5 Things to NOT Do On Your Site

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Is your website scaring away potential clients or customers? Learn 5 things not to do on your website (hint: they're pet peeves!).

We’ve all visited sites that have been so annoying, we’ve quickly clicked the X and found what we were looking for elsewhere. While it’s one thing to come across a site that’s annoying, it’s another thing if it’s your site that’s annoying. If you’re quick to leave sites that bug you, don’t you think other people are doing the same? And if they find your site to be a pain, they’re not going to stick around. Not sticking around means people aren’t getting the chance to see the value you provide. To ensure you’re not scaring visitors away the moment they land on your site, make sure you site doesn’t check off any of these website pet peeves.

1. Autoplaying content

How many times are you clicking around online while listening to music and then suddenly someone is screaming at you? You then either rush to find the offending piece of content and hit pause or you just leave the page. Annoying!

If you have any video or audio content on your website, make sure they’re not set to autoplay! Or if you want a video to play, set it to mute. Notice how Facebook plays videos in your feed but doesn’t play any sound? Could you imagine if every video you scrolled past starting playing with the sound on? There’s a reason why they did this! If people want to watch or listen to your content, they can hit play. Allowing them to watch or listen on their own terms will create a positive interaction with your site, rather than a negative one.

2. Displaying tons of ads

It seems like everyone wants to make a quick buck with their blog, doesn’t it? Oftentimes, one of the first things a new blogger will do is slap a bunch of ads on their site hoping to start bringing in the big bucks. Newsflash, it doesn’t work like that.

Unless your blog is extremely popular, you likely won’t see much income wise from adding ads to your site. All you’re doing is slowing things down and making your site less user friendly. Is making a few pennies worth annoying potential clients, customers, or blog readers? I don’t think so.

Instead, focus on creating content your audience will love. Then monetize your site by selling products and services. Not only will this keep your site user-friendly, but odds are, you’ll be able to make more money. It’s a win-win!

And if you absolutely must include ads on your site, limit the amount that are displayed. Choose 2-3 highly visible locations and display 1 ad in each. But keep in mind that there’s definitely a trade-off when it comes to displaying ads on your site.

3. Hard to read text

You have a website because you want to provide people with value, right? Whether that’s in the form of blog posts or information on your business, the fact is, your site serves a purpose. But if people have a tough time reading the content on your site, what good is that doing you? You might as well not have a website.

The key to having a useful website is making sure people can read everything! First, use a font size that is large enough. I suggest at minimum a size 16 font, but depending on the typeface, you might have to go up to 18 or 20. Also, make sure the fonts you are using are legible. That means save those fancy script or handwritten fonts for headings or other large bits of text. When choosing a font for the body of your site, pick something simple. This isn’t the place to get fancy. And lastly, choose a color that is dark enough and has enough contrast with your background color. I personally always use black or a very dark grey, but a navy or dark purple (or any other deep color) can work well. Of course, this is assuming your background is white or very light. If your background is darker or a more vibrant color, you’ll have to play around and see what works best.

4. Multiple popups

Popups can be annoying enough as it is, but when there’s multiple popups? Forget it. I shouldn’t have to dismiss a popup for another one to appear. One popup is plenty and if it’s used effectively it’s all you’ll need.

Choose either a time-delayed popup or an exit intent popup. You don’t need both. Same goes for a welcome mat and a timed-popup. Having both is overkill. Can’t decide which one to use? Try each one out for a week or two. Take notes on your results. Figure out the one that has the higher conversion rate and use that one. Or if you really want to be less annoying, I’m a fan of the exit intent popups. Since they only popup when people are leaving your site, they don’t get in the way.

When switching popup plugins, make sure to disable the previous popup. I have a suspicion that blogs with multiple popups aren’t set up that way on purpose. Instead, I have a feeling that people are installing new popup plugins without disabling the old one. If you’re switching popup plugins, disable the one you’re using first, then install the new one. This will ensure that only one popup appears at a time.

Related post: How to Add a Popup to Your Site With PopupAlly

5. Tall sticky headers

Menus that thick to the top of your site can definitely help make navigating easier, but not all sticky headers are created equal. A sticky menu that’s 50px tall? Fine. It helps with navigation and doesn’t get in the way.

A sticky header that contains your site’s logo and a menu? Not exactly user friendly. Why? Because the sticky part ends up being too tall, which makes the viewable portion of your site smaller. Someone who is using an iMac to view your site might not get annoyed (although they still might), but someone who is using a smaller laptop or iPad certainly will.

So if you must use a sticky header, make sure to optimize it with the following tips:

1. Limit the top and bottom padding. Your menu shouldn’t be taller than 100px (less is better!).

2. Left align your logo, don’t stack. This keeps the height to a minimum.

3. Disable on small screens. Screen space on phones and other devices is limited as it is. Make the best use of the space by disabling it.

4. Limit what sticks. You don’t need your opt-in form and your menu sticking to the top. If you’re placing opt-ins throughout your site then a banner form doesn’t need to always be visible as people will come across your other forms. Instead, it’s actually beneficial for your menu to stick to the top of screens.

Building your site? Keep those 5 things in mind. And if you already have a site, double check to make sure you’re not making any of those mistakes. Remember, these are only suggestions and there will always be exceptions, but for the most part, the above things generally don’t work out so well. If you want to build a site that gets results, you want to keep annoyances to a minimum so people will stick around and actually read your content.

What are your website pet peeves? Leave a comment below and tell me!

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4 thoughts on “5 Things to NOT Do On Your Site”

  1. The most ridiculous thing is on the face of internet is Optinmonster and some similar services. Oh look user navigates at certain section, lets bomb him with 100% size pop up covering entire screen, and while we intruded and disturbed his/her browsing experience, lets expect to get her/his email in return. Disgusting beyond anything! It’s usually my first and last visit to such a websites, and I’m not lying. I hate that thing. Capturing leads can be done many different ways, but not like this. Also forgot to thank for article. Thank you.

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