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7 Surefire Ways to Annoy Brides and Lose the Sale on Your Website

by: Kathy DalPra

wedding website annoy bridesIn a survey conducted by Hostway, 70% of participants said that would not likely purchase from a website that annoyed them and would never return for a second visit. Brides are short on time, low on patience and have far too much going on to be bothered with websites that make things hard on them. So if you want to maximize your potential for getting more bookings online, avoid these 7 common barriers to the sale:

Below are the top 7 biggest website pet peeves listed by the survey participants, along with the percent of respondents that noted the item as an irritation. Below to each pet peeve is my take-home lesson.

1. Pop up ads (93%)
Lesson? Don't blindly copy info marketers, unless you want to tick off brides

2. Being required to install extra software to view site content (89%)
Lesson? Avoid fancy flash and stick with html

3. Dead links (86%)
Lesson? Find broken links and fix them fast

4. Confusing navigation (84%)
Lesson? Stop trying to be clever; call your pages exactly what they are, skip the fancy scripts and put a basic horizontal text menu navigation at the top of every page

5. Required registration to access content (83%)
Lesson? Don't gate your blog or articles...only require signups for special offers and giveaways

6. Slow-loading pages (83%)
Lesson? Optimize your images, skip flash, minimize widgets

7. Ineffective site search tools (80%)
Lesson? Add a search box that users can type keywords into to find the content they're seeking - this is particularly important on your blog

As a bonus, here are a few more of my own pet peeves specifically related to wedding business websites that you should watch out for:

  • Auto-playing music or video - let the bride decide if and when she wants audio to play (remember, brides may be researching you at work, just steps away from their boss's office)
  • HTML vs. Flash Landing pages - unless it's specifically a squeeze page with the purpose of building your list, landing pages are a waste of space and just give the bride more steps than necessary to get to where she's going
  • Me-centered copy - the bride doesn't care about you until she knows you; in the beginning, she only cares about her own problems and desires so that's what you should focus on