Pop-Up Ads: Let’s get the most obvious one out of the way. Pop-ups are seriously annoying. Yes, a pop-up could get you a few new email subscribers, but is that really worth all the traffic you lose when visitors abandon your site in annoyance? Convert site visitors into leads with well-written content and compelling CTAs/offers, not interruptive gimmicks.
Automatically Playing Multimedia Content: If someone’s enjoying what they thought was a silent browsing session and they’re bombarded with your theme song or a talking head on a video for which they didn’t press “play” and can’t find the button for “stop,” what do you think they’re going to do? Some might fumble for their mute button, but I can more easily locate the back button in my browser than my computer’s volume controls. Let visitors choose to play your multimedia content; don’t force it on them.
Confusing Animations: There is a three second window which users take to orient themselves on any given web page before they click ‘back’ in their browser. Animations, auto-play videos, blinking and flashing paid advertisements detract from a visitor’s focus during those critical three seconds. Drop the animations, and allow visitors to focus on what they can do on that page with clearly written headlines and explanatory copy.
Generic Stock Photography: Using images is great for your inbound marketing but only if those image show real people who work in your practice, real products, and your real location. Images are helpful if they clarify something for a visitor. Generic stock photography doesn’t help visitors, so by extension, it doesn’t help you.
SEO-Driven Content: Unfortunately, some websites are still writing for bots, even though Google’s algorithm is far more sophisticated at determining a page’s relevancy than it was ten years ago. In fact, Google will now penalize you for these types of activities! There’s a difference between search engine optimized content and over-optimized content. Don’t write for crawlers; write for humans.
No Social Sharing Buttons: These buttons make social sharing easy for your readers — they don’t have to copy and paste your URL, shorten it, and compose a tweet. And easy social sharing options means your content gets more visibility, which means more site traffic, better search engine rankings, and more lead generation opportunities.
Titles and Content that Don’t Match: Content creators know how important a well-crafted title is. Great titles are what cause people to click through in their RSS, emails, and search engines to read what you have written. But if they’re met with content that’s unrelated to the title you provided they will abandon your site. While it’s important to capture peoples’ attention in titles, make sure it isn’t misleading.
Internal Linking that Isn’t User-Friendly: When done well, internal links are helpful for readers and the website alike. They point readers to other relevant information, and help you improve the organic ranking for important pages on your own website. But some websites don’t execute internal linking correctly, pointing users to irrelevant pages, linking strange phrases within the copy, and overdoing it to the point of making content unreadable.
Sliders That Take too Long to Load: Sliders are an excellent way to showcase multiple images in a space-efficient manner. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to use them. If your slider loads images quickly and doesn’t require a new page to load every time a user clicks, congratulations! But the web is filled with sliders that, every time you click the arrow for the next image, load an entirely new web page.
Flash: Designers love using Flash on clients’ websites but search marketers hate it. Search engines can’t read it, so your site won’t get indexed. Plus, visitors are often looking for a very specific piece of information when visiting your site. If they have to wait for a 10-second visual introduction before they can find your hours of operation, they are likely to leave before getting what they wanted.