
#5- You don’t respond to comments.
This one is simple in my view. If you ask for (i.e., allow) comments, then respond. In this way, you are acknowledging a person who took the time and effort to leave a comment you invited. People want to be heard, and conversation is a two-way thing.
Otherwise, a visitor feels like no one, utterly unimportant.
Remember, most people who take the time to comment also read your post! That alone deserves a thank you or small acknowledgment, don’t you think?
If you don’t have the time or don’t want to offer the courtesy of a response, don’t allow comments. Some blogs invite conversations on posts to take place on a social media channel(s). But, if you’re not talking (responding) to people on social media either, you’re doing it wrong.
I seem to get more and more conversations around articles I write on and off my site on social media channels and via social direct messaging. Often, I get an email with comments or discussion.
It doesn’t matter if these interactions are public or not, just that they are happening and my content moves the engagement needle. Interactivity and conversations lead to relationships and relationships lead to business. If you ignore interactions on your blog, you may be overlooking potential opportunities.
#6- Oops, you forgot to turn on the visual appeal:)
Once again, I absolutely get it. Creating impactful visual assets takes time and effort. I put tons of work into creating appealing and meaningful visual designs, for sure. But, what if you are taking away from the effectiveness of your content, even it’s noticeability?
Maybe you are sabotaging yourself when you really need to highlight your content pieces. At the very least, create a strong Title Visual for every post you publish. Consider using an alternate or complimentary headline rather than repeating the Title of the post.
Don’t forget to add outlines, block text, subheadings, lists, bullets, and quotes to help space and pace content. Go for user ease and visual pull using text stylings and white space.
Other easy ideas include these:
- use a gif
- add original photos
- take screenshots (I use jing)
- use PowerPoint Slides for Design images
- try Canva or love it as you go, more and more, like me
- easily create and add stick figures as Neville Medhora does
#7- I’m as confused as Alice in Wonderland.
I just want to pop over to your website and take a look around so please don’t confuse me.
I realize you want to make money with your blog. That’s fine. But hear this. You are turning me off, real quick, even when you have great content!
First off, visitors have to spin through a mishmash of ads flashier than a cheap carnival. Plus, on some sites designed this way, it takes several clicks to read or see the content I’m trying to find. Yes, you can have ads, and yes, you can have content options as deep and vast as you want to go.
But, please try to clear some of the clutter and create a clear path to suit my needs as a visitor. Place your ads with respect to design, remembering to use white space. Consider placement to offer relevance as well.
Overwhelming the senses, or offering too many options on a page, are both big mistakes if you want to build relationships with people. Make navigating through your site inviting and user-friendly. If you make the path to buying from you more natural and less in-your-face, people will respond better.
The Bigger Picture
Some of this gripe is about functional design but, more importantly, it encompasses the more significant issues of user experience, buyer psychology, and aesthetics. Online, you want your business and how you market it to have an “inbound” feel, drawing people to you, organically.
Structuring your site and mapping clear visitor navigation within it is crucial to your success. Clarity in communicating both textually and visually as well as contextually all count.
I’ve mentioned Bryan Harris of Growth Hackers before but, I love the simplicity of the ATM framework he talks about. Start with thinking about whether you are making people aware of your site and attracting traffic.
Then build on that by establishing trust in you through the valuable content you offer. Content that teaches visitors, educating them on everything from the industry as a whole to your products or services and everything in between.
Finally, you can monetize from a position of trust, built on the valuable experience you deliver at steps one and two.
Confuse it and lose it!