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Website Redesign Mantra: Avoid Visitor Irritation and Aggravation!

Posted by Christine B. Whittemore on Jul 18, 2013 9:47:00 AM

This is a 4 minute read.

Website Redesign Mantra: Avoid Visitor Irritation and Aggravation!Raise your hand if you deliberately set out to implement a website redesign guaranteed to generate visitor irritation and aggravation.

You don't? I thought as much.

So why is it, then, that so many of our websites do irritate and aggravate visitors? Even after going through a website redesign specifically meant to improve the user experience?

These are questions I find perplexing.

After all, a website is the digital equivalent of a business office, showroom or physical store - all places where we are comfortable and have experience welcoming visitors and prospective customers.

So what is it about our websites that have us abdicating good manners? Don't we care about the traffic affected by our online experience? Don't we want to make the most of our digital storefront - which works faithfully on behalf of our business 24/7? Don't we want to welcome rather than repel, irritate and aggravate potential customers and redesign our website to create a better customer experience?

Avoid These 3 Website Irritants

Back in 2009, I wrote about Websites Irritants Guaranteed to Drive Visitors Away in which I detailed three website redesign irritants:

1. Websites which haven't been optimized for search engines, so no matter what search string combinations you enter into Google, including the company name, the site doesn't appear in search.

2. Websites which don't include visitor or customer relevant content, so no matter how hard you search through the site, you never find the information that matters to you. 

3. Websites which depend on distracting and unpleasant video and sound effects rather than relevant content to capture visitors' attention.

To that list, I add the following 7 website redesign irritants which I find worrisome as well as perplexing because I don't think we deliberately embrace them to create visitor irritation and aggravation.

Rather, we do them unintentionally - perhaps because we don't spend as much time thinking about our online customers as we do our IRL (in real-life) customers. We don't put ourselves in the fingertips, eyes, and ears of our customers [i.e., the equivalent of walking in her shoes for the brick & mortar equivalent experience], and try to click through their experience.

Perhaps, too, we're tired of our own marketing, or even exhausted with the whole website redesign process and site evolution...

Or, sometimes, we aren't fully in control! See Don't Be Held Hostage During Your Website Redesign!

Stay Clear of These 4 Website Redesign Aggravations!

In the hope that this inspires a website redesign - whether complete overhaul or gradual - which helps you avoid visitor irritation and aggravation, let's explore these 7 additional irritants. 

1. Your website isn't designed to guide your visitors through a journey to purchase. Think how effective signage is for guiding a shopper through a store (Target is a favorite example). Your website should similarly offer a path for learning about you and your business, and for closing a deal. Map out your web pages so you know which ones correspond with the stages of your visitor's buying cycle. Be aware which ones go hand-in-hand with a phone call or email from a serious buyer...

2. Your website only focuses on visitors who are ready to buy now. That means you are missing of all of the visitors who are at the early stages of the buying process, still gathering information about options and possibilities. If you successfully engage those early stage buyers, and continue building the relationship, they'll come back to you when they're ready to buy. For those who are ready to buy, make sure you are visibly easy to contact via phone, email, contact form or even social media - depending on how your potential customer prefers to communicate.

3. Your website doesn't offer visitors enough content to understand what it is your business does and how it can help them solve problems. Ask the people in your organization who regularly field customer questions. They will be able to detail exactly what you need to address on your site. Content is your business' greatest ally!

4. Your website doesn't provide any information about who you - the business owner - are and background on your business. Include it along with photos of you and your associates! Tell the story about how the business began. Make it human; make it conversational. People do business with people. Your website offers you an opportunity to showcase who you are.

Website redesign irritant: illegible text

5. Your website is full of industry jargon and internal expressions that prospective customers can't relate to or understand. Yuck. That's known as gobbledygook. Who needs or wants that? Speak in the terms your visitors and customers are comfortable with.

6. Your website offers no informational 'freebies', for example blog content or case studies which demonstrate your approach to problem solving. These build trust and credibility. They help you with early stage visitors, search engines and overall website legitimacy.

7. Your website features fonts with poor contrast which are challenging to read and often impossible to print. Even though they're trendy...

What would you add to this list of website irritants? 

If you're serious about avoiding visitor irritation and aggravation, consider a website redesign that truly welcomes and directs visitors as you would in person. Make it your mantra to do so! 

Make it your mission to be thinking about your service/product/offering and website as would your customers. And then pay attention to your own web-based experiences. Gauge your reactions. Chances are, if something irritates you, it will irritate your visitors, too.


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Topics: Digital Marketing, website redesign

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