by Brenda Timm

Google the phrase “things that frustrate web visitors” and you’ll find pages of results. Some of these annoyances are simple fixes or easy-to-avoid in the first place, while others take a little more time and maintenance to correct.

Whatever the case, we work hard to get people to reach our websites, right? The last thing we want is for them to flee as soon as they’ve arrived.

Here’s a break-down of some of the top turn-offs visitors report:

Pesky Pop-Ups – Most web visitors are on a mission and don’t want to be inconvenienced with content that’s not relevant to their specific search. Pop-ups often fit this category. An even bigger frustration? When the option to close them is hidden or doesn’t exist.

Auto-Play Content – We’ve all been to a site with video clips or music that automatically plays upon landing. The general rule of thumb here? Let your visitors be in charge of choosing what they want to see and hear.
Outdated Info – Your website should be a real-time representation of your company where

visitors can turn for the latest news and info online. Failing to update old, outdated content can

leave a bad first impression.
Keyword-Saturated Pages – Achieving top page ranks is a common goal, but that doesn’t have to mean stuffing in keywords to be successful. Pages should be easy-to-read with copy that has a natural flow.
Buried Contact Info – Your company’s contact page and/or info should be front and center.

There’s nothing worse than losing a lead because you didn’t make it easy to access a simple phone number or email address.
Flash-Heavy Content – Pages with excessive animation can be distracting, hard to follow and un-loadable. Save the Flash formatting for situations that really call for it.
Lack of Navigation – You can’t expect visitors to make it through your site without logical, consistent navigation. Include menus on every page and show your visitors where to go next with prompts that direct them.
Broken Links – Links that lead to a dead end are likely to aggravate visitors. Do some periodic testing to ensure your site doesn’t have broken links. With today’s on-the-go web visitors, even the simplest snag could send them clicking right to the next website. Do what you can to get them to stay put ... make sure your site is free of the many things that frustrate users most!