Everyone makes mistakes. But when you’re designing a website for your business, you really can’t afford to.
And yet, we’ve seen many companies make the same web design mistakes time and time again. Don’t worry, though. We’re here to help.
In this post, we’ve listed the most common mistakes companies make when designing a website. Read this list to avoid making them yourself.
Website Isn’t Responsive
Responsiveness means a website can detect the device that is viewing the site and is automatically optimized for viewing on that device. Responsiveness is the first point on this list because it is now first on Google’s list.
Now that more people are using mobile devices to view the internet than desktop devices, responsiveness is no longer optional. And to provide the most relevant results, Google is making sure people find responsive websites before other sites. A recent change to Google’s algorithm has started ranking responsive sites first.
In short, not being responsive will absolutely kill your site.
Aside from lacking responsiveness, nothing sabotages your website like neglect. Your website is essential to the success of your business and must be checked regularly and maintained. Here are several ways ignoring your website kills success.
The most common form of website neglect is outdated information. If you haven’t checked your site in a while, the information you posted there may now be irrelevant or even incorrect. Your site visitors may very well be trying to contact you by a phone number you changed 3 months ago but didn’t update on your site.
Even if the posted info is still relevant, no one will assume so. When users see you haven’t had a new post since last year, they’ll assume all information on your site is no longer relevant. This lowers your search rank and drives away traffic.
Another type of neglect is broken links. If there are broken links in your blog posts, it frustrates your visitors.
You must also pay attention to your analytics. Use analytics software like Google Analytics to track your site’s success. If you don’t, you can’t effectively market to your customers.
Lastly, don’t think you have to handle web design all by yourself. If it’s more than you can handle, get professional help. Competent web designers, like this company, can help you design and maintain your site.
Hard to Find Contact Info
Even worse than telling your customers outdated contact info is not telling them at all. Check your site right now to make sure your contact info is posted and easy to find.
The two best places for contact info is in the menu or the footer of each page. If you do both of these, it’s even easier to find.
In the menu, have a link to your contact info under “Contact” or “About Us.” In the footer, either list the info or provide a “Contact Us” link.
Your site visitors need to be able to find what they’re looking for right away. If your site is disorganized or hard to navigate, they’ll get frustrated and leave. Why would they stick around your site when your competitors make it easier to get what they need?
One thing that makes your site too hard to navigate is too many choices. If you have more than 6 choices in your menu, each with four layers of submenus, it gets overwhelming.
No doubt you want your site visitors to perform certain actions, right? So, make it easier for them to do so.
Think of the five or six most important actions they can take and make these your content categories. Each category should only open into one submenu. Additional subcategories can be listed on the target pages.
Unclear Call to Action
You wouldn’t have a website unless you were hoping for certain actions to be performed by your public. Not having clear calls to action for your public renders your website pointless.
As we just explained, having a disorganized menu is one way to do this. The other way has to do with your content.
Every single post on your blog should be purposely designed for a specific call to action. You shouldn’t even write a blog post unless you first have this one call to action in mind.
Annoying, Distracting Graphics
It’s not the 90s anymore. If you wish to bring them back, don’t do it with your web design.
Put away all absurdly bright colors and flashing graphics. These aren’t impressive, just annoying. And don’t have a million popups that won’t go away.
A good rule of thumb is to do away with anything that is in the way or relentlessly attention-getting. These elements are a distraction from your content and a hindrance to your website.
Walls of Text
Articles should never be one solid chunk of text. They should be broken up and helpfully formatted, like the one you’re reading now.
Walls of text are too intimidating. They make it hard to find what you are looking for. One glance at a wall of text and site visitors will leave without a second thought.
There are two ways to avoid this. First, break up the content under subheaders in sections of 150 words or less. And keep paragraphs to about 2 or 3 sentences each.
Next, use images to break up text every 300 words or so.
Content That’s Too Short or Too Long
Content under 500 words can’t possibly have enough info to justify a page visit. Visitors will (correctly) find that page to be an unsatisfying waste of time.
Content over 2000 words surely has way too much information for just one article. That’s too much information for visitors to easily find what they’re looking for.
Ideally, you want articles to be about 1000 words. Don’t bother posting unless you have at least 500 words. And if you have more than 2000 words, break it up into multiple posts.
You can also cut word count by letting images do the talking. If the overly wordy things you’re saying can be better summed up in an image, replace the text with imagery.
When you do use images, do it right. Good images will emphasize your point while bad images will take away from it.
Generic, low-quality, or irrelevant images are going to distract visitors from the message of your post. Always use images that are fresh, high-quality and relevant.
Writing to Yourself
Sometimes you’re so close to your business, it’s hard to look at it objectively. This makes it hard to relate to your target audience. All too often, businesses write copy that doesn’t appeal to anyone but the business itself.
To check for this, get an outsider’s opinion. If your copy doesn’t relate to them, consider having a third-party writer or blogging service provide your content.
Designing a Website the Right Way
As you can see from these common mistakes, designing a website is a big job with lots of room for error. And since your website is one of the most important extensions of your business, these are errors you can’t afford to make.
Use the tips above to avoid these mistakes. Otherwise, consider hiring a professional web designer.
Now check out the Top 9 SEO Techniques You Can Do Yourself To Improve Website Traffic.