We've all had it happen. We visit a website with a simple purpose: finding a phone number, a dinner menu, maybe you just want to know what the heck the company does. It seems like it should be so easy, but despite your best efforts you are denied. You mutter, “This site sucks,” and you bounce.
There are so many reasons for the bounce: bad navigation, busy design, mobile incompatibility, bad links, the list goes on.
While we’re not here to point any fingers, let’s take a moment to learn from the mistakes of others.
While we all want our sites to pop, having every color of the rainbow on your site is not the way to do it. I can’t tell you what the heck this site is about because my eyes simply can’t tolerate the harsh colors.
Lesson #2: Less is so much more!
I count 78 links on this page and that’s just what I see on my screen before scrolling down. 78! Plus six highlighted sentences, two QR codes and a slew of images. With all of those choices how the heck do you figure out where to go?
Most people don’t want spent any effort figuring out what the point of your website is, so make it easy for them. That means a clean navigation menu and highlighting only a few things on your homepage. Even if you've got tons of great information to share, you don't need to put ALL of out at once.
Lesson #3: Think ahead! Plan your design to fit your platform.
I was curious though what the heck QR codes were doing a website, so I clicked and found this crazy page. If you’re not familiar with QR codes, they are traditionally used on printed material (flyers, posters, menus) and may be scanned with mobile devices to take you to a specific webpage. Having QR codes on a website is a little odd to begin with, but destination page took things from bad to worse.
Notice first how the background and design is totally different from the homepage. Next you might note that this looks like a page from the phone book: ad-style images, tiny text and a lot of it. Can you image looking at this on your mobile phone?
When you’re planning your site design you need to consider the type of devices your users will have. If you’re planning for mobile, you need to create a page that will load quickly and be easy for people to read on smaller screens.
Lesson #4: First impressions count and your website makes a big one
This website seems a bit homespun and while I have the feeling the website creator is very nice, I don’t would call them a professional.
When you have a website with hard to read text, a bad background and odd navigation you’re telling the world that you’re not too concerned with the details. This is a statement on your business. I don’t have a lot of confidence in businesses that don’t take care of the details, so when I see a website like this, there’s no way they are getting my hard-earned money.
The bottom-line is that if someone visits your site and bounces you are losing business. Don’t let you site suck. If you’re afraid it does, please let us help. We have a support group.
On the other hand, if you need to air your grievances about website crimes, please feel free to share them below. We’re all friends here.
Nicole Krug is a marketing strategy consultant specializing in digital brand management, social media, web development and email marketing. Since founding Social Light in 2009, she has helped clients hone their digital marketing strategies to bring more exposure to their brands and boost their bottom lines.
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