I’ve been asking people which things put you off or annoy you the most when you’re visiting a company’s website and considering purchasing/doing business with them? Here’s what they said:

1. Making it hard to find your email or phone number

Are your email address and phone number clearly listed in the following two locations?

  • In the header or footer of every page
  • On your contact page

If not, add them there today. You’ll make someone happy.

2. A chatbox popping up for your first visit

It can feel like walking into a store to browse around and being cornered immediately by a salesperson asking how they can help you. Sometimes you just want to be left alone, and you’ll go ask for help when you need it.

3. Saying “Contact us for a price”

Companies often do this for the following reasons:

  • It stops competitors from undercutting you with their prices. Of course, this doesn’t stop competitors from doing this. It just makes them work a little harder to get them. And you make everyone else work harder which is annoying.
  • It means you need to keep the website updated. Yes, but you should be already.
  • It enables them to do a sales pitch or get you into their marketing funnel/automation. Not everyone is ready for this. If you walked into a store and they asked for your email or phone number before they let you know the cost it would feel awkward.

4. Stock imagery

I wonder if it genuinely is all stock imagery that is the problem, or just the ‘cringey’ ones which show smiling generic people representing the company or its clients or cliche ones that you’ve seen elsewhere.

Sometimes, stock imagery can’t be avoided due to budgetary constraints. But you can be very selective about the images that you use. You can also see how often an image has been used elsewhere with the Tin Eye tool.

5. “You must enable Javascript to use this site”

Please make it easy to do business with you. Don’t require me to change my security settings or install things in order to use your website.

6. Pop-ups appearing as soon as I arrive

It feels like you are shoving brochures or coupons in my face as soon as I turn up at your store. Please give me time to have a look around first.

7. Taking forever to load

It’s like lining up during COVID, six feet apart, to get into a store to purchase one quick item: frustrating.

8. Poor navigation

Poor navigation is like walking into a large unorganized store you’ve never been to before with signs that don’t make sense for you. It takes a long time wandering around dodging all the displays to find what you’re looking for, or maybe even needing to go find a store clerk to assist you.

9. Clutter

Clutter feels overwhelming – like hunting through a bargain bin trying to find one small thing you need.

10. It doesn’t work well on your phone

If it doesn’t work well on my phone when I’m out and about or on my couch relaxing, I’m leaving. Sorry, not sorry.

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