This is day 19 of 30-day blog challenge. Read day 18: “One quick tip for Facebook for business”
I think it’s safe to say that every business is online. Every musician, artist, cookie vendor and craftsperson has a website. If they don’t, they really should. Some people blog or sell items from third party websites like Facebook or Etsy. I don’t recommend making your home on someone else’s property for a few reasons that you can read about in my post “Tips on starting a free blog.”
1. Websites that automatically play music or video
This should be self-explanatory, but when I think of making a list of pet peeves about websites, this one rockets to the front of my mind. I often listen to music for a reason (or to review it) and when I visit a website that automatically loads music I quite often leave. If it’s a website I need to continue looking at, I scramble to find the “off” button and my stress level grows until I find it. Not a good first impression.
Slow to load websites. Everyone is busy and had to be at work ten minutes ago so if your website is slow to load you have got to find out why and fix it.
2. Poor graphic design
This includes everything from poorly matched colors and logos, like a bright web page in shocking orange with green text, to the layout of articles and images. We all know a poor design when we see one. Quite often text or images hang off the website borders. These things aren’t always the simplest things to fix, but finding a different WordPress theme (or a different designer) is necessary if you want a professional looking website.
3. Too many ads
Okay, you need to make money and you decided to do so via Google Ads or a similar service. Well, no matter how great your content is, at a certain point I will refuse to return to the website if I’m bombarded with ads—especially, the kind that follow me around the page. I can also do without ads with moving eyes and creepy images that change frequently. Ads in the middle of articles annoy me when they aren’t related. I don’t mind a recommended-for-further-reading link, but ads in the middle of the body text scream “hey, I’m making money off your reading this!” and that pisses me off.
4. Difficult to understand
Your business, product, service or blog needs to have a mission. Your mission may be to do whatever you please—and that’s fine—but, make your central purpose for being online known. If you are offering a product or service, your mission statement should get right to the core of how you provide a solution to someone else’s problem. If you are a writer with a blog, use it to speak to a specific audience.
I’ll admit even I have trouble with my websites. I know what I’d like people to hire me to do for them (write blogs, manage social media accounts, develop marketing strategy etc.), but I sometimes want to write about something that doesn’t neatly fit into a category. At this point, I evaluate my message and my purpose for writing and either add a category or keep the idea to myself.
5. Difficult to navigate
This ties directly into knowing what your purpose is on a website. If you are selling cookies, don’t hide the link to the online store. Your menu should answer the initial questions every visitor will have. Understanding this can be as simple as looking at your website from the perspective of a new visitor, but this can be tricky to do if you built the site yourself.