We are the change

7 things your visitors hate about your website

1. You talk about yourself

How many times have you seen this? ‘Barratt and Bloggins was formed in 1982 and has successfully been delivering award-winning cutting edge solutions for our clients for the last 25 years.’

Blah, blah, blah.

Here’s the thing: people visiting your website only care about themselves. They want to know what you’re going to do for them; how quickly you’re going to do it; how it’s going to save them time; how it’s going to get them more clients; earn them more money; make them thin. Whatever. You get the picture. It’s all about them. Not you.

2. It’s difficult to buy anything

Your visitors love what you sell. Well, at least they’re quite interested in what you sell. And they might just want to buy something from you. So why make it so hard for them? Yes, Whistles, I’m talking about you.

Poor navigation, difficult to find products, hidden delivery costs and a ten minute check out process does not make a good shopping experience.

Your customers want to find products easily, throw them in a basket, go to the checkout, and pay. So let them do that.

3. You love your web designer more than your customer

Yep, your designer may be quirky, work in Hoxton and have won some award from Design Week. But is he designing that swanky website for your customers or his portfolio?

Think about your audience. What age are they? Where will they be viewing your site? Remember not everyone will have a huge screen, Flash, and a high speed connection. Nor will they have all the time in the world to wait for it to load. So what exactly were you thinking Thomas Edison?

4. You stop them getting to the good stuff with stupid intro pages

‘Skip this’ is the most clicked link on the Web after ‘Click here’. Would you go to Selfridges and be happy to stand outside the door for ten minutes waiting to be let in? No, you wouldn’t. So why delay your customers getting to your website?

Check this out for the most hellish intro ever. Not sure hellish was the look they were going for.

5. You don’t have a web designer at all

Need a website? Oh I’ll do it myself. After all, how difficult can it be? Yeah, Lings Cars, how difficult can it be? Let’s pack a few more moving things in there shall we?

If you don’t value your business enough to have a professional, clean looking website, why should potential customers value your business? Yes, you can get websites designed for £200. It doesn’t mean you should.

6. They can’t call you

It doesn’t matter how small or large your business, your phone number should be easy to find; top right is ideal. Sometimes the answer really isn’t in the FAQs. And no, your visitor doesn’t want to fill a form in, or send an email, or write a letter. They just have a really quick question that needs a really quick answer. So make your number really visible.

7. They don’t know what to do next

So your customers have read the words and they like the pictures. Now what? Don’t leave them hanging. Tell them what to do next with a call to action. Buy Now, Click Here, Download Free E-book, Check Availability, Call Now, Register Now, Get A Free Trial, Sign-Up, Join Now, Get Free Quote.

Anything I’ve missed? Share in the comments.


Note from Julie… I first read this post on Sarah’s site, www.turnerink.com and really loved it, so asked her if we could reprint it here, which she kindly agreed to.  You can read more from Sarah on her blog here.

About the Author:  Sarah Turner is a freelance copywriter, who offers a range of expert copywriting services in London. In fact, throughout the world. Although the meetings are harder to get to.

If you’re looking for a copywriter who can spout superlatives or write words with four syllables you might want to go elsewhere. She’s allergic to business bull, long words and waffle. And she has a particular loathing for the word ‘solution’. Yuk.  You can find out more about Sarah at www.turnerink.com

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  1. Diana Soltmann says

    Great article and I totally agree. Spent an hour looking at someones website this morning and still have not got a clue what they do! I think it could be HR consulting but it could also be a lawyer.

  2. Ling Valentine says

    Number 5 – my website as an example of how not to do it..

    Well, Sarah Turner (who has possibly never sold an item from a website, but is good at writing about it)… my website LINGsCARS is the most successful in the UK car leasing industry. I move over £35 million of new cars each year just from my website.

    I have just been awarded the Everywoman/NatWest/BT Business 2009 award for IT and Communications down at the Dorchester Hotel. That means best in the UK, Sarah. I did not notice you getting an award.

    Other remarks you make, Sarah, are rubbish. If you have a good web-business, you do not need to have a big phone number. You do not need to have a “clean, professional” website, you simply need one that works.

    You may need to polarise visitors, but for God sake don’t bore them to death following your advice, Sarah.

    So, I would suggest other women reading this do not pay any attention to your remarks in your cheap article, but they simply get on and build a successful web business.

    A lot of what you say is just rubbish.

    Ling Valentine

  3. Julie Hall - Editor says

    Thanks for your thoughts Ling… However as a web designer and an avid purchaser of goods online, I think Sarah talks real sense. No one is denying your success, which is truly amazing – however I wonder if you asked your customers what they thought of your site, what they would say …

  4. Ling Valentine says

    That’s the trouble, there are loads of experts talking “real sense”.

    If you spent your life listening to them you will end up with tons of tips, but will have achieved nothing.

    My success is not “truly amazing”, it is common sense. The only reason people think it is “amazing” is because they believe the rubbish Sarah Turner writes.

    Websites simply need to interact with humans, create traffic, convert the traffic and create referrals and reasons for returning. The need to sell stuff and make a profit. All the rest is BS, which these “experts” like Sarah Turner are good at spouting.

    I ask my customers. I have >1300 customer testimonials published online, more than any other website in the world. So yes, I think I know what my customers say… and so do BT Business, Nat West and the Everywoman award team.

    But thanks so much for the concern you show. You should think twice about repeating articles that slag off my website. There were already comments on the place you copied the article from, where Sarah tried to distance herself from the remarks a bit.

    All the snide comments from Julie that you re-publish like “how difficult can it be”, well, I am saying any fool can criticise, very few pwople can generate these sales. Who do people believe, someone who just talks and writes “real sense”, or someone who actually sells £millions? You think Sarah talks “real sense” because you are conditioned to like that waffly rubbish,

    I can talk “real sense” about loads of subjects, never actually having successfully practised them. Try my thoughts on heart transplants or North Korean politics. It’s called “nonsense”. But it would sound good and you would probably copy and publish it…


  5. Ling Valentine says

    7th para above, I wrote “All the snide comments from Julie”, I meant “All the snide comments from Sarah”. Apologies.

  6. Eric says

    Ling I would absolutely love to see your website’s analytics. I love to analyse unconventional (no offense meant) web successes. If that is possible please send me an email at eric.arrington @ gmail.com (minus the spaces of course). Thanks in advance.