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5 Things Your Website Does That Will Make Clients Run

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By William Peacock, Esq. on December 09, 2014 11:52 AM

The Internet is full of annoying things: annoying people, annoying design tweaks, annoying error messages...

Not all of them are ill-intentioned, however. Some of them are actually meant to be helpful -- especially the design errors. But if you do any of these five things, odds are that I (or more importantly, your potential clients) will run in the other direction. Quickly.

5. Pop-Up Animated Humans That Offer to Help.

"Hi, I'm Susan and I want to help you find a lawyer!"

No Susan. You are a damned robot and you just said that really loud in the middle of my office. Not only that, but you are blocking text on the page that I am trying to read and your animated features are making my smartphone crash.

Please die, Robo-Susan. And don't do so slowly.

4. SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER NOW!

I'm reading your article. I scroll down.

Boom: "HEY YOU. SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER!" is now covering the text of the article.

No. I don't want to subscribe. How do I close this annoying pop-over? Oh, you hid the grey "x" symbol on a white background. That's cute. I hate you and now I'm going to read someone else's webpage.

3. Error: Page Not Found..

This isn't that big of a deal most of the time, but there is that one rare instance where you really want or need the resource you are clicking on but the server is dead, or the link is miscoded.

There are broken/dead link checkers on the Internet. Many are free. It takes only a few minutes to see if your site has these dead links. Google it.

2. Keyword-Stuffed Text.

This never ceases to amaze me because, according to more experts than I can count, keyword stuffing never really works that well (if at all) on modern search engines. So I puke when I see something like this:

"A Los Angeles DUI attorney can help with your L.A. DUI. He is really experienced with local Los Angeles drunk driving procedures and helping Angelenos with their DUI charges!"

Write for humans. They are the ones who will be paying your legal fees.

1. Auto-Playing Videos.

I saved the most-hated for last. Why do websites keep doing this?

Videos are fine, but there is nothing more annoying than a loud, auto-playing video. Perhaps I'm at work and the video plays loudly, telling everyone that I'm checking up on Fantasy Sports instead of doing actual blogging. And imagine your clients' embarrassment when she is on a bus and "Five Ways to Beat Your DUI" auto-plays while she reads the article that says the exact same things.

For law firms, video content is arguably helpful. But it does more harm than good when you enable the auto-play feature.

What's your website pet peeve? Tell us @FindLawLP. And if you want some professional help getting the most out of your website, give FindLaw's lawyer marketing experts a call.

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