Are These Features Hurting Your Website Traffic?

Have you ever wanted to read an article, but got so frustrated with the website that you just gave up? Chances are it was because you were bombarded with so many annoying website features that you couldn’t reach the actual text.  While each feature probably started off with good intentions, their overuse has angered many a website visitor. 

Have you ever wanted to read an article, but got so frustrated with the website that you just gave up? Click To Tweet


If you want to refrain from annoying your website visitors, here is our list of the top 6 things you should avoid on your website.


Forced Registration

The first feature to avoid is forcing the reader to register with your site before they can access any of the articles you have posted. 

We’ve all been there.  You are looking for a great article to read and come across a site that sounds interesting.  To learn more, you click on the site, only to find your path blocked by a pop-up that requires you to register in order to learn more. 

This type of forced registration is not only annoying, but it requires the reader to give up personal information that they are protecting more and more.  As we have stated in previous articles, the best way to grow your following is to provide your readers with great information so they will want to come back time and time again.  By forcing someone to register with you, before they even see what you have to offer, you are going to cause most readers to bounce instead of registering.  Your site is not the only one that can provide that information, so readers are going to look elsewhere.

What a website should have:

To keep your readers interested and engaged, do no force readers to register.  If you wait to build up trust between yourself and your readers, they will be more inclined to provide you with their contact information when you offer a Call to Action later in the reading experience.   


Excessive pop-ups

A second feature to be avoided are excessive Call to Action pop-ups.  These non-stop interruptions that begin the moment the reader clicks on the site interrupt the reader’s experience and make it a frustrating experience.  Not only are pop-ups disruptive, they also ask the reader to do something before they have built a rapport with you.  They haven’t decided if you are able to provide them with valuable information, so they are annoyed when pop-ups interrupt their experience.    

What a website should have:

If you are looking for an alternative tool, try using small banner Calls to Action that slide in from either the side or bottom of the page.  These allow the user the opportunity to get more information, but on their terms.  Readers will appreciate this gesture and it will help them to see you as a trusted resource that won’t annoy them.


Sites that Load at a Snail’s Pace

One of the most frustrating aspects of a website, and the third feature on our list, is slow load times.  While slow load times can be the result of minor website flaws, these flaws can be fatal to your conversion rates if they impact your page load times. 

A Kissmetrics study found that  47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.  While this might seem like a very small amount of time, it was found that even a second more can have a negative impact.  The study also found that 40% of people abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.  That extra second can be the difference between converting a reader or losing the reader completely.

What a website should have:

To avoid having slow loading times, review your site carefully with speed in mind.  If large images, long videos, or other graphics are bogging down your loading time, consider optimizing their sizes for quicker loading times.  Or, consider removing the trouble spots entirely.  Having a site with great content that readers can actually read is more important than having a site with all the bells and whistles. 


Too Many Ads

Have you ever found yourself on a webpage that you can’t find the article amidst all the ads?  It happens more often than you think and it’s driving away readers, making excessive use of ads our fourth website feature to avoid. 

Monetizing a site is a great way to cover blog related expenses and to create a revenue stream, but when almost the entire site is covered in ads it becomes more of a liability than a benefit.  There are few things more annoying than trying to scroll through an interesting article and not being able to read it with ads appearing after every 2 lines of text.  Too many ads disrupt the reader’s experience and causes them to bounce to another site.

What a website should have:

To avoid having ad overload, be judicious in your ad placement.  Look at the site through the eye of the reader and ask yourself if you can easily read your article.  If your ad placement is too dense, take out some ads.  It’s better to keep your readers happy and convert them into subscribers or customers than to gain a little revenue from an annoying ad or two.   


Dead Links

Dead links are number five on our list of most annoying website features.  Many readers have been disappointed when they are engrossed in a topic, click a link to learn more, and end up finding themselves on an error page.  As the reader loses their level of engagement, the chances of losing them entirely increases, as they decide to look elsewhere for the information.  To a reader, dead links also represent the web developer’s lack of attention to detail, causing the reader to lose trust in the site as a result. 

What a website should have:

To avoid this happening to your site, do a quick check during every upload to ensure that your links point to the right destination.  In addition, do periodic reviews of your site to test that your links are still working properly.  A little bit of maintenance can save you from succumbing to the pitfalls of dead links.



We have all been subject to slideshows that force you to scroll through the slide deck to learn more about a topic.  While the slideshow format works well in certain circumstances, the overuse of ads and large graphics have made this format quite painful to readers.  That is why the slideshow format is number six on our list of annoying website features. 

Readers may have been excited to learn about the 15 amazing tips to benefit their lives, but when page four slowly loads all the text and ads on the page, the reader has decided that their life is fine just the way it is.  Putting each point as a new slide on a new page sounds like a great idea for generating extra ad space, but most readers don’t have the time or patience to scroll through an entire slide deck to get the information they need. 

What a website should have:

If you are in love with the slideshow format, make the viewing option “view on one page” available to your readers.  This feature will appeal to readers who are only interested in skimming the article, as it lets them know that you won’t waste their time and they will appreciate the gesture. 



If you are looking to develop your site, try avoiding these 6 features to help improve your reader’s viewing experience.  If you would like more tips on how to develop a great website, contact us today!


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