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Improve Your Website by Removing These 30 Things

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Some things on your website only serve to get in the way. They’re hurting, not helping your website’s potential in achieving your business goals.

In this presentation, Andy Crestodina of Orbit Media Studios and Dennis Shiao of DNN highlight the 30 things you need to remove from your site.

For each item, they explain why it hurts your website, and what to do instead. This presentation will help you identify 5+ things you can remove, to improve your website right away.

Published in: Marketing
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Improve Your Website by Removing These 30 Things

  1. 1. 1) VAGUE HOMEPAGE HEADLINES
  2. 2. Vague Headlines: What you do Instead • Describe what you do in the homepage headline
  3. 3. 2) STRAY COPY IN FOOTER
  4. 4. Well-known US-based auto manufacturer
  5. 5. What to do Instead • Errors can happen to anyone • Do extra quality assurance on prominent areas, such as the homepage, header and footer
  6. 6. 3) SOCIAL ICONS IN YOUR HEADER
  7. 7. Social Icons In Headers: What to do Instead • Remove social media icons from your header • Keep them in the footer • Don’t show the full color version of the icon until the visitor moves the mouse over the icon
  8. 8. 4) OUTDATED SOCIAL ICONS
  9. 9. This Twitter logo was last used circa 2009. That was seven years ago!
  10. 10. Outdated Social Icons : What to do Instead • Check each social network’s website for the most current brand assets
  11. 11. 5) MEANINGLESS SECTION HEADERS
  12. 12. Meaningless Headers: What to do Instead • Write descriptive headers • Remove the header completely ...making the remaining items more visually prominent
  13. 13. 6) UNNECESSARILY LARGE IMAGE FILES
  14. 14. Related Point The Alt text for this image: "dfine_products-1827“ Better Alt text: "vertebral augmentation system“ (which I grabbed from the adjacent heading on the page)
  15. 15. Large Image Files: What to do Instead • Compress the file without compromising image quality • Re-size the image accordingly; don’t force the browse to scale it
  16. 16. 7) DATES ON THE BLOG
  17. 17. @crestodina Dates in the Blog: What to do Instead • Remove the date stamp from your blog • Make sure that dates don’t appear in the URLs of blog posts
  18. 18. 8) OUTDATED REFERENCES
  19. 19. Whoops! That’s so last year.
  20. 20. Most recent blog post? Nearly 18 months ago
  21. 21. Self-error: we were running ads against this in 2016 
  22. 22. Outdated References • Update the Copyright year in your footer on New Year’s Day (or, before you go to the New Year’s Eve party) • Add fresh content on a regular basis
  23. 23. 9) SUGGESTED VIDEOS
  24. 24. Suggested Videos: What to do Instead • Uncheck the “Show suggested videos” box when you grab the Embed code from YouTube
  25. 25. 10) ADMIN LINKS FROM YOUR CMS
  26. 26. Admin Links: What to do Instead • Got “RSS links”? Move them into “Social Links” • For other “Meta” links, go into your CMS and hide them from “non-admin” users
  27. 27. 11) LONG PARAGRAPHS
  28. 28. Long Paragraphs: What to do Instead • Never write a paragraph longer than 3-4 lines • Use formatting! • Subheadings • Bold and italics • Numbered lists and bullet lists • Internal links • Multiple images
  29. 29. 12) FEATURED CONTENT BELOW THE FOLD
  30. 30. Scroll once, scroll twice…
  31. 31. @crestodina Featured content: What to do Instead • Place featured content in a “can’t miss position.” • Make sure featured content is above the fold.
  32. 32. 13) STOCK PHOTOS OF PEOPLE
  33. 33. @crestodina Stock Photos of People: What to do Instead • Use pictures of real people • Authenticity > Production Quality
  34. 34. 14) “LEADERSHIP” PHOTOS THAT LOOK TOO SIMILAR
  35. 35. Leadership Photos: What to do Instead • Consistency in photos is good, but not too much consistency • Vary clothing, background and pose
  36. 36. 15) PRESS RELEASES
  37. 37. source: MOZ / Fractl: https://moz.com/blog/consumer-survey-reveals-the-efficacy-of-inbound-vs-outbound Press Releases aren’t credible
  38. 38. Press Releases: What to do Instead • Rewrite your press release for a broader audience • Post it to your blog or news section
  39. 39. 16) MISDIRECTED DIRECTIONAL CUES
  40. 40. “I’m looking up, but YOU look down, please.”
  41. 41. Directional Cues: What to do Instead • Use cues to point directly to the action you want visitors to take
  42. 42. 17) PDF FILES
  43. 43. PDF Files: What to do Instead • Publish that content as a web page • Post the PDF as an alternate format for content that is likely to be printed or shared
  44. 44. 18) PDF FILES THAT OPEN IN THE SAME WINDOW
  45. 45. Strong copy that deserves to be placed on a page
  46. 46. PDF Files: What to do Instead • At minimum, have the PDF file open in a new window • Publish that content as a web page • Post the PDF as an alternate format for content that is likely to be printed or shared
  47. 47. 19) ADS FOR YOUR OWN STUFF
  48. 48. Ads For Yourself: What to do Instead • Promote your content within your content • Add simple, text-based calls to action at the bottom of every page
  49. 49. 20) POP-UPS THAT “GUILT” YOU
  50. 50. Guilting Your Users: What to do Instead • Substitute value for guilt
  51. 51. 21) YOUR TESTIMONIALS PAGE
  52. 52. Testimonial Pages: What to do Instead • Remove your testimonials page • Add testimonials to every page on the site!
  53. 53. 22) HEAVY USE OF ACRONYMS ON ENTRY PAGES
  54. 54. What is GaN RF? OK, this is better SiC, GaN and RF. What’s that?
  55. 55. Acronyms: What to do Instead • For entry areas, such as the top of your homepage, use simple language • Introduce acronyms later on (e.g. lower in your homepage or on your product pages)
  56. 56. 23) EMAIL LINKS
  57. 57. vs
  58. 58. Email Links: What to do Instead • Create a contact form with a thank you page • Setup a destination goal using the thank you page in Analytics
  59. 59. 24) MISLEADING CALLS TO ACTION
  60. 60. Clicking these buttons took me to a registration form!
  61. 61. CTA’s: What to do Instead • Use creativity in button labels • Instead of describing the action, focus on the benefit • Only say “Download Now” if users can download the asset right away
  62. 62. 25) GREEDY FORMS
  63. 63. Greedy Forms: What to do Instead • Ask for basic contact info only so you can respond to the lead • Ask additional questions when you follow up!
  64. 64. 26) COPY BAKED INTO IMAGES
  65. 65. Great! Long tail keywords that work well for organic search. But guess what?
  66. 66. It’s a single, really large image.
  67. 67. Copy in Images: What to do Instead • Don’t let valuable copy get locked away inside an image. Place it directly on the page • Also use Alt text to describe what the image shows us
  68. 68. 27) SUBMIT AS A CALL-TO-ACTION
  69. 69. Submit is a great call-to-action ...for her. Image source: www.wonderlandparty.co.uk
  70. 70. source: www.contentverve.com
  71. 71. source: www.contentverve.com
  72. 72. ‘Submit’ CTA: What to do Instead • Use meaningful calls-to-action that highlight the benefits • Use descriptive action words
  73. 73. 28) IMAGES THAT ENCROACH
  74. 74. Looks fine on mobile, but on desktop, this person’s head encroaches on the brand logo
  75. 75. Images that Encroach: What to do Instead • Keep images within reasonable bounds: don’t let them encroach into other areas • Check the user experience across all form factors. Mobile is important, but don’t forget desktop!
  76. 76. 29) DEAD END THANK YOU PAGES
  77. 77. Thank you!
  78. 78. Good bye!
  79. 79. Go away.
  80. 80. Thank you!
  81. 81. Subscribers from ‘Thank You’ page
  82. 82. Dead End Thank You: What to do Instead • Give the visitor another possible action • Find and fix every dead end on your website!
  83. 83. 30) PERSONALIZATION THAT GETS CREEPY
  84. 84. Good to know where you’re located, but I don’t need to see myself within the map
  85. 85. Creepy Personalization: What to do instead • Use personalization in the right context • Don’t make it creepy • For Google Maps, disable displaying of the visitor’s Google profile
  86. 86. SUMMARY
  87. 87. Summary (1-10) 1. Vague homepage headlines 2. Stray copy in your footer 3. Social icons in your header 4. Outdated social icons 5. Meaningless section headers 6. Unnecessarily large image files 7. Dates on the blog 8. Outdated references 9. Suggested videos 10. Admin links from your CMS
  88. 88. Summary (11-20) 11. Long paragraphs 12. Featured content below the fold 13. Stock photos of people 14. "Leadership" photos that look too similar 15. Press releases 16. Misdirected directional cues 17. PDF files 18. PDF files that open in the same window 19. Ads for your own stuff 20. Pop-ups that "guilt" you
  89. 89. Summary (21-30) 21. Your testimonials page 22. Heavy use of acronyms on entry pages 23. Email links 24. Misleading Calls-to-Action 25. Greedy forms 26. Copy baked into images 27. Submit as a Call-to-Action 28. Images that encroach 29. Dead-end thank you pages 30. Personalization that gets creepy
  90. 90. Thank you! Andy Crestodina @crestodina http://www.orbitmedia.com Dennis Shiao @dshiao http://www.dnnsoftware.com

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