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Is your website driving customers away?

Your small business website is often your first impression you have with your customers. This list is 15 things you can do that will make it the last impression to prospective customers who visit your site.

So recently I read an article on Hubspot titled "15 Things People Absolutely Hate About Your Website", and while most of the information was good, there were several points that I felt needed more attention and clarification for small business websites. 

1) Pop-ups. 

Yes, I agree that most pop-ups are annoying. Especially the ones that want to rope you into an email list before you even have a chance to read the content and figure out if you like the site. However, when done correctly they can be a very effective tool to increase the amount of leads.

  •  Use a delay timer to launch the pop-up. 
  • Wait at least 10 seconds after your site loads. 
  • Don't just ask for something. Make an offer. Even go Godfather on them and make it an offer they can't refuse. Offer them something of value.
  • Don't over do it. Use cookies to determine whether this visitor has been here before. 

2) Automatically playing Multimedia Content when a Page Loads. 

Yes, great point here. Don't forget that depending on the ad network you use, the ads may decide to play multimedia content automatically. If you don't scrub user generated content correctly, a user could post their own multimedia content to play automatically. Yes, it's possible, and spammers have no morals. Besides this, another pet peeve of mine is the fact that some people like to put all of the content in a video. I understand that people don't like to read all that much sometimes. At least do yourself a favor and summarize whats in the video, or include a link to where they can find it and read it. 

3) Disorienting Animations

Animations should be subtle if included. Things like a photo slideshow, or something that stops is okay. Blinking neon click me signs get me looking for the red X in the corner.  

4) Generic Stock Photography

This really depends on your site. Stock Images are better then no images. 

5)Inlcuding a Contact Us form in Lieu of Contact Information

First off, include your contact information on every page. Phone number, social media profile links, and your address(es). I recommend leaving your email address out though. Spammers harvest addresses they find on webpages, and are unrelentless with them, since they know a live person is behind that email address, somewhere. 

6) Unitelligible 'About Us' Page

Keep it short, and to the point. For small operations with one main person at the helm and a small support staff, you can include pertinent information about your background and experience. If you choose to go that route, that's great, just make sure your first paragraph quickly explains what you do in plain english. 

7) SEO-Driven Copy

I completely agree. Write your content for humans, not machines. Keep page content short and to the point. Search Engines like to see micro focused content. 400- 500 words is the sweet spot for most subjects. If you want to talk about different topics create more pages. Besides, the title is where you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to keywords. If you have more than this, consider splitting your article up into multiple pages. This gets you a bigger SEO boost for the keywords you were targeting, and it can help you get a better understanding of how engaging your content was (if people click to the next page, and you have analytics set up, you know they were interested)

Since I just mentioned it, now would be a great time to take my own advice. If you want to continue reading this, please click on over to the next page 

Published Thursday, April 26, 2012 by

Filed under WebDesign,

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