Tag Archives: communication

Why 90% of blogs make me hit the back button straight away

4 Oct

Your blog is your online real estate.  Present yourself poorly and potential clients will be beating a hasty retreat.

I spend a lot of time browsing the blogs (hey, it’s all research), and it never ceases to amaze me how careless some entrepreneurs are with their precious first impressions. Here are the top five issues that make me click ‘back’ before I’ve even read the first line.

1. Cluttered design

It’s tempting to overdesign your blog. Very tempting, and my personal view is that a little html knowledge is a dangerous thing when it comes to a website’s look and feel. You know the sites I mean – the ones where the background is brightly coloured, or each paragraph is written in a different colour text, or the cursor is an animated icon.

There are even some sites that commit all three crimes at once.

The key is to remember who your site is for (hint: it’s not for you). Your reader is all-important, and there’s no point crafting quality content if your visitor can’t read it when they reach your page.

The best thing to do is KISS – Keep it Simple & Subtle. Take this site for example. Granted, a plain white page isn’t exactly eye catching, but it is readable.

And that’s the most important thing of all.

2. Pages that are no more than a collection of links

A few years ago a colleague told me about a website course they’d seen advertised that promised to teach them how to build a website that would immediately rank on Google’s first page.

Yes, you read that right. Immediately.

Further investigation revealed there were two strategies promoted during the course. The first was to choose a relatively narrow niche. Nothing wrong with that – writing consistent, quality content about a narrow niche is a good way to build traffic.

The second strategy was to build your page based entirely on links to other websites that already ranked highly on Google for that niche, the theory being that this would propel your site onto page one.

The issue with this is that a site built in this way isn’t actually adding anything to the visitors’ experience. Let’s face it, they would be able to find all the ‘information’ on your website through Google itself. Building a page purely to achieve a Google ranking will almost certainly alienate the reader and result in an immediate back-button hit, and a mental note to not bother with your content in the future.

One more potential customer lost.

3. Spelling mistakes and incorrect words

You don’t have to be able to write like Hemmingway to write good content. In fact, it’s probably better that you don’t. But you do need to be able to spell correctly, and know when a word is incorrect.

Mistakes like incorrect usage of their/there/they’re and poor spelling just show that you don’t pay attention to detail. And why would I want to work with someone who can’t even take the time to read their blog posts through?

4. Out of date content

Out of date content is an issue for blogs and more traditional, static websites. If you’re running a blog, you do need to update it regularly (aim for once a week). If you’re running a static website, you need to make sure you keep your content accurate. There’s something very off putting when you click onto an ‘events’ page and see last year’s courses listed… especially when it’s now October!

5. Lorem ipsum dolor

Yes, I have seen this. Lorem ipsum dolor is the dummy text that is sometimes inserted into webpages when designers are working on the look and feel. You need to delete it when you create and upload your own pages. Leaving this text on the page is just another example of poor attention to detail.

What makes you want to reach for the back button?