3 website blunders that are costing you readers

Have you checked your analytics lately? What’s your bounce rate? If it is high, it means that people arrive at your website only to “bounce off” a few seconds later. This means they are not reading your content. This means they are not clicking through to other pages.  And of course, this means they are not buying your product, supporting your cause or contacting you to learn more about your services.

Here are three website blunders that could be costing you readers (and support):

1. Audio/video autoplay: Nothing, and I mean nothing, makes me close a website faster than auto sound/video. It always startles me and then it irritates. Do not, under any circumstances, enable autoplay on your website. Not many people want noise (talk/music that is unwanted is noise) suddenly blasting out of their device.

2. Links to abandoned social media feeds:  Sending folks to a Twitter account that hasn’t been updated in months (or worse, years) is a recipe for failure. If you can’t keep up with a particular social media account, do not link to it. People do check social media accounts because they want to see what you’ve been up to. If there’s nothing there, they assume you are not active, not just on social media, but in general.

P.S. Plus, it’s essential that your social media descriptions be up to date, and relevant.

3. Your way or the highway: Are you enabling pop-ups to force people to sign-up for a newsletter before being able to access your site? Are you asking people to subscribe to email in order to get updates instead of allowing RSS subscriptions? Telling people to go to Facebook to read the latest news?  If you are imposing your favorite tactic, you are effectively telling people that it’s your way or not at all. People appreciate choice. And different people like different things, so offering options is always good (not too many options mind you).

Are you committing any of the above three blunders? If not, there are several other issues that may be turning off readers, including:

  • Making your content hard to read (font/type that is too small or white type on black background)
  • Website it too busy (too much going on, distracting)
  • Typos and/or spelling/grammatical mistakes
  • Outdated information
  • Not enough information

What sends you off a website? Please share your website peeves with me in the comments.

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About Deborah Brody

Deborah Brody writes and edits anything related to marketing communications. Most blog posts are written under the influence of caffeine.

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