Jason Yormark

5 Sure Fire Ways To Lose Website Visitors

I’m always surprised at how many sites use questionable tactics with theirimages websites that most certainly drive away readers.  In some cases these decisions are certainly centered around monetizing a site, but in others, they are simply mind boggling.  I’ve taken the past few months to really gather some feedback on how I’d like to evolve my blog in terms of making it more reader friendly and call to action oriented, but I can assure you that I would never consider any of the following tactics in any site I owned or consulted on.

  1. Make them click through multiple pages for lists.  This always drives me nuts.  I get the idea here.  You usually catch this with bigger name sites and really all they are trying to do is drive up their web traffic numbers.  Let’s be honest, it’s not a good user experience, so the only reason to make people click through a new page for every list item is for the site owner’s own benefit.
  2. Buy this, download this, or subscribe to this pop ups.  Pop up ads were all the rave back in the early days of the net, and the ugly beast seems to have been reawaken in the form of blog owners trying to get new subscribers  to their blogs.  Again, an awful user experience, and there are better ways to accomplish this (see Hello Bar).
  3. Sites that “disable” the browser back button.  This is just maddening.  What could possibly be the reason for adding JavaScript to your site to make it so that I can’t back out of your website?  Do you really think this is going to either stop me from leaving or encourage me to stay?  Not a chance.
  4. Go ad crazy.  I’m all for monetizing sites to continue to offer great free content, but not at the expense of monopolizing the screen real estate of a site.  Ads should compliment your site’s content, not be the focus.
  5. Make it difficult to consume your site.  Whether it be bad font choices, colors, poor navigation or a lack of search, the harder you make it for me to consume your site’s content, the more likely I’m out of there.
Jason Yormark
I'm a 20 year veteran of digital marketing & the owner and founder of Socialistics, a social media agency based in Seattle. My spare time is filled with writing, baseball, my boys and everything Seattle has to offer.

7 comments

  1. Ha! I hate all those things. I’ve asked myself the question, “Why the hell won’t they let me click back?” too many times to count. It’s just the most irritating thing. Those loud and garish Pop-ups make you look like a scamming affilitate marketer in my books. It isn’t only the small guys who use pop-ups, I like to read the Jerusalem Post, a mainstream paper, and they have them on every page when I just want to read the news. Good grief.

  2. User friendly, opt-in and user initiated are terms that some people need to become more familiar with. “Mousetraps” that “lock” me into your page immediately make me suspicious of your motives.

    It is a surefire way to make me not want to visit your site again let alone buy anything.

  3. The worst of these, in my experience, is subscribe to pop-ups. Please, bloggers, stop doing this. It is especially annoying when I visit a blog regularly and I get the pop-up over and over- even if I’m already subscribed. I also do not like when the subscribe to pop-up pop-ups before I’ve had a chance to read the content and decide if I even like it enough to subscribe. I will often avoid repeat visits to blogs with subscribe to pop-ups and I will not likely re-tweet the post.

    I’m a blogger, too, and I find a little common sense and respect of my readers goes a long way. I may not have impressive page views or hundreds of subscribers, but I do care about my readers experience at least as much, if not more, than my stats.

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