No matter how big your website is, who developed it and when, there are some common mistakes and errors that can sneak up on you. Some of these mistakes can be critical (or even deadly) for your website.
1. Music and/or Video on autoplay
There is nothing more irritating that visiting a website that has music on auto-play, and more recently, embedded videos.
Some of your visitors are probably at work, some are listening to their favorite online radio station, others are watching re-runs of Seinfeld in the background.
This becomes even more frustrating when you browse in 10-15 tabs, and it takes a couple of seconds before you find the offending website. In 10 out of 10 cases I will close your website. And so will others.
You should also consider people with limited bandwidth, such as mobile users. Visiting your site has just cost them an extra dollar or two. Not the best way to start a relationship with your visitors.
2. Spelling and Grammar mistakes
If you have spelling and grammar mistakes on your company’s homepage, this will drive potential clients away. Period.
There is room for exceptions, for example when the website is in a different language (or multiple languages), but still, try hard to avoid these.
3. Difficult navigation
Don’t try to re-invent the wheel, this is not the time and place. Your navigation has to quickly and efficiently represent the structure of your content.
If it doesn’t, you’ll see a high bounce rate on your website.
Tip: When you are done with your website, show it to a few of your friends that aren’t very familiar with the Internet. After 15 seconds ask them to tell you what the site is about. If they can’t give you an answer, go back to the drawing board.
4. Slow Website loading speed
People like fast websites and dislike slow websites. Rarely will a visitor stick to your website if it is a slow one.
And with Google using page speed as a ranking factor, you should not ignore this part.
There are plenty of tools that you can use to test your site speed (loading time), you just need the motivation to do it.
5. Excessive and inappropriate ads
Have you ever visited the website of a 5-stars hotel that has AdSense on its pages? This is wrong on many levels, including:
a. The ads can be for a competitor hotel
b. You can’t charge $200 for a room and still try to earn $5 / month from AdSense. For every dollar that you make from AdSense, you lose hundreds of dollars in potential direct revenue.
This of course is valid only for company and business websites, but can be seen more often than it should be.
6. On-page SEO hurts visitors
I’m talking about sentences like:
XXX hotel one of the most famous hotels in Barcelona, hotels in Spain.
The good location of the hotel makes XXX hotel one of the most famous hotels in Barcelona, hotels in Spain.
I can understand your SEO efforts, I really do, but you show disrespect for the very visitors and customers that you are trying to get.
It is the same as inviting someone to your house for a romantic dinner and then spitting into their face. They did bring a bottle of wine with themselves, but they are leaving with unpleasant memories that they will never speak of.
Have your say
What other website mistakes do you find annoying? What mistakes do you make yourselves? Leave a comment below.