Nightmare website

Is Your Web Site A Nightmare (Before Christmas)?

Ashlea Owings Blog, Content and Creative

Is your website scaring off visitors faster than malevolent spirits in a haunted house? Are your visitors hearing a voice in their head whisper: “Go away!” It may be happening on your site. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can figure out what poltergeists are lurking on your site and take steps to exorcise those demons. Let’s identify 5 spooky items that hurt your web site.

The Visual Horror Show
Does your site look like a ransom note? You know what I mean, where they have clipped various words from magazines and newspapers and pasted them all together. There’s no consistency and it’s a nightmare to read. Do you have so many different visual items that it looks like the walls of an obsessive stalker in a horror movie? You know, the guy who has pasted an entire history from news clippings and photos onto his walls? Visual overload. The viewer is so overwhelmed, they don’t know where to begin, can’t find what they want … and they bail!

The Scary Long Hallway
Understand this: Less is more.
There is no longer any good excuse for loading up a page with content and telling too much of the story at once. Those long rows of text are like looking down a long, dark hallway. Far away. Where does it end? Face it, people are both busy and lazy. Most people don’t want to read all that. That definitely scares people off. Alas, there is a solution! Just like closet organizers, you can use drop down content, tabs or accordion boxes to tuck away unsightly excess content. For the reader that wants to see and read more, give them something to click: a button, plus sign or a link. Keep it clean and simple and just hit the key points and leave some white space!

A Creaking Door
Like the irritating whine of a slow creaking door, your slow loading, creaking web site may be chasing people away. “Fuhgett about it!” Again, people are busy and they don’t have time to sit there waiting on a slow loading site. Their first reaction is, “this site is broken.” And they move on.

Was That A Ghost?
If you don’t know who your prospects are, that is, you don’t know who your key potential customers are – you’ve built your site for ghosts. They might as well be, because you don’t know who they are. If you know, truly know, your customers – you know what they want. You can (and should) design your web site to meet your customer’ needs and expectations. Do that, and not only will they stick around, they’ll keep coming back.

It’s what you say that gets a reaction. Killer headlines are what captures the reader’s attention and gets them looking further at your product and/or sales copy. Your product may have awesome features, is the best of its kind, yada yada. But all that won’t matter if they aren’t inclined to look deeper or stick around long enough to do so.

Mistakes Will Haunt You
In conclusion, if visitors are being frightened away from your web site, you are doing something wrong. Review the above points and make sure those types of mistakes aren’t haunting your web site.

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About the Author
Ashlea Owings

Ashlea Owings