With the entire world now being online, and many businesses that don’t have an online presence being put out of business, creating a fantastic website is a necessity to drive sales. While social media is great to generate and drive traffic, you’ll want most of that traffic driven to your site where you can control their experience, drive sales and connect them through a funnel or pipeline for further sales.
So it comes as no surprise that making sure your website is designed well is of immense import. While the things you can do right on your site vary from niche to niche and depending on objectives, there are a few all-encompassing things you can go wrong with your website design. In this blog post, we’ll describe what these website design mistakes are and how you can avoid them!
1. Making Your Site Mobile-First
According to Statista’s data, 51.89% of global internet traffic is now on mobile (smartphones, tablets, and laptops). This means that making sure your website is not just responsive to different resolutions, but also mobile-first, to make your site future-proof is incredibly important!
If it isn’t responsive, you’ll be stopping over half your visitors being able to browse your site effectively from the off. Not a great start! Google has also had a hand in making sure the internet starts to think mobile-first, by placing those sites that are above those that aren’t, in their July 2018 rollout! So mobile browsing should be at the forefront of your design strategy.
2. Poorly-Written Content
When people visit your site, you likely have some information you want them to read; whether it’s a blog, product information or some info about your services. Either way, making sure this content is easily readable, scannable and parsable is very important.
It can be very hard to read a wall of text. So creating headings, breaking paragraphs into only a couple of sentences each and using simple writing is the way to go!
Another important note with headings, is using headings correctly and tagging them with header tags, is a great way to help Google and other search engines parse your content. This means the search engines have a much easier time figuring out exactly what each page on your site is about and help you rank for those all important keywords!
3. Using Free Website Templates
While using a free template to create your site, with some of the bells-and-whistles already implemented may seem like a great idea, think again!
The first problem with this approach is that your site will look like many others out there that are already using this template! This is a common problem in niches such as construction, where it’s obvious many companies have signed up to WordPress and used one of their free templates. Why wouldn’t you want to set yourself apart from your competitors?!
The second problem with this approach is if you ever want additional functionality on your site; for example, creating sales funnels, a live support app, calls to action (which we’ll come onto next!) or the like, you’ll have to find a professional to create, then implement this functionality!
This is why we’d always say that if you want to be serious about making your business’ website stand out and convert for you, you should hire a professional website designer as a first resort!
4. Lack of Clear Calls-to-Action
The vast majority of the time, your website will be online because you either want to make sales for your business, capture people’s emails for a newsletter, generate ad revenue or the like. Notice what these all have in common? The visitor to your site needs to take an action! There’s no point having a fantastic, well-designed, well-written site if there isn’t any clear & obvious way for the visitor to act.
There are two very important things every local business or service-based business should have on their site: a click-to-call button, whether it has their number, or simply says “tap here to call”, and a contact form right near the top of the homepage and the contact page as a bare minimum. This way customers are able to contact you straight away and you can get talking!
If you simply want to capture information or e-mail addresses, then there are a number of value-driven pop-ups, landing pages or interstitials that can do that too, and you should make use of them.
5. No Negative Space on Your Website
We’re sure you’ve been on a site before where there was just so much information and photos densely packed, it was hard to focus on anything. This is why negative space is incredibly important and one of the strongest tools in a designer’s box of tricks!
Negative space allows you to almost force people into looking at certain things on your site first, which can help greatly when trying to convert visitors into leads. You can get them to first see your business name, with a click-to-call button, then some empty space that has a couple of short paragraphs of why they should choose you, then a contact form!
That way they can continue browsing through your site if they want more information, or get in touch straight away.
Much better than trying to figure out where to look, seeing lots of pictures in between text, getting tired of searching for information, then leaving the site!
These were what we thought were the biggest mistakes in web design, but we didn’t even touch on usability, navigation, SEO (much), consistency, link structure, and others! When you thought about creating a website for your business, you didn’t think there’d be this much to take notice of huh? Well like we said above, going to a professional designer as your first port of call is probably the safest, most efficient thing you can do for your online presence!
We wish you the best of luck with your new website, and remember, always question “What do I need this website to do for me?”. This should always inform any decisions you have to make!