If you’ve ever gone trick-or-treating, you’ve probably come across a house that gives out the best candy selection while others may leave you disappointed. Those are typically the houses that kids remember the most and prioritize visiting on the next Halloween.
On a website, you’ll get much better results by treating web visitors to a positive experience and avoiding any tricks or mistakes that can scare away those visitors. Below are some website tricks & treats that you may want to consider when updating your website.
Offer a Treat to Your Web Visitors
1. Create a Custom Holiday Logo
You’ve most likely landed on the Google search page a day and seen a custom logo, representing the current holiday or anniversary.
While your business and most businesses aren’t at the level of Google, you can create a custom logo for certain holidays and feature it on the site. It can add a surprise to visitors, especially returning customers and existing clients. You can see our custom TinyFrog logo for Halloween this month and our Thanksgiving-themed logo next month.
2. Tailor Your Services to Visitors’ Needs
While trick-or-treating, you may be on the hunt for your favorite candy bar, a Hershey’s bar. Imagine arriving at a house and finding out they are giving out king size Hershey bars. You’d probably be overjoyed.
Your web visitors come to your site with their own needs and goals. Tailoring your services and the messaging on your site to fit those needs will make your site much more engaging and relevant for those visitors.
3. Add Humor in Surprising Places
There’s also an opportunity on your site to add humor in different areas, especially if this fits with your brand’s personality. Some brands are more conservative while others are more playful.
For instance, our TinyFrog brand is professional but playful and you may notice that all of our headshot photos on the team page showcase a silly caricature of the team member on hover over.
Adding this feature as a hover over allows us to present the professional team members and surprise some visitors with a laugh.
4. Provide a Giveaway or Surprise Offer
You can also provide a literal treat and offer to visitors as part of their journey through the site.
When setting this up, consider what would be a valuable offering for your ideal clients and visitors and tailor the content to provide the most value.
Many of these treats are offered through an incentive-based email marketing opt-in form. You can provide a complimentary gift in the form of e-book, white paper, article, etc… in exchange for your visitor signing up for your newsletter.
5. Match Your Design to Your Messaging
There’s also ways to custom the design of your site to support your messaging. We recommend this for all websites because visitors spend little time on sites before making a decision on the next step.
The design especially of your home page should support your business’ main offerings and value proposition. For example, the La Jolla Capital Group’s website has the message “We see loans across the finishing line” and the hero image depicts a cyclist crossing the finish line of a race.
Our TinyFrog site is also a great example with our use of frog puns & illustrations to support our branding.
Avoid Tricking Your Web Visitors
Playing a trick on trick-or-treaters may be fun for Halloween, but manipulating and tricking visitors into actions on your site can create a poor impression of your business. Mistakes and security issues can also happen where you unknowingly create a scary experience on your site.
1. Dark UX tactics
There is a fine line between persuasion and manipulation on your site, and there are sites and businesses out there who employ dark UX tactics to achieve results.
These tactics can backfire and turn visitors against a specific brand. One dark UX example is “click bait” where advertisements and messaging entices a visitor and then they are redirected to a different page.
Intrusive pop-up messages where visitors can’t exit the pop-up are another example of dark UX. While there are benefits to some pop-up messages, be careful when configuring the pop-up and make sure visitors can easily exit and navigate to other parts of the site.
2. Surprising Audio or Video
Video content can be extremely engaging on a site, but you need to be careful with the placement and set up of any video or audio content.
As a best practice, avoid having a video play automatically with the audio turned on. This can startle visitors and create a negative response where they immediately close the noise-producing element.
Browsers like Chrome and Firefox also automatically mute videos or audio that starts playing on a site. Most visitors also have their sound turned off automatically, especially on mobile, so it’s better to offer captions on the video.
3. Security warnings
Having a security warning on your site or strange behavior can create one of the scariest experiences for visitors and drive them away.
Having a secure SSL certificate and HTTPS connection is a simple but important set up on your site. Browsers now add warning messages, “Not Secure” next to URLs if the site does not have a proper SSL certificate or there’s form data being processed over a not secure network.
WordPress sites are often targeted by hackers, so staying on top of the WordPress maintenance and implementing continual security monitoring can help protect your site from any breaches.
4. Deceptive Messaging
Confusing messaging can happen by mistake on your site. This is why we emphasize understanding your visitors and making sure you clearly articulate your services and calls to action on the site.
Confusing messaging though can also make visitors feel deceived. Sadly, there are a lot of scams online and most tech-savvy Internet users are on alert for things that sound too good to be true. Be authentic and upfront visitors, especially with calls to action.