Back in the early days of the internet, we as readers were forced to deal with whatever we can get. There weren’t near as many websites out for us to read – we couldn’t pick and choose what websites we wanted to visit. If we wanted something, sometimes we only had one option.
Those times are gone.
By making one of these five mistakes, you can pretty much ensure your readers will bounce off your website, before reading a single word. This results in a loss in potential revenue. You wouldn’t want that, would you? No, you wouldn’t, so let’s get started with number one.
1. Where Is Your Content?
When readers come to a blog, they do it for one reason – to fulfill a need. That need is supposed to be fulfilled somewhere within your content. But what if the reader can’t find where it’s at?
You’ve got a problem. A serious problem. Like I said, people come to read content. Visitors do not come to look at ads, or all the widget junk you’ve got cluttering your website. Readers shouldn’t have to scroll through a page of ads to get to your content. And you know what the sad thing is? You might have the greatest article on the topic, but if your content is hard to find, people won’t stick around to find out. They won’t read it. What will they do? They’ll leave, and go to the next website on the list.
2.Your Blog Design Is Poor
I don’t expect you to be a great web designer. In fact, most of us aren’t. But if your design is so bad that it physically hurts me to be on your website, I’m gonna leave.
And believe it or not, this does happen from time to time. There’s a reason most websites are black text on a white background – it’s easier on the eyes. Using any other color for text rather than black or white is ridiculous – I once came upon a website that literally had each word a different color, and another website that had all words in bright yellow text. Are you serious? Use common sense – if your blog’s design is so poor that it’s physically hard to read, it’s time to rethink, and redesign.
3. Your Blog Isn’t Mobile Friendly
More and more people are getting smart phones every day. This is great, except for one thing – a lot of websites aren’t optimized for mobile browsing. You can check to see how many people are visiting your website on a mobile device through Google Analytics. Chances are, this number is increasing every year, and that is no surprise.
But what if your website isn’t designed for mobile devices? You’ve got a problem. Check it out for yourself – it may look horrendous. This ties in with number 2 on this list – if the design renders poor on a mobile device, people will leave. And there’s nothing you can do about it except to make your blog mobile friendly.
Some WordPress themes, such as those running on the Genesis framework, can automatically detect when your readers are on a mobile device, and switch to a mobile theme for those readers. It’s something to look into, especially if a large percentage of your readers are coming to your website on a mobile device.
4. Annoying Pop-ups
There are two things on the internet I just can’t stand. Pop-ups are one of them (don’t worry, the other one will come later). Browsing websites isn’t a video game – you shouldn’t have things popping up on your screen. Your readers shouldn’t be bugged with an e-mail subscription box, or a Facebook like box. My goodness, most of them won’t have even read their first sentence on your website – why would they ‘like’ something they’ve never even read?
The boxes that ask you if you’re sure you want to leave are equally as annoying. They make the webmasters look desperate – and that’s not an attitude you want to portray!
That’s not to say all pop-ups are bad, however. I actually think you should be using pop-ups so long as they are used effectively and don’t hurt user experience.
See: Should You Use E-Mail Popups? (Coming tomorrow, will update this post when it’s live.)
Unexpected audio is the most annoying thing on the internet. Unless you’re Pandora or YouTube, you better not have audio playing without my permission on your website.
There is nothing, I mean absolutely nothing more annoying, than going on a website, in dead silence, and being greeted with a loud…
“Congratulations! You’ve won!” That not only scares the heck out of you, but may even wake up others in the household. What a way to anger your visitors, right?
Sound familiar? How about auto playing music? That’s just as bad as well. If I wanted to hear a song, I’d open up iTunes while I’m browsing and play music I want to hear. Audio advertisements and auto playing music are a sure way to get your readers to bounce off your website before reading a single word.
If you’ve made one of these five mistakes before, don’t worry. You can still fix it. Simply fix what you did wrong, and watch your bounce rate decrease dramatically. You’ll thank me later.