Certain practices of website design have become popular lately that are just downright annoying to people who visit those sites. Keeping visitors interested, engaged, and repeat customers is highly crucial for the life of any website. Here are 12 things you should stop doing to your websites if you want to attract and keep visitors to your site:
Stop cluttering up your website with useless widgets, counters, and badges. These are major turn-offs to visitors. If you want to display badges that recognize your rewards and achievements, put these on the About Us page. You can keep social media widgets like Facebook and Twitter provided that you post to these on a frequent basis. Otherwise, keep them off.
Stop audio and video that automatically plays when someone visits your site. Let the visitor decide whether or not to view it.
Stop annoying pop-up windows and advertisements that don’t directly pertain to the topic of your website. Cluttering your webpage with ads not relevant to your site makes the website look very unprofessional and untrustworthy. Pop-up windows are irritating; making it highly unlikely a visitor will want to return.
Stop being afraid of boasting on your website any media attention you receive. If others are talking about your website whether on TV, radio, or other websites, put as much information as you can about these and any links if they are available. Buzz creates more buzz. Use it to your advantage.
Stop using Flash and animation video. While they may be entertaining, they just take up space that could be used for more effective content.
Stop believing it is bad to link to other sites. While you don’t want to over-do it, linking to other webpages that are similar in topic to yours can be extremely helpful in boosting your authority as an expert and expanding your visibility.
Stop ignoring people who visit your website. Invite visitors to share their opinions on your website. Reply back to comments as soon as possible. This helps build relationships and a sense of community and will have visitors wanting to come back often to see what new information is being shared.
Stop using stock photos. There are way too many websites on the Internet that are using these and many are using them against the copyright. Dare to stand out from the crowd. You can hire a graphic designer inexpensively if you take the time to do a little research. You can also forget the photos entirely and either provide more content or use that area to give away a free gift that visitors can sign up for.
Stop demanding visitors to register first in order to access your site unless it is really necessary.
Stop keeping information that is no longer relevant on your site. Fresh content should be added on a regular basis and you should pitch anything dated or no longer useful.
Stop going on and on about a topic. Keep articles short, 1500 words max. Keep paragraphs short, concise, and to the point.
Make sure all links posted on your site are working correctly. Click on them from time to time to make sure they are working correctly and fix or discard as needed.