April 20, 2017


10 Things People Hate About Your Website


Website Grader is a free online tool that grades your site against key metrics like performance, mobile readiness, SEO, and security.


Poor user experience causes higher page abandonment rates, low visitor-to -lead conversion rates, poor organic search listing, and a bad reputation. With your district’s reputation on the line it’s important to have a site that represents your district’s credibility and purpose. We’ve compiled a list of 10 most annoying things we’ve seen to act as a sort of guide to what not to do when designing or redesigning your website.


1. Takes Too Long To Load

According to KISSmetrics report, 47% of consumers expect a webpage to load in two seconds or less and 40% abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Slow loading time frustrated your visitors and effects your district’s perception. The longer it takes a website to load the more website visitors blame the content provider instead of their internet providers. Page load time can be impacted by image size, code, videos, and other factors. 


2. Not Mobile Friendly

Have you ever had to scroll from side to side to read copy on a website or pinch to zoom because the words or buttons on a page are too small? Google announced a major mobile algorithm update in summer of 2015 that penalizes websites that aren’t mobile friendly and it announced that it would strengthen the ranking signal from mobile friendly websites starting May 2016. So if your site isn’t mobile friendly, you’ll likely lose out significantly in the organic search rankings.


3. Poor Navigation

When someone lands on your site, do they know what to do? Where to go? What their next steps should be? Your site missing out because you simply don’t provide any direction on your website or ask people to click around. Keep your navigation limited to seven items at most. Ultimately you should look to your website visitors to help you determine the best direction.  Put your most important items at the beginning of the navigation and the least important items in the middle. “Contact” should be the last item on the list, putting it at the far right in top-level horizontal navigation, a standard location. Using website analytics helps give you a picture of how your visitors interact on your site and will give you a clearer picture when designing you navigation.


4. Contains Generic or Cheesy Stock Images

Bad stock photos are generic at best, and ridiculous at worst. Images are helpful if they clarify something for a visitor and generic stock photography doesn’t help visitors or your business. It’s much better to show real pictures of customers, employees, your district, your services, and your location.


5. Little Contact Information

A “contact us” form may seem like an easy way for visitors to contact you, and there’s nothing wrong with having a form on your site, but it should never be a means of communication between you and your clients. If your client needs help, they want it now. They don’t want to fill out a form and wait to see when, if ever, they get a response. Let people get in touch with you via email, the phone, and social media, and make that information available on your site.

Also never use clients’ contacting you as a means to generate an email list. Filling out a form or contacting you does not indicate whether or not the contact actually want to receive ongoing communications from you.


6. Unintelligible ‘About Us’ Page

Does your about us page explain what you do in business babble, or using the words and phrases common to the general population? Include a jargonless page copy that explains the value of what you do, and a clear primary call-to-action that shows visitors how to take the next steps.

Write in a way that people actually speak and it doesn’t make your brain hurt trying to decipher the industry terms.


7. Doesn’t Clearly Explain What Your District Does

Does your website give a clear sense of what your district actually offers? The best sites clearly explain who they are, what they do, and/or what you (the visitor) can do there. Any time your adding or redesigning your site you need to ask yourself these questions.

“Don’t make me think”- if visitors can’t identify what it is you do within seconds, they won’t stick around long.


8. Contains Keyword-Stuffed Copy

Remember back in the early 2000s when you went to a website and saw paragraphs and paragraphs of copy? Aside from being visually overwhelming, if you read that copy you’d find nothing more that a bunch of keywords meant for crawlers, not humans. Stuffing your content with keywords is one of the most common SEO mistakes marketers make. Google will penalize your website in search for keyword-stuffing.


9. Outdated information

It’s just plain and simple, outdated information makes you look very unprofessional and dead. Attempt to update the information on your website as soon as it happens or at least every 3 months. Anything dating back more than 1-2 years should be update or removed. No one cares what programs you offered 2 years ago. This also applies to images.


10. Contains Titles and Headlines That Are Incompatible with Your Content

If visitors are met with information that is unrelated to them, they will abandon your site. Deliver content that is as exciting as the title.


*Be sure to have all links open into a new tab in your browser, not the same window. Visitors may not be done reading the content on this page, and you don’t want to navigate them away while they’re still reading.