A website visitor is the most difficult species to please in the world of hospitality. Consider yourself as a visitor to a new website. How many times have you left it immediately only because you didn’t feel comfortable there or because it was complicated to browse? Or its look and feel didn’t just appeal to you? Well, there are actually hundreds of reasons why you felt that way. Let’s have a look at a few of them.
Taking a long time to load
Well, this is one of the most common factors that can turn you off about a website. Neither you nor the millions of other citizens around the globe would wait for more than a minute for a site to load unless you want to check that particular site out.
Bring the website for the user as fast as possible. Definitely not beyond a minute! The trick is to pick up the visitor’s attention as soon as your URL is clicked.
Keeping the visitor in the dark about the contents of the website
A visitor does not have all the time in the world to read every paragraph you have given to know what information the site wants to convey. If the actual point that you want to make to them comes towards the end of the page, be assured that that part of your page will never be read
Provide the vital information that you want to convey as soon as possible, mostly in the first paragraph. In other words, there is no need to take the visitor to the end of a page to tell him or her what the website is all about.
Large chunks of text
Another big turn off for a website reader. No visitor would have the patience to read four or five paragraphs of even 50 or 100 words on a web page. The easiest way to understand this is to put yourself there. Would you like to read such large chunks of content, however informative they are? Obviously not!
Avoiding a large amount of text is the best way here. Of course you have information to impart. But, instead of adding that as a huge wall of text, divide it into separate paragraphs of 3–4 sentences. To increase readability and scannability add documenting techniques like sub headings and bullet points.
Readability can be reduced by fancy, rare and small sized fonts too. The problem with fancy fonts is that they may not be compatible with all the computers and browsers. Similarly, small fonts might make reading difficult for the users. Of course, the visitors can zoom the page but they may never return to the site if forced to do that many times.
Use fonts that are globally available in all computers and browsers. Fancy fonts might be your idea of adding a difference to the site. But that can defeat the purpose if the visitor cannot read it. Similarly, make the font size normal enough to read comfortably. Remember, your site has to be seen by all, including people who have a problem with eye sight.
Forcing the visitor to listen to music
First thing, music makes a site take time to load. Plus, you don’t know whether the visitor wants to listen to music or not. You might think it would impress the visitors. Well, which olden decade are you in? Come back!
Unless your website is about music itself or greeting cards or wedding, it is much better if you don’t use music at all. Still, if you feel that you need it, give the controls to the user. Let the visitors decide whether they want to listen to it or not and if yes, let them control the volume too.
Not including contact details
Contact details are one way to get the feedback of the users about your site and its contents. If the visitors find something in your website and want to let you know about it and they don’t find the means to contact you that can be pretty annoying, especially if they have some query. They might not want to come back to your site at all.
Provide your contact details explicitly and visibly, not only in the contact page but also in the main pages. This can not only help the visitors if they want to contact you but also add more credibility to your site.
Using the latest technology graphics unnecessarily
Suppose your website is about a service like software development or courier delivery. There are absolutely no reasons for you to add the cutting edge technologies of graphics there. It can only help in the site loading slowly and sometimes not loading at all if the visitors have no upgraded graphic card.
Keep your site simple without flashy animations and blinking texts. And unless your site is about topics like photography or gaming, avoid using huge graphic technologies and animated GIFs.
Using bad or, worse, no search option
The search option in a website is a blessing for a visitor who needs information quick and easy. Especially, if your website has many pages or links. In such a case, if there is no option where they can search for what they need, it wouldn’t take much time for them to click the back button or just close the window. Similarly, it could be really annoying if the search option in your website does not bring the proper results the users want.
Provide a good search option in your website that is visible and easy to find. Program it in such a way that it comes up with alternatives for the keywords the visitors typed. It is better to follow the conventions here. The visitors have seen a rectangular box for search in other websites. They would be looking for a similar box. Make sure they find it.
Not differentiating the links from the remaining text or visited links
Once again, conventions work here. Visitors expect links to be blue and underlined. If you provide the links in the same font as the remaining text it could be maddening for the users. Also, once the visitor checks a link and its colour remains the same, he or she might visit it again. And that could be really annoying again.
Give it to them the way they expect. If you cannot follow both, follow at least one – blue font or underlined font. And make sure that the visited link is in a colour different from the unvisited ones.
Ignoring spelling or grammatical errors
A very embarrassing mistake that could spoil the credibility of your site. A visitor who finds a spelling error or a grammatical mistake will never feel like returning to that site again. And you can forget about them recommending it to others. A majority of visitors might not notice the error. But not all your visitors are equally stupid.
You can use the spell check program. But that can mark only the wrong spelling, not the error in grammar. It is always better and safer to edit the copy manually before you upload the content. The little time that you take for that might bring hundreds of visitors in the long run. You don’t want to lose them, do you?
Mistakes are normal. The skill is to find them and rectify. The best way for you to create a flawless and perfect website is to browse numerous websites and learn their strengths and weaknesses. A glance through some of the best rated websites can also be an inspiration for you to come up with an excellent and alluring website, the one that you always wanted.
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