First dates can be awkward. They make you question a lot of things. How do I look? Will he/she like me? What should I say?
As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Like a first date, you may think a customer’s first visit to your website went great, until you realize it’s been more than a week and you haven’t heard back from him. No emails, comments—not even a like or retweet.
What went wrong? Was it something you said?
Ever wonder why that user never came back? It may be because your site is un-dateable.
Here are eight flaws that may kill your site’s chances for a second visit (date):
1. Links lead to nowhere.
Deleted pages, 404 errors, and awkward pictures that tell the user “this page no longer exists” are all signs you don’t want a second visit. Who would want to involve themselves with a site that doesn’t take time to make sure its links work?
2. There is too much going on.
Gifs flying about, little white space, and too many colors are the Web equivalents of a guy wearing a three-piece, Easter-pink suit, matching gator shoes, and more than a splash of cologne. Sure, your site stands out, but it stands out in the worst possible way. Sometimes less is more.
3. There is no about page or section that introduces the site.
If a user leaves your site without understanding what you’re about, why would he spend more time with you to find out? Put yourself out there by sharing information people want to know, such as your site’s mission and purpose.
4. Social media icons are hard to find.
You want users to like you on Facebook and follow you on Twitter, but your social media icons aren’t clearly visible on your homepage. What are you trying to hide?
Oh, wait. I see them now. They are those tiny globs of color in your header. It took me a while to find them, but I did, and now I’m never coming back. Thanks for that.
5. The posts are infrequent.
As they say, content is king. If it looks like you haven’t posted anything in a long time, then you aren’t guaranteed a second visit. Are you not ready for a commitment?
6. The content is unoriginal.
We have all seen sites like yours before. Nobody wants to waste time on aimless content. What makes your site stand out from the rest?
7. There is no navigation.
You have to tell people what you want. They took the time to visit, and you left them hanging. You don’t have buttons, sections or organized links. Check please!
8. The pictures are pixelated.
You must always put your best foot forward, or people will think you don’t take them seriously. Pixelated pictures are so tacky. Did you design your site in the dark?
Which features on websites turn you off?
Anuli Akanegbu is a digital marketing intern at TMG. A version of this article originally appeared on the Engage blog.