The fantastic thing about the internet is that anyone can create a website and start a business. It’s easier than ever before to pitch up your corner of cyberspace and make it your own. Whether you’ve created a blog, an online shop or a business consultancy site, the scale of this is enormous. It’s great news for those with an entrepreneurial spirit. Unfortunately, it has lead to thousands of amateur websites and poor design.
If you’re running a business, your website is your customer or client’s first port of call. They’ll make an instant judgement about your business based on the design and layout. It will affect their feeling towards your company and your products. It only takes a split second for them to leave and forget they were ever there. This can all be avoided with some smart web design. Make sure you’re not making any of these disastrous website mistakes.
Broken links and bugs – Nothing upsets visitors more than broken links or bugs on your site. Everything from slow loading speed to 404 errors will annoy your potential customers. As a website owner, it’s your responsibility to run a flawless operation and a slick website. You should be checking for bugs, faults and fixes on a daily basis and analysing load speed. If this all sounds too technical, take advantage of Magento support packages and leave it to the experts!
Messy designers – All the best web designers agree that the finest user experience is achieved with simple web design. Fussy sites with lots of colours, imagery and distraction are very bad for user experience. It’s overwhelming and confusing; your customers and readers will leave quickly. Instead, opt for a clean, intuitive design with a natural flow. Don’t make things difficult for those who land on your site. Present them with the relevant information and direct them where to go next.
Too much wording – One of the biggest mistakes we see on the web is too much text. If you’re writing a long form blog post or think-piece, then fantastic, write away! However, on your landing page and homepages, avoid lengthy copy. Web users read content online in a very different way to books and newspapers. They skim read and hunt out keywords. They’re looking for answers quickly and identifying how your website will help them. Make it simple for them. Use big, bold, simple headers and short explanatory copy.
Complicated UX – UX stands for user experience. It’s all about the way visitors interact with your site. Good UX is straightforward and intuitive. Visitors land on your website and immediately understand why they are here. Then, they’re directed on a quick journey resulting in your call-to-action. Strong UX leads your customers right where you want them. However, poor UX is associated with bad design. It occurs when visitors get lost or confused on your website. Examples include too many steps to buy a product, no navigation bar and no simple link back to the home page.
Outdated SEO – As you grow, much of your web traffic will come from search engines. Google, Bing and Yahoo will direct people to your site based on relevancy and authority. There are plenty of tricks you can implement to increase this and boost your Google ranking. However, things move on quickly and the SEO tricks of twelve months ago could now penalise you. Make sure you’re up to date! Avoid keyword stuffing and detrimental link building. Instead, seek out real, organic growth and natural keywords to describe your service.
No contact page – Customers, clients and readers will always look to get in touch with you. A contact page shows you are approachable and friendly. It also proves that you are a real person! It might sound trivial, but customers are more likely to trust a service they can get in touch with quickly. Try to avoid clumsy contact forms and provide a real, tangible email address.
No call-to-action – Your visitors aren’t mind-readers. You have to tell them what to do on your site. Choose your primary goal and direct visitors straight to it. Is it product sales? Then place a large ‘buy’ button next to your products in plain view. Draw their attention and make it irresistible. Perhaps you’re looking to build your email list. In that case, make a strong call-to-action encouraging people to sign up. Put it above the fold (top half of your site) and direct users right to it.
No social media integration – Social media is a crucial part of any modern marketing strategy. It’s the best way to engage and connect with your customers. You’ll build a community of people who are interested in your service and eager to learn more. There’s no reason not to harness social media platforms. Integrate your Facebook profile with a ‘like box’ plugin and pull in your tweets with Twitter’s API. Make sure your content has social buttons and you’re encouraging users to share your content.
Pop-ups – It’s a well-known fact that pop-ups are despised all across the internet! Pop-up advertising is one of the most maligned forms of intrusion possible. However, more and more websites are taking the pop-up route asking for social attention and email signups. Yes, this method might secure a few more numbers, but it’s annoying the majority of your users. Let them explore your site at their own pace. They’ll join your communities if they’re interested.
No blog or content – Blogs and content have a fantastic power to extend your reach and grow influence. It shows visitors that you’re an expert in your field and that your contribution is useful. It also allows regular updates to your website; this will help your SEO. Finally, it encourages visitors to share the site and you’ll reach new eyes.
How many of these mistakes is your website making right now? In the modern age, you can’t afford to lose any potential customers. Address these issues and you’ll be back on track!