Why your website does more harm than good

A very useful website brings a lot of good things to the organization or person behind it. A company website can serve as its sales and marketing department that works 24×7. A personal website can showcase a person’s capabilities that could land him a high-paying contract work or job.

Tools already exist to develop websites without much hassle. With a lot of technical details already been taken care of, we should expect organizations to build websites that are useful. Unfortunately, that is not the case. We still encounter websites that do more harm than good.

Self-congratulatory messages

This is the classic “us/our” syndrome. How many times have you seen a company website that proclaims they are the leading supplier of this, and the No. 1 producer of that. Look at the links in a company website and what do you see? “About Us”, “Our qualifications”, “Our clients”, “Our services”, “Our achievements”, etc.

If you want your website to serve your visitors, remember this: visitors care more about their issues and less about how great you think you are.

No valuable content

A website is the perfect repository of intellectual assets like articles, papers, proposals, studies, surveys, and reports. Potentials customers don’t need to ask your sales team for these materials. Customers can download them through your website, examine it, and judge for themselves whether to consider you or not.

Splash pages

Technical people always love to be at the forefront of technology, which is understandable. After all, who wants to be left behind? We use this to justify the use of explosive graphics, streaming videos, and presentation technology that rivals even the best commercial on TV.

Oftentimes, organizations take religiously the phrase “first impression lasts”. These flashy technologies are fun and to some extent, impressive to watch the first time. But they quickly grow old. Just like an award winning TV commercial, we may like it the first time but it becomes annoying when we see it every 10 minutes.

Another problem with flashy introductions is that they are linear. Visitors have to wait for the website to do its “thing” before the user can do “anything”. Fine, why not put an “Skip this” button? If you provide that, how many visitors do you think would actually click the skip button right away? If the number of visitors that skip the introduction far exceed the number of visitors who would watch the introduction, then what is the point of creating it?

Asks too many information

If you want to establish a relationship with a potential customer or at least get permission to send an email, all you need is their email address. You don’t even need to know their name yet, or how many employees they have or when they plan to go to Boracay. Even if you ask them, 99.99% of the time, they would lie. There’s no point in asking other information. Just get their email.

“We’ve all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.” – Robert Wilensky

Monkey typing

Does it look like your website was built by a monkey?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s