10 Frighteningly Common Website Mistakes
In the spirit of Halloween, here are ten frightening website mistakes that make us cringe at the thought of all the missed opportunities.
- Not Going Mobile – If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, you’re effectively ignoring a significant percentage of your website users. For healthcare, this is typically 35-50%! Mobile users will be quick to exit a non-mobile site, especially one that cuts off images/text and requires horizontal scrolling. In today’s smartphone world, you need to start thinking mobile first.
- Leaving Out Contact Info – If your contact information is hard to find, or non-existent, you will not be contacted. Users are not likely to dig around to find information to contact you. You’re trying to earn their business, don’t make it hard for them to contact you.
- Terrible Images – Your image quality is a reflection of your practice. Don’t scare people away with grainy images, poor quality photos from an iPhone, or clip art. Use professional images that accurately reflect who you are. With modern broadband speed, everyone can handle high quality images. There’s no need for sub-par visuals. Show the best your practice has to offer.
- Auto-Play Video – This is another trend that should have died years ago. Pre-loading video slows the load time of the rest of your site and most users just find this annoying. If they want to watch video, they will. More people will close the window when a loud voice is coming from their computer at work, about to wake the kids, or on a commuter bus. Any video or talking head at the bottom of your screen that plays without the users permission not only startles a user, it scares them away.
- Clutter – Clutter on your website confuses the user and doesn’t show them what’s important. If anything, it makes them feel like they’re in the house of a hoarder. Too much information is overwhelming and causes a user to leave. It’s better to have a few options that direct users than many options that are all vying for a user’s attention. Simplicity, whenever possible, should be your goal.
- Flash – Flash is a technology created by Adobe and was commonly used on websites years ago. It used to be a highly effective tool, but now is not only obsolete, but harmful too. If you’re not sure if Flash is running on your site, visit your site on an iPhone. Flash technology is not supported by Apple products and will be functionally invisible. It’s also not crawled by search engines, which means it could be preventing users from finding your website via search. If you’re still using Flash, it’s time to update your website.
- Outdated Content – Is your practice a graveyard? If your last update to your “news” section is 2012, people will think so. New content shows users that your website is still active, relevant, and proactive. Make sure you’re pushing out new content at least monthly. Remove outdated information, especially if you’ve changed doctors, no longer provide certain services, or have important information for patients.
- Lack of Content – You don’t want to overwhelm your users with content, but at the same time, make sure you have an adequate amount. People on your website need to see that you’re an expert at what they’re looking at, and that isn’t normally done with two sentences on a page. Make sure you talk about all the treatments and conditions your practice handles.
- Copyright 1997 – Nothing tells a user quicker that you’ve abandoned your site, and maybe your practice, than an outdated copyright date at the bottom of your site. At the bare minimum, you should make sure this is up to date.
- Invisibility – Like a true Halloween ghost, the website is nowhere to be found. It doesn’t show up on search engines and there are few ways to get to the site around the web. Most often, we see this because a website was set up with no attempt to market it or was set up improperly, but it could also be as a result of a Google manual penalty. This usually occurs when websites have tried to improve their search rankings with illegitimate means. Whatever the case, if your website is invisible you need to get help right away because you’ve made an investment that’s providing no return.
Having some issues with your web presence and want to bring it back to the land of the living? Give us a call or fill out our website audit form and we’ll give you a free analysis of your web presence.