When I was talking about the best places to find free stock photos last week, I hinted a little at a survey I did that will help you majorly up your game!
I gathered info from other bloggers, biz owners, web designers, and readers (of course!) and received nearly 400 replies when all was said and done.
So what the heck was this epic, game changing question I asked that stirred up so much chatter?
"What would you say the one thing is that DRIVES YOU BIZONKERS when you visit a blog/website for the first time? What turns you off and sends you running for the cyber-hills?!"
And, the people spoke...Loudly!
There was a wide variety of items that popped up (some common, some not so much) in the responses I received, but a select few that came up again and again, 7 to be exact.
These "7 Deadly Sins" as I like to call them, could kill the flow of traffic to your website, send your rank plummeting into the depths of page 1,098,678 on Google, and straight up ruin your credibility!
Does everyone hate every one of these list items so much it sends them running? No.
Is this a blueprint that will guide you to either success or failure? No way.
Should you take notice? Absolutely!
These issues came up enough that you should definitely take a step back and reconsider if some changes need to be made in order to keep your traffic rising and bounce rates low!
7 Reasons People Are Running From Your Site
This was by far the most popular response. People. Hate. Pop-Ups.Small, big, full page, doesn't matter...they frustrate people who are just trying to read what you worked so hard to create.While Pop-Ups can be said to be more effective at having people opt-in to your email list, there's a time and place for everything.
You need to "wine and dine" your reader a little before asking them back to your place, or you're bound to get slapped!
If you're not ready to let go of your pop-up, try using a plugin like Pop-Up Ally that you can set to only display as the reader is navigating away after reading, not before they've even seen the title of your post!
This was another major one for a couple of reasons.
First, let's talk about auto-play...just don't! Don't do it! It's annoying, and confusing, and people hate it. Knock it off!
The secondary reason people are driven crazy by video/music aspects is it slows down the whole page, and is just plain distracting.
Now, if the video is the content, go right ahead my friend! We're talking videos, music, and other in your face hooplah that goes on surrounding the content your reader is actually interested in.
- Bad Images
People are very visual creatures...visual, and judgemental!
Your site needs to look good, period.
I'm not going to go into too much detail on this one because I already dove into the importance of quality images when we talked about the best places to find free stock photos, so if you want to know more, check that out!
Site layout issues were mentioned in two different ways, so we'll just call this one "layout" and cover them both!
First, let's talk about your actual site layout. Menus should be easy to read, options should be clear, contact and about pages should be present...simply put, there should be some direction as to where your audience can find what they're looking for.
Second, within your posts needs to have some sort of structure. When text is just crammed in there, without a break for your eyes to rest, it goes to waste and becomes deemed "unreadable" by your visitors very quickly.
For some tips on what a "perfect post" should look like, check out How To Create Killer Content Your Readers Will Be Obsessed With!
It's no secret, we want to make money from our websites.
But the content needs to take priority over the ads you're placing around it. Placing ads haphazardly, or just having too many scattered everywhere, really takes away from your message.
You're not doing yourself any favors by scaring your you readers away with too many ads, because they'll never even have the chance to click on them!
- Out of Date Content
This one not only applies to content that is actually out of date, but also the assumption that it is out of date.
When you have the date in your url address, and it displays a year perhaps that is 2 or 3 or 10 years ago, people begin to mentally devalue what it is you have written and look for something more current. Even if it is something that is just as relevant today as it would have been 5 or 10 years ago, that visual distraction tells them otherwise.
I personally set my permalink settings to show the post/page name immediately after my domain name, so all the information is there, without the distraction!
- Unoriginal Content
Spewing out the same stuff, in the same words, that can be found on a million other sites (literally!) is a waste of time, for you and your reader!
Spend the time to craft original content that will add value to your reader's visit, and credibility to your reputation, instead of focusing on trying to crank out as much as you can.
Taking inspiration from others is natural, but when you copy what someone else has already done, you prove yourself to be an unreliable resource, and your readers will never trust what you have to say.
For example, in this article I take a common topic that people have posted elsewhere, but approach it from a completely different viewpoint (that of a sticky 4 year old in a park!)
You have a voice of your own, everyone does, so use it!
A couple of others that were mentioned quite a few times were misleading headlines, and (a HUGE pet peeve of mine!) spelling and grammar!
Please, for the love of Pete, would ya run that thing through spell check before hitting publish?! It severely takes away from your credibility, besides being visually distracting, and could so easily be avoided!
You only have 8 seconds to show your reader you've got what they're looking for. Make them count!Click To Tweet
Which means you need to make sure your first impression is cutting to the chase, and not filled with distractions and annoyances that waste your window of opportunity!