Blog Audio: Read/listen time: 6 minutes
In this 5 part series about ‘Unforgivable Website Mistakes,’ I discuss some common mistakes business owners make that stop them succeeding. All of these issues could be avoided by employing a proven, trusted web designer.
In this second part of the series, we cover another five important errors that it’s critical to avoid. As always, if you have any comments, improvements or spot some errors please let me know.
- Visible Lack of Commitment & Activity
- Too Much Happy Talk
- Out of Date Styles
- Flash Animations & Content
- Splash Pages
By Paul Edwards
1.Visible Lack of Commitment & Activity
In 2014 social media has become an absolute requirement for any business which has an online presence.
Social ‘sharing links’ which take the form of an icon on a web page are commonly used to allow visitors to ‘like’ a page and to spread the word via social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google +.
As well as sharing icons ‘feeds’ are often used in a web page to communicate recent information and activity. A Twitter feed may be used to display a service status, special offers or just a recent news item. A fantastic tool for engaging visitors to the site while being really easy to update.
Out of date social media can quite simply ‘turn off’ your visitors
Most smart phones and tablets can be used to update Twitter remotely meaning that a site owner can put something new on their site in only a few seconds without having to look at any code or logging into any content management system.
The problem with such facilities is that despite all the value they can add to a site, they very openly display when the last item was published. Your company may be busy busy busy but if your last tweet, facebook or google + update was six months ago the knock-on effect is that visitors to your site are given the impression that you are not active. Your web page will appear old and stale.
Using professionals to update your social media and website is often cheaper in the long term
Out of date, social media can quite simply ‘turn off’ your visitors. Site users who would have converted may just leave your site, or even worse they may think you have gone out of business.
Sure, use social media, take all the benefits it offers but remain committed to it. It is hard work, indeed many people employ people such as myself or even agencies to do this work for them, ensuring that their site always remains active and avoiding the unintended cost of neglected social media.
Do you struggle to keep your website fresh?
Your tailored solution is just one message away. Get in contact, get the ball rolling and we can have the whole process finished painlessly, cheaply and quickly.
2. Too much happy talk
Those that don’t work with the web daily and who aren’t experienced in writing web content often commit this deadly sin.
Happy talk is text on your site which doesn’t get to the point. Happy talk introduces your company or your site with lots of unnecessary words which your users likely don’t really care about. People mostly visit websites in order to carry out a task or to get a job done, whether that be finding information, making a booking simply sharing something.
Your happy talk is just contributing to the word count on the page creating a sea of words that no one wants to read and may just cause the visitor to miss the really important information that you have to offer. If the viewer doesn’t need what your saying, get rid of it.
3. Out of Date Styles
The web is constantly evolving just as your clients are. Some styles come and go, some remain almost timeless but like it or loathe it fashion plays a part.
If your website has not had a style update in the last 2 years then it needs some love.
Not only fashions change. Conventions, what users expect to find and how they expect to interact, also develop. You may find that visitors just don’t know how to use your site anymore.
The rise of the mobile internet has changed how people use websites and how navigation is designed and implemented. If your site doesn’t keep up with convention then users will find it hard to adjust to using your site, costing you sales.
4. Flash Animations & Content
Ahhh flash animations. I remember when sites were built in flash, they slid, they faded, they looked pretty. They sucked. They made page load times longer than they should have been and for me, that didn’t outweigh the pretty factor that they added to a site.
These days flash is on the way out. Other more efficient and friendly technologies have replaced it and this is really the crunch. Many mobile devices don’t support it! With approximately 40% of internet traffic being via mobiles and tablets that’s really a problem.
Apple devices cant even see Flash. That’s a lot of customers you can’t reach!
Flash is largely unsupported and outdated. Please don’t use flash animation on your site, you are simply investing time and resources into something that won’t be seen by the majority of people that come to your site.
5. Splash Pages
Back when the web started to evolve website designers flexed their design muscles by showing off new technology. Flash animations, flashing gifs (an image format) and….Splash Pages.
These days Splash Pages are nothing more than an irritation. One more barrier between you and the content
A splash page is what you used to see on many websites a decade ago. You type in a web address into your browser and press return and would appear at a page which was normally some kind of pretty picture and or a message such as “hi welcome to our site”.
Initially, splash pages were used as some kind of polite greeting which gave a great opportunity for branding. I’m not sure it was ever ‘cool’ but arguably served a purpose to an inexperienced internet audience. These days however splash pages are an irritation.
They are simply one more barrier between where you are and where you want to be. One more click and one more action to force a visitor to make.
Every click, every task that you add, will cost you visitors
Today a website has to offer the path of least resistance, the least amount of barriers between an audience and they ‘payoff’. Every click, every task that you add to that process will lose you, visitors. Splash pages are bad please don’t use them.
Coming Up in Part 3
In the third part of this series, I will discuss the following items. Check back soon and please do feel free to comment.
- Too Many Fonts
- Poor Colour Choice
- No Phone Number
- Not Responsively Designed
- Too Much Jargon