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15 annoying features customers hate about websites and why they don't come back

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15 annoying features customers hate about websites and why they don't come back

A website that works well is when users visit, spend time on it, and come back for more. A website that irritates customers has repetitive elements like pop-ups. Sometimes designers become so focused on the design, that they forget the main function of your website - to keep customers coming back.

When customers hate your website, bounce rates increase, time spent on your site decreases, and your brand reputation can suffer from a poor user experience. 

Here are 15 annoying features customers hate about websites, and what you can avoid them.

1. Slow loading speed

Time is precious, and we are (by nature) impatient. A website that loads slowly (yawn) can move our attention to the next best thing - another website.

It is common for users to abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Even a two second delay can cause customer dissatisfaction.

Slow loading web pages cost retailers $2 billion in lost sales per year

Slow-loading websites can frustrate users, resulting in a dip in conversions and brand perception. Mobile users with slow data connections experience this issue. How does slow website loading affect brand perception?

Visitors blame the content provider rather than their service providers when a site takes longer than expected to load. To avoid this, you need optimised performance, including image sizes, video, codes, and many other factors as well. Here are the things to consider when website designing and developing.

2. Not optimised for mobile

When browsing on a mobile, have you ever been forced to scroll from one side to another in order to read the copy? 

You might want to zoom in because the text and buttons are too small for you to see. Those are a few of the factors that lead to a painful user experience, and indicate a poorly optimised site.

85% of users think that a website when viewed on a mobile device should be as good or better than its desktop website

Google has updated its mobile algorithm to penalise websites that aren't mobile friendly. You can lose organic search rankings if your website is not optimised for mobile devices, which means that you drop down the search engine rankings quickly.

Read more: Five ways to solve low Google Search rankings

3. Poor navigation

Does the user know where to go, once they land on the website?

The look and feel of the website is important to users. Visual appeal, as well as navigational issues, affect a user's first impressions of a site.

Navigation should either extend across the top of or descend along the left side of your website. Navigation should be in standard places on your site to facilitate easy navigation. This means a lower bounce rate, more pages per visit, and higher conversions. 

You want users to find the content they are looking for, not learn how to navigate your website.

4. Extra (annoying) Pop-Ups

It is annoying and disruptive for users when a lot of popups appear on a website. 

Why do users hate pop-ups? They interfere with the user's experience. A giant pop-up ad appears right in the middle of browsing a website or looking for something specific, forcing you to see, pay attention to, and react to it. That's why pop-up ads work so well.

Despite the fact that users dislike pop-up ads, they continue to be used because consumers respond to them. Using pop-up ads in the wrong way can hurt your brand. However with the right digital strategy, they can be great for your business.

Why not try a slide CTA as an alternative to the popup? It's a banner that slides into the form at the bottom of the page with a call to action. It gives the readers some useful information without being intrusive and still allows them to continue reading the page.

5. auto-playing videos

How do you think users might react if a video plays on a site but they don't click play? They leave.

The problem of autoplay videos has been widely complained about by consumers. 

Tech companies have come up with some solutions. For example, Facebook and Twitter automatically play videos, and do not allow sound until the user unmutes it. Let users decide whether they want to play the video, or not.

6. Distracting animations

Videos that have music, animations, blinking, or flashing advertisements are often more annoying or disorienting than entertaining. They can detract the attention of visitors from the web page's main focus.

Keep your site's animations as simple as possible, so users aren't distracted.

7. Generic Stock photos

Images are a great way for people to find your website from inbound marketing, but you need to be careful when adding images to your site. Having bad stock photos is generic. Images are helpful to clarify something for users, but generic stock photography doesn't help your business.

First impressions are 94% design-related.

It’s good to show actual pictures from your company, employees, products, location, and customers.

8. Simple Contact forms 

Despite its appearance, a contact form is not as valuable as you might think. Typically contact forms do not mention the company wants ongoing communication with you. It may be an issue of one time or an issue with the requested service.

There is no need to have a contact form on your website explicitly, and if you do, don't use it only for communications with customers and yourself. When a customer or visitor needs assistance, they need it now. They don't want to fill out a form and wait for your response.

Let your customers contact you via email, social media platforms, and via the phone.

9. Ineffective About Us page

It is not enough to use some words and sentences to describe your business then use tactics to insert an about us page. 

Write a comprehensive about Us page that gives users an understanding about your brand and its' values. It is better to write the page the way you speak, and it helps them to understand your business. A good ‘about us’ web page must indicate who, what and what can be done there.

10. Missing social media buttons

People share  content on social media platforms if it is available on a site.

You will benefit if users share your content on their social networks. So make it easy for them. Social media sharing buttons means higher visibility, which can lead to more traffic, higher search engine ranking and an increase in leads.

11. Website without a blog

A website without a blog can make all the difference to the visitors, who are missing out on valuable information.

In addition, it can cause a drop in rankings as well. Consumers of today are likely to do their own research before contacting a company. They will trust you if you have a blog that answers their questions.

Read more: How your business blog can increase leads

12. Irrelevant titles and headlines

Content creators know the importance of a well-crafted title.

People are more likely to click on a good title to read the content, and if it’s not relevant to what you have written, they will abandon your website.

Therefore, a clickbait headline is not an appropriate option for the people since it can take advantage of their natural curiosity. so if you intend using click baits, ensure the content is as exciting as the title.

13. Call to action copy misaligned with offer

Whenever you provide visitors with an offer, your call to actions should align with that offer. Say, for example, you offer a 50% coupon for 1000 dollars, but it is a trap. In this case, it may cause user frustration. This generally results with a customer who will complain and ultimately damage your reputation.

14. Internal links that aren’t user friendly

Internal links are helpful to users as they click through to more information and improve the organic ranking. However, some sites use internal links that point to irrelevant pages.

It is important to include links that relate to the topic, and it should enhance the reading experience. 

Read more: Outstanding SEO tactics

15. Image sliders taking too long to load

A slider or carousel can display to the visitor multiple images in a space-efficient manner. Be sure these slider  images work properly.

Make sure the slider loads quickly, when a user clicks on the image arrow. And if the image is too big a file size it increases the page loading  time.

In conclusion

The points above are common complaints people have about websites in general. If you identify with any of these points, our advice is do something about it today. You can always ask us to review your website in exchange for a company review.

Get a free website review today!

About the Author
Caria Watt
With 18 years experience in digital marketing and online growth strategies, Caria has consulted in iconic brands, not-for-profit and the entertainment industries in Sydney and London. As a presenter and a Business Building Expert for the Holistic Entrepreneur Association, Caria's writing is published in international publications - Thrive Global, The Good Men Project and The Dating Directory Co.
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