By @TheMarkDalton

One of the challenges of inbound marketing is not to annoy people. You get them to arrive on your website so how can you make sure you don’t annoy them and drive them away? We actually know what people hate but despite that we still stick things on our sites that we know are not well received.

You give out about things such as pop up ads, banner ads, and much more but despite that you still implement all of those user experience quirks that you hate and put them on your own website.

Poor user experience can lead to high bounce rates and none of us want that. A bounce rate is a measure of how many people enter and exit your website at the same point without clicking on anything.

So here it is, some blogging mistakes you could be making right now.

It is slow to load

Your website needs to load in 3 seconds or less. Time is an important commodity, we love time. Think of the last time your internet connection slowed down for just a few seconds, think of how angry you were and how frustrated you felt. That is how much we love time.

4 seconds to load is pushing it, 5 seconds and you lose them. That is how fast we need to be. 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less and 40% abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load so even my suggestion of five seconds is cutting things tight.

You are going to have to make sure speed is at the top of your list. Optimise the back end to make sure that it loads fast. Load times can be impacted by image size, code, traffic spikes, videos and more.

Not mobile friendly

Incredibly, some of you are still trying to promote your ancient pre-historic sites which badly need a redesign but more importantly don’t play well on mobile. I recently spoke to someone who is trying to promote a website which hasn’t been updated since 2008.

You website MUST be optimised for mobile, that means you either need to implement a mobile friendly design if you are on WordPress or you need to pay someone to make your website mobile friendly.

Google ranks mobile optimised sites higher than sites not optimised for mobile devices so not being mobile friendly means you are punishing yourself as Google will be hitting your SEO ranking as a result. Can you afford to miss out on all that traffic and sales? Because that is what is happening when you try to promote an outdated blog or site.

Excessive full screen popups

A full screen popup does one thing, disrupts the reading experience and is seriously annoying. Especially the ones which try to guilt trip you by forcing you to click on, “No thanks, I don’t want to improve my website.”

There is a right way to do pop ups if you really want to implement them:

– Use in moderation. Don’t constantly bombard your readers with them, if I click one to dismiss it then I don’t want to see it popping up again on another page. Don’t bombard with with popups for content I have no interest in.
– Make them “smart.” Making your popup smart basically means putting a bit more thought into it. So instead of making it popup at the start of your blog post, consider enabling if for when a reader has scrolled half way through what they are reading. You know they are consuming content at this point, they are enjoying the content and they won’t be as irritated by a popup which may appear at the start of the page before you even start to read.
– Track them! Look at the analytics, track your popup for engagement. Not working or not getting the engagement you expected or hoped for? Then can it and figure out something else to implement instead. What you do needs to add to the experience, not take away from it.

I’m not a fan of full screen popups. However one form of advertising popup which has intrigued me is the slide in ads. These are small banners which slide in at the bottom of the page with your call-to-action. They are less obtrusive and allow users to continue to consume content.

You are missing social sharing buttons on content

You write a great piece of content and you want it to be shared far and wide. It is disappointing when I scroll to the bottom to share your content and you only have maybe options for Facebook or Twitter. Or even worse, you have no social sharing buttons at all!

You may not like LinkedIn, Google+ or Tumblr but it is not up to you to judge what your readers like. If the button isn’t there then chances are they are not going to bother sharing. Include social sharing buttons for every option you possibly can. Give the reader a choice.

The more places content gets shared the more traffic you could get and that in turn can help your search engine rankings.

Autoplaying audio or video

I hate content which autoplays on loading. It is frustrating and makes me want to yell in anger. Big websites can just about get away with it. So for example, the Premier League website just about gets away with it due to its profile. It frustrates a lot of users but they don’t leave. They just put up with it.

On your blog which is much smaller, people won’t put up with it. I don’t want your autoplay crap to alert people nearby, I enjoy browsing in silence. I won’t waste time looking for the pause button or the mute button. I will simply close the tab and move on.

Your content sucks

One of the hardest things that many people will never be able to face up to. Your content sucks. People will close sites and blogs complaining that nobody wanted to visit. It wasn’t your fault, it was just that nobody else wanted it.

Chances are the reality is that your content sucked. I have closed lots of my own websites because my content sucked. Stop blogging about things we have no interest in, every detail of your personal life, what you are doing every night, how you ‘killed it’ in the gym, your cat, your microwave dinner.

Nobody cares. If you are going to blog about that subject matter then make it interesting, make it fun, make me laugh and provide some kind of value. That is what it all boils down to, you need to create value in some form to the reader. If you are not providing value then you are going to lose the battle, make them wanting more.

Great content is hard to produce consistently. Not everybody can do it and some people will keep trying but still never be able to do it. Creating content to a high quality and standard is a talent, there is a reason why people outperform others through the content they produce. They have “it.”

So, if you are wondering why you have high bounce rates then look at this list, are you doing any of the above? It could be part of the problem. Think about how you approach your content and your website or blog. Are you creating value for the reader?

Too much of what we do takes value away and steals time from us which is a precious commodity because of how fast paced we live our lives. When was the last time you went to another website to click on a banner ad? Years? Then why would you put them on your own website. Pre roll banner ads on YouTube? Not providing value…stealing from us.

Think of what you are doing right now on your website with regards to the above and think about how you can do it better.

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