If you are not paying attention to your website by adding fresh content, checking links and overall functionality, or even comparing your site to the competition, your prospects are bound to click the delete button. Now that’s not only bad business, but it’s embarrassing!

All evidence I have seen during my tenure shows that customers will ruthlessly dismiss a website on which they come across out-of-date content, broken links, hard to find contact information or even worse, waiting several minutes for something too “important” to load and then having a “real actor” pop-up with an marketing message. Please don’t get me started.

Here are the most frequent causes for website embarrassment and perhaps loss of business reputation:

  • Slow Load Time: How annoying is it waiting for a very long and truly meaningless welcome graphic?
    Advice: Avoid glitz for the sake of glitz. Flash can be effective if it delivers a meaningful image that supports your message/brand.
  • Spelling/Grammar: Hello spellcheck. There’s no excuse for typos or misspellings these days.
    Advice: Spellcheck and then have another person proof the text.
  • Contact Information: I am always surprised at the number of businesses that make it impossible to find their contact information. They either don’t include it on their site or hide it in an obscure page.
    Advice: Always put your full contact information on your homepage. Moreover, contact information provides great keywords for SEO.
  • Broken Links: “Page-not-found” is extremely embarrassing.
    Advice: Assign a weekly date to check your website for broken links.
  • Old Content: News or blog items dated 3-6 months ago make your site look outdated and dusty.
    Advice: If you can’t keep up with the new content, simply remove the dates!

Did I miss anything? Got some good advice on how to avoid website embarrassment?