When trying to attract new business or visitors to your website, your first rule should be not to annoy them. Unfortunately, there are still innumerable websites that are chock full of errors and frustrating elements. When people land on your site, you have about 59 seconds to grab their attention before they will click away. If your site has errors, doesn’t load properly or isn’t what they were expecting, you have even less time.

Poor user experience means that people will abandon your website in droves. You will suffer high bounce rates, low lead conversion and bad search listing positions. In general, your glitch website could give your great business a bad reputation.

To help you avoid the pitfalls many websites make, we’ve compiled a list of 12 things that your website might be doing that drives your users’ nuts!

1. Your load time is abysmal

We have ever shortening attention spans and expect instant gratification in most aspects of our lives, and you better believe that also applies to websites! According to a report released by KISSmetrics, almost 50% of users expect a webpage to load in 2 seconds or less and about 40% will abandon the site if it takes more than three seconds. That means that even a one second delay can lose you loads of potential traffic!

A slow load time is an incredibly frustrating experience, especially for mobile users who may be relying on slower cellular Internet connections. Amazingly enough, users are more likely to blame the content provider (you) over their mobile service provider if your site is slow to load.

To avoid this, make sure that improving your site’s load time is at the top of your priority list when it comes to building your site or redesigning it.

  1. It isn’t mobile friendly

When you’re visiting a website on your phone, the last thing you want to do is zoom in on miniscule lettering or try to press tiny buttons. This is the experience of a website that isn’t responsive and it will quickly alienate all your mobile users (which is quite a bit).

And if you think this isn’t serious, consider that in 2015, Google announce that they would begin penalizing website that were not mobile friendly with lowered search rankings by May 2016.   

The web browsing experience of mobile users matters greatly and is becoming the future of website to user interaction. If your site is only built for users on personal computers you will suffer from a significant loss of organic search rankings.

  1. Your navigation is a mess

Your website should have a natural flow and hierarchy that is immediately available to users when they land on the home page. What is the most important information? What are your current campaigns or blog posts? Where do they go from there?

While it may seem obvious to you where to go next, consider that research by Small Business Trends showed that in 2013, up to 80% of small business to business websites lacked a clear call-to-action. These businesses weren’t missing out on leads and sales because of badly written content but because their customers didn’t know where to go and they weren’t provided with any direction.

When designing your website, include clear headlines and lay off the jargon in your content. Be concise and approachable about what you do and what you can offer and have a highly visible, primary call-to-action that guides visitors through the next steps—whether that’s subscribing to a blog, playing a video or going through a welcome center.

  1. You’re popping up everywhere

Do you employ lots of pop-ups in your website? Well, you shouldn’t. Pop-ups are often seen by visitors as intrusive to their web experience. If you feel that you need to use pop-ups, use them in moderation and consider using smart pop-ups. A smart call-to-action allows you to display a different pop-up or no pop-up at all depending on whether or not a visitor has accessed your site before or if they’re at a particular buying stage.

Even if you do use smart pop-ups, be sure to track how effective they are. By assessing the number of click through and how many submissions the pop-ups actually generate, you can gauge whether or not you’re employing an effective call-to-action or just bugging your visitors.

  1. You use autoplay

Ever been browsing a website at work or in a quiet library when suddenly, music and voices start blaring from your computer? You haven’t clicked anything and you’re not watching a video so where is it coming from?

If you bombard users as they quietly browse with autoplay video or music and they can’t quickly find a stop button, what do you think they will do?

While some users might locate the mute button quickly enough, most know exactly where the “back” button is.

Though Facebook and Twitter utilize autoplay now, their videos are always on mute unless specifically chosen not to be. Extend that same courtesy to your visitors by not forcing content on them and if you do have an autoplay video, make sure it’s muted until they choose to listen to it.

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