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Avoid These 4 Common Mistakes That Kill Website Credibility

Some common mistakes can seriously harm a website’s credibility. In this article, I’ll explore seven of these credibility killers and how to avoid them. 

1. Pop-Up Overload

While pop-ups can be an effective way to capture leads and engage users, overusing them can be a major turn-off, leading to frustration, annoyance, and ultimately, a loss of trust in your website.

Let’s talk about why pop-up overload is such a credibility killer and how you can avoid it.

The Problem with Pop-Up Overload:

It’s disruptive and annoying:
When you’re deeply into an article, but then a pop-up abruptly shows up, asking for your email, it can be quite disruptive.

It screams desperation: An abundance of pop-ups can make your website appear greedy and unprofessional. 

It gives the impression that you’re more interested in grabbing quick gains than providing a valuable user experience.

It damages trust: Users expect a certain level of trust and respect when they visit your website. When bombarded with pop-ups, they feel like you don’t value their time or attention. 

This can lead them to question the legitimacy of your business and the quality of your offerings.

Studies show that pop-up overload can have a significant negative impact on website conversions.

  • A study by HubSpot found that 96% of users find pop-ups annoying.
  • Another study by SumoMe showed that websites with pop-ups have a 14% decrease in average session duration.

How can you avoid the pop-up trap and maintain a credible website?

Here are some key tips –

Use pop-ups sparingly: Only use pop-ups for important announcements, valuable offers, or capturing leads.

Time your pop-ups right: Don’t bombard users immediately upon arrival. Wait until they’ve had a chance to engage with your content.

Make pop-ups relevant: Tailor your pop-ups to the specific page or user segment. Offer something relevant and valuable to their interests.

Use a clear exit strategy: Make it easy for users to close the pop-up without having to navigate through a maze of buttons or links.

Test and refine: A/B test different pop-up designs, placements, and timings to see what works best for your audience.

2. Poor Design and Layout

Let’s talk about your website. You’ve poured your heart and soul into creating it, but something just feels… off. People aren’t sticking around, and you can’t quite figure out why. 

Well, it could be that your website’s design and layout are inadvertently pushing visitors away.

Believe it or not, studies show that users form an opinion about a website within milliseconds. That’s right, a blink of an eye! 

So, if your site looks messy, confusing, or outdated, you’re losing potential customers before they even have a chance to get to know you.

Here are some of the biggest offenders and how to fix them –

1. The Clutter Catastrophe

You know that feeling when you walk into a room and it’s just a chaotic mess, with clothes, furniture, and toys strewn all over the place? Not exactly a warm welcome, is it? 

Well, that’s pretty much how visitors feel when they stumble upon a website that’s overflowing with information, images, and all sorts of different fonts battling for attention. 

It’s not the best first impression, that’s for sure!

Here’s how to fix it:

Embrace minimalism: Less is more, especially when it comes to website design. Prioritize clean lines, ample white space, and well-organized content.

Focus on hierarchy: Use font sizes, colors, and spacing to guide visitors’ eyes towards the most important information.

Declutter ruthlessly: Don’t be afraid to remove unnecessary elements that distract from your message.

2. The Navigation Nightmare

Getting lost on a website is frustrating and makes you want to give up.

Here’s how to fix it:

Make it simple: Your navigation should be clear, concise, and easy to understand. Use familiar terms and organize menus logically.

Be consistent: Keep your navigation structure consistent across all pages, so visitors know where to find what they’re looking for.

Include a search bar: A search bar is a lifesaver for visitors who know exactly what they’re looking for.

3. The Mobile Mishap:

With more than half of all internet traffic coming from mobile devices, a website that isn’t optimized for smartphones and tablets is a major credibility killer.

Here’s how to fix it:

Use a responsive design: This means your website will automatically adjust to fit different screen sizes.

Make sure your text is readable: Don’t use tiny fonts or cram too much information onto a small screen.

Optimize images and videos: Large files will take longer to load, which can frustrate mobile users.

4. The Broken Link Blues:

Nothing says “unprofessional” like clicking on a link and ending up in a dead end. Broken links not only frustrate visitors but also hurt your search engine ranking.

Here’s how to fix it:

Regularly check your links: Use a free tool like Google Webmaster Tools to find and fix broken links.

Use descriptive link text: Don’t just use “click here” as your link text. Tell visitors what they will find when they click the link.

5. The Typo Terror:

A single typo might seem like a small thing, but it can make your website look sloppy and unprofessional. It can also damage your credibility and make visitors question the accuracy of your information.

Here’s how to fix it:

Proofread carefully: Before you publish your website, proofread it carefully for typos and grammatical errors.

Ask someone else to proofread: Having a fresh pair of eyes look over your work can help you catch mistakes you might have missed.

Use spell-checking tools: While not foolproof, spell-checking tools can help you catch some typos.

3. Overusing Jargon

Jargon creates distance between you and your audience. It makes you sound out-of-touch, arrogant, and frankly, a little bit boring. 

And that’s the last thing you want when you’re trying to build trust and establish yourself as a credible source.

Let’s see some numbers:

  • 40% of consumers say they are less likely to buy from a brand that uses jargon. (Source: HubSpot)
  • 62% of millennials say they find jargon to be condescending. (Source: Sprout Social)

So, how do you avoid this credibility killer? Here are some tips:

1. Keep it simple: Write like you’re talking to a friend, not a professor. Use plain language, avoid complex sentences, and break down technical terms into simpler explanations.

2. Ask yourself: “Would my grandma understand this?” If the answer is no, then it’s probably time to rephrase. Remember, you want your website to be accessible to everyone, not just a select few.

3. Use real examples and analogies: Make your content relatable by using stories and examples that your audience can connect with. This will help them understand your message and remember it better.

4. Get feedback from real people: Ask friends, family, or even strangers to read your website and tell you if they understand it. This is a great way to catch any jargon that you might have missed.

5. Use a readability score checker: Tools like Hemingway Editor and Grammarly can help you assess the readability of your content and suggest improvements.

Here are some examples of how jargon can backfire –

Instead of: “We leverage cutting-edge technology to deliver a paradigm shift in your user experience.”

Try: “We use the latest technology to make your experience faster and easier.”

Instead of: “Our team is comprised of experienced thought leaders with a deep understanding of the industry.”

Try: “Our team has years of experience and knows the industry inside and out.”

Remember: You want your website to be a place where people feel welcome and informed, not confused and intimidated. By avoiding jargon and focusing on clarity, you can build trust with your audience and establish yourself as a credible source.

4. No Blog or Regular Content Updates

Think about it. Why would you trust a website that hasn’t updated its content in months or even years? 

It makes you question the legitimacy of the information and the overall competence of the website owner.

Here’s why a lack of fresh content hurts your website’s credibility:

1. It signals inactivity and lack of interest: Imagine walking into a store that hasn’t changed its displays in years. It doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, does it? 

The same goes for websites. If your content is stale, it indicates that you’re not actively involved in your business or keeping up with current trends.

2. It leads to outdated information: The world is constantly changing, and so should your website. If you’re not updating your content regularly, you risk providing outdated or inaccurate information, which can seriously damage your credibility.

3. It turns visitors away: People are drawn to websites with fresh, engaging content. If your website is stuck in the past, visitors are likely to bounce quickly and head elsewhere.

4. It hurts your search engine ranking: Search engines like Google love fresh content. By regularly updating your website with new blog posts, articles, and other resources, you’ll improve your search engine ranking and make it easier for people to find your website.

  • According to a study by HubSpot, websites that blog 15 or more times per month get 5 times more traffic than those that don’t blog at all.
  • Another study by Search Engine Journal found that websites with fresh content tend to rank higher in search results than those with outdated content.
  • The average bounce rate for websites with no blog updates is a whopping 80%, compared to 50% for websites with regularly updated blogs.

Imagine you’re looking for a new dentist. You come across two websites. One has a blog filled with recent articles about dental care tips and new technologies. The other website’s last blog post was from 2019. Which website are you more likely to trust?

So, what can you do?

The solution is simple: start blogging and update your website content regularly! Here are some tips:

Choose a blogging schedule and stick to it. Aim to publish at least once a week, but more is always better.

Focus on creating high-quality content that is relevant to your target audience. Make sure your content is informative, engaging, and well-written.

Promote your blog content on social media and other channels. This will help you get more eyes on your content and improve your website’s visibility.

Use analytics to track your progress. See what types of content are performing well and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Take a moment to review your website, apply the tips I’ve discussed, and ensure your online presence is a welcoming, informative, and up-to-date space.