our website is the front line soldier of your entire digital marketing battle plan, if your website isn’t up to the task, all of your efforts on other platforms will have been putting in all that effort for nothing. Platforms like social media, physical marketing, and email marketing require a great website to be effective. Treating your website as the tip of the spear is the way we always start when giving our clients a new strategy for their marketing. You can’t really begin many of the steps required without first having an effective website to base the rest of your marketing from. But, how do you know when your website is performing as well as it could? There is always the idea that you could check and optimize your website or work on things like optimizing your webpage speed, you could even find ways to make better content. Every article out there has some insight into what you should be doing on your website and why you should be doing it for your company. We are here to give you the exact opposite. There are a lot of mistakes commonly touted by gurus who have never built a website and who have no grasp on the analytics and A/B testing required for larger clients. These are things we’ve seen that will severely harm your website and user experience. Let’s dive in and go over what not to do on your website:
Pop Ups & Chat Widgets
Pop ups and chat widgets are one of the worst additions you can make to a website. Pop ups are fairly self-explanatory if you’ve ever used the internet. User annoyance plays a significant role in whether they remain on your website to purchase or whether they leave to look for an alternative. As much as you dislike pop ups on other websites, that is how much your users dislike them on your website. In fact, we have seen a stark difference in conversion rates between websites with pop ups and websites without them, to the point that there is almost never any benefits to adding pop ups. Our advice is to avoid pop ups like the plague as a general rule. Our second least favorite website element are the chat widgets that are all over the web, they do not work. Live chat was a novel feature for a few years, but has since become a bastion of spam and intrusiveness. One of the most popular chat widgets is the Facebook version, which has people raving for some reason. Your chat widget is an inherently bad addition to your website, especially if it gives your users unsolicited notifications. The earlier Facebook example is known for slowing down website speed, decreasing conversions, and causing you to be penalized by Google. The worst offenders in when it comes to live chat are those that take actions without user input and constantly pester your user to open it. This drives home that concept of user annoyance, if you annoy your user they won’t purchase your product. The more you annoy them, over the course of their browsing, the less likely they are to become a customer. Treat your users to good information and a professional website, gimmicks like pop ups and chat widgets will not help your conversions.
Small Content and Difficult to Read Text
Small text and small content can make your website more difficult to use for your potential customers. Read our article on WCAG Compliance, you may eventually even be legally liable for a difficult to use website. Small content elements make it more difficult for you to get the information about your company to the customer which will again harm your conversion rates. Imagine trying to get the information on this blog if the text was closer together or smaller. It may already be hard for some people to read without even taking those elements into account. You will never be penalized for stretching out your web page a bit for those extra few points of font size. Don’t be too concerned with having too much text, your users will thank you for making their lives easier!
All Pictures Without Text
You need text to make your website work, powerful, informative, dense content is the backbone of any good website. If you need help creating content take a look at our article for NJ SEO. Otherwise, just consider some of the important facts about the benefits that content gives your website. Your users are far more likely to convert with content rich pages that have a lot of text in them. Many websites are severely lacking in deep content. Your users will find you far more trustworthy if they know you are actively trying to help them instead of sell to them. It not only increases conversions rates, it will also majorly help your ranking in search engine. Position in search engines is one of the largest success factors for any business. So without the ability for search engines to find out exactly what you do, you will not achieve the success you would with content-dense pages. If you are very design savvy and can change alt-text, descriptions, and captions on your images you may be able to add in enough content specifically for google to fix it. However, your user experience will still not be as good as someone with more rich content. There are certain exemptions to this rule (photographers). But, as a whole your pages should be a good mix of both text, images, and design elements.
Thin Content, Doorway Pages, and Useless Elements
Thin content is a very personal vendetta for the team at Caveni, our greatest love in life is long, dense and informative content. There is a reason we always encourage all of our customers to write and write until they can’t write anymore. Great content is amazing in that it just works. The primary reason content is great is that search engines prioritize denser informative content over thin content that doesn’t really provide the customer with any good information. One of the worst types of thin content are doorway pages. Doorway pages are very similar but they are normally duplicate content found on other pages rehashed with just a few words to target a different audience. A great example of doorway content would be if you had a page for red shirts, green shirts, and blue shirts; but the only words changed on each page was the color of shirt. This just doesn’t work, those pages will never be indexed and will make Google and other search engines penalize your website. When it comes to content, taking the longer, harder road, or writing good content will always give your users a better experience overall. Go out there and start writing!
No Contact Form on the Website
Make sure your customers can contact you, don’t expect them to just email you, call you, or show up to your door. Make it convenient for them get in touch and more people will reach out. You will find that the easier it is for your customers to get directly to you, the easier it will be to make a sale. The best way to do this is to get a contact form where your customers can contact you from. There are alternatives like scheduling systems, but the easiest way for you to capture those customers is to have a contact form. Make sure that it is easy for them to go to and get into contact with you! You would be surprised by how many people fail to have a contact form. A lot of people do not want to call you, or can’t at the moment they are browsing your website. A contact form alleviates a lot of those issues and will make it so you can still capture those customers.
Avoid the web design death sentence by making sure your website is as easy to use as possible. Your potential customers will thank you for making their experience so streamlined, and your wallet will feel heavier for it. There has been a constant stream of website designers, developers, marketers, and sales people with their eyes on websites since they became a necessity for doing business. We have methods and standards now that reflect the massive amount of data we have been able to gather and digest about users habits. Adhering to the standard practices of web design will ensure that your website provides a successful platform to facilitate the growth of your business. We hope that these tips have been helpful for you!