In the last post – on why visitors quickly exit your blog – I promised to write about things that your guests, especially the search and referral visitors, hate to see in your blog. In fact, the opposite scenarios of those 10 good traits, that we talked about, themselves form the hate list. But I have more in my hate list here.
My hate list
The following are those ten things that could create a very bad first impression (and hence the last impression as well, mostly) among your search visitors.
#1 CPU or bandwidth exceeded warnings: How often have you seen it? I get to see it a couple of times a week with one or the other blog. This happens mainly with blogs that are on shared hosting plans. Though this is temporary issue, it is really irritating. In fact, it has happened to this blog at least once in the last three months as per the server logs.
#2 ‘Subscribe to our feed’ as the very first line: There is nothing worse than asking a fresh visitor to sign up or subscribe immediately after he hits your blog. Ideally you should push such things to the end of the post or the sidebar.
#3 Flashy-animated ads, excess ads or irritating ad formats: If your blog has too many ads or allows ads that are highly animated and too colorful in nature, the readers may easily get distracted from the main content focus. Other irritating form of ads include popups, popunders and interstitial ads which are not really suitable for blogs, according to me.
#4 Too many spelling or grammatical mistakes: Anybody could make written lingual mistakes – especially when you are blogging in a language that is not your native language. But it should not go to the extend of having too many mistakes that the readers get irritated about.
#5 Your last post was several weeks back: This mainly happens when the users are in the home page or archived area. If your last post was several weeks or even months back, then chances are your blog is considered discontinued and hence mostly repulsive.
#6 Boasting, sober tone or too much talk about self: ‘How I got 25K RSS subscribers’ and ‘I made $5000 this month’ are really nice topics to write about and attract the crowd. However, the undertone should not be arrogant or boastful in which case you loose your readers faster.
#7 Misaligned theme or bad template design: Extremely passionate writers sometime don’t really care about the looks of their blogs. Probably their argument is that the content sells for itself which is mostly true. But there are a lot of people who can’t stand misaligned page contents (including graphics), wrong sized fonts etc.
#8 Script errors and ad serving errors: This is a very common issue and something that most bloggers themselves won’t easily notice. These kind of issues mainly occur when you have poor quality themes, untested plugins, tier 2 ad network scripts etc on your blog. Sometimes due to upgrade issues or certain browser versions these issues can happen as well. Regardless of the technical reasons, these issues shoo the guests away.
#9 Poor Acccessibility of the content: If a blog does not have proper categories, tags, search features and archives the readers may find it really difficult to access the content. When they can’t access anything, naturally they get out of that web space.
#10 Too narrow or too wide theme: If your theme is using only a very small portion of the screen real estate, the readers may have to do too much of up/down scrolling. However, this is not as bad as the other issue of having a horizontal scrollbar when the theme and/or content is too wide for normal screen resolutions. Not many readers will stay at those sites that have a horizontal scrollbar.
Over to you…
I believe that the ten things that I mentioned above are in your hate list as well… However, if you have anything more to add, please feel free to comment.