How You’re Scaring People Away From Your Website

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On the most basic level, the goal of any website is to attract visitors and compel them to take a business-related action. But you may be repelling them without even knowing it. Here are some of the most common ways businesses do so:Automatic SoundsNothing will repel website visitors quicker than unsolicited sound. It’s like touching a hot stove. The obvious example is when a person is at work, a sound starts, and they embarrassingly close the browser. If you feel the need for automatic video, do like many savvy sites do and make”sound off” as the default setting. Massive brands like CNN and ESPN may be able to get away with it, but 99 percent of every other business can’t.When People Get The UnexpectedDelivering the unexpected might be great in a suspenseful movie, but it’s not wise in the world of online business. People come to your site for a reason. Make sure it’s related to the content on your page.

Some notable exceptions might be if your company is passionate about (and involved in) a social cause, and you want to share it on your blog. Sure, it may not be related directly to your business, but it not only spreads the word about a worthwhile cause, it paints a picture about your company’s values.It Takes Too Much DiggingTo put it bluntly, readers need to be spoon-fed the information you are conveying. Don’t make them work for it. That’s not meant to be condescending, it’s just a different world we live in online. People have access to way more information than they used to, which means patience is at a minimum. So, you need to have effective navigation, with the most important stuff just a click away.Dense ContentJust because Google rewards in-depth content doesn’t mean you can’t blow it. If you’re writing a 1,500 word blog that justifies that length, don’t put it all in four paragraphs. Long paragraphs are difficult on the eyes. Conversely, short paragraphs help with quicker reading, making it more likely that your readers will stay the whole way through.

Besides keeping paragraph length under control, it’s great to use subheadings when possible. Reading on the Internet is mostly about skimming, or “getting to the good bits.” Whether this is a good or bad thing from a cultural perspective is a discussion for another time and place, but facts are facts.

You Strand PeopleIs there anything more frustrating than navigating a site, and not knowing how to get back to the homepage or not being able to find the “about us” page to learn what a company is all about? Sure, most people can find their way back to the homepage one way or another, but if you don’t provide a simple way to click back, it’s an annoyance that may cost you a customer.Your Site Isn’t Mobile-FriendlyMobile search has gradually grown over the years, and has been confirmed to have passed desktop web search. So it only logically follows that if you aren’t catering to a mobile audience with a responsive website design, a majority of web visits aren’t going to see a proper rendering of your site.No Clear Call To ActionA study presented by Small Business Trends suggests that, “72 percent (of small businesses) don’t have any calls to action on their interior pages.” You don’t have to hit your readers over the head with constant calls to action, but if you do too little, you’re missing out on conversion opportunities. (While this may not constitute “scaring people away,” they are leaving your site with indifference… which is probably just as bad.)You Ignore Social MediaThis might be a subtler “turn-off,” but ignoring your social media can impact how trustworthy you appear. For instance, if your Facebook page has three likes… that’s not good. And your potential customers may interpret it as your business not being trustworthy.

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