“What are your top website pet peeves?” I asked that question to a room full of business owners attending a seminar on web design. I wasn’t surprised by their answers, only the passion in their voices as they replied. So what type of things topped their list? 

(1) Confusing Navigation 

This was by far and away the most common pet peeve among the business owners in the audience. In their view, people come to websites expecting to find information and don’t want to hunt through multiple pages or fight with multilevel drop down menus. 

One way to solve this problem is to add custom menus on interior pages. Use these more detailed menus to expand on general topics for people who really want in-depth answers without cluttering up the navigation for people who are just browsing.

(2) Cluttered Home Page

The desire to find information does not mean tossing everything on the home page. That approach actually leads to the second most common of the website pet peeves – the home page crammed with everything you do and more. People do not want to wade through mounds of information. They want a clear, concise path.

So, if visitors don’t want cluttered home pages, and they don’t want multi-level drop downs, how do you organize information? It takes a lot more planning as you think about what information is critical, and when it is important. You need to plan out a logical string of read more links to connect visitors to relevant information in the right order.  

Google has spoiled us. We can go to the Internet and type in a few words to find whatever we want. Your website visitors want to be able to do that on your website. Your visitors are likely to try to use your search bar. You can make this more useful by properly naming pages and using the tag and category functions (if available) for pages as well as blog posts.  

(3) Not mobile responsive

It is hard to believe we are still talking about mobile responsive websites. When I started discussing them almost four years ago I was sure by 2017 everyone would have made the shift.  Apparently that is not the case. Given the number of people in the room putting this on the top of their list, there must be quite a few websites out there which are not responsive. If yours is one of those, it is time for an upgrade.

We know that almost 60% of search is now conducted from mobile devices. People just don’t sit still anymore. They are on the go and they want information at their finger tips wherever they are. It is time to go mobile. If you want to know a bit more about this trend, then check out our webinar on how to Harness the Power of Mobile. 

Other website pet peeves

Were there other complaints? Absolutely. People were frustrated when they couldn’t find contact information easily. While many people are fine with contact forms, there was a small, but loud, community who wanted a phone number and address to convince them you were are real company. Rounding out the list was FAQ pages which were too sales oriented and didn’t really answer the questions, broken links, slow load times and hard to read pages with poor color contrast, and small font,

So what about you? Do you have a few website pet peeves we missed? Or do you have a website these business owners would be unhappy visiting? The truth is most of these complaints can be addressed fairly easily. If your site doesn’t measure up it is time to make a plan for 2017. 

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