10 Ways to Scare Clients off your Website

Sometimes it can be difficult to drive traffic towards your website - once people get there don't scare them off! Your site should; tell people exactly what you do, why you are different from your competitors and the exact services you provide. An effective and compelling website could have a direct impact on your revenue and should be designed in a way to give the user the exact information they need whilst telling them a bit more about you and why they should choose you.

Photography by Emma Stewart Photography

1. It’s not responsive

This is no.1 for a reason. A lot of people use their phones for browsing the web now more than ever and some don’t own laptops or computers. A responsive website won’t shrink the screen but will change the layout of the site completely so that it is easily navigated on a smaller screen (phones/iPads). We all know how frustrating it is to have to zoom in to read content, unfortunately if this is the case your user will probably give up after a few seconds.

2. (Too much) Animation 

I know what your thinking, animation? Who uses animation on their websites? Exactly. You would be surprised at how many people want their site to be animated. If you want to include some subtle movement in your site and it works well with your overall design it can be a really effective way to engage the user. But people don’t need to see a dancing cat or a multi-coloured moving background with sparkling stars on your website - it’s too distracting from the main content and will instantly turn people off.

3. Poor use of Colour

Certain businesses like to use pastel colours for their site (spas/therapists etc..) however, if you are using those colours don’t use the same soft shades for your content colour. Allow your content to be clear and stand out by using contrasting colours.

4. Loooong Paragraphs

Lay your content out in short paragraphs with some headers, imagery and bullet points to break up the info.

5. Contact me! …How?

Someone could be using your site to only find out your contact details, have a clear ‘contact’ tab in your navigation or have an email/phone link on the footer of your site.

6. Thinking Corporate = Professional

Show people exactly who it is behind the website, invest in some head shots and get photographs of you (and your team). Give your site some personality - this allows the user to connect with your business on a deeper level.

7. Not Telling People what you Do

I talk about this one a lot. Who you are/what you do needs to be crystal clear to the user in the first few seconds of entering your site. People won’t work for the information, you have to hand it to them as soon as you have their attention.

8. Sneaky Sound

A lot of websites play videos on their homepage, which can be super effective. However, have the sound set to mute as default instead of playing automatically; someone could be in a crowded place or listening to their own music, most will hit ‘back’ before they figure out how to stop your video.

9. Creative craziness 

The most important aspect of your site is your content, the design of the site should reflect your brand values and navigate people towards important information, like what you do and why you are different from your competitors. For example; having a lot of photographs with bright boarders or multicoloured tabs and any more than three typefaces on a website is over doing it. Too much ‘creativity’ can distract a user from the important stuff and even overwhelm them to the point that they don’t read any of your content at all. 

10. No Price List

This one can be controversial. Having a price list for some businesses isn’t appropriate but for a lot of businesses out there it can actually attract customers. Some people won’t get in contact because they feel they can’t afford you (by making their own judgement on your prices) and if someone is aware that your price list is bit above their budget, they don’t have to waste time emailing you for a quote. Your prices don’t have to be really specific, you can give them a range and then include what effects pricing. It also doesn’t have to be on the first page of your website but if you put it on your site it’s good to make sure it’s on an important page. Before I put some prices on my site I asked around to see if it was a good idea, I got a mixed response but mostly positive with people saying, “I think it shows you are confident in your business and have experience in knowing how long certain projects take”. Someone could be on your site to find out your prices (e.g. for spa/beauty treatments) but it is completely up to you if you feel it is relevant for your business.