So your web designer launched your new fancy website and you’re ready with anticipation for a rush of traffic, phone calls or customer placing orders through your website .. but nothing happens.
As a giant tumble weed rolls across your office as you scratch your head wondering what happened?
Unfortunately in 2019, many businesses aren’t even aware that they have a poorly designed website that includes a list of web design mistakes all negatively affecting their online presence.
Research has shown that 75% of visitors will judge a business based on their website design, most would leave a website that takes over 3 seconds to load and 79% said they would never return.
A great web design should have:
- Aesthetically pleasing design
- An easy to use navigation
- Clear call-to-action
- Easy to use layout
- Consistent use of elements
- Content should be easily digestible
Whatever trickle of traffic your website might receive, you can probably guess where they end up when they leave your website.
Your competitors website. Your nemesis. The company stealing all your would-be customers and laughing all the way to the bank.
Maybe you let your website go or didn’t hire a professional web design company or web designer, no need to panic as these issues can be resolved and in some cases very easily.
In this blog I’m going to cover some of the major blunders web designers make, and as fickle as they may seem, can potentially cost your business valuable traffic and more importantly conversions.
1. Not mobile friendly
Having a responsive web design that renders your website on all devices is becoming increasingly important. Mobile search has surpassed desktop search to the tune of 70%.
Imagine how frustrated visitors become when they land on a website that doesn’t adjust to their device or screen size.
Not only does this affect bounce rate (percentage of users who leave your website), sales/leads and even search ranking.
If your site is developed in WordPress, this issue can be fixed by installing a newer theme which is likely to be responsive. You can find tons of themes at themeforest.com but I recommend sticking to the top selling themes rather than choosing a theme because it uses stock photos in your niche.
2. Use of sliders
Sliders are on of those things that I’ll only install if a client asks but in my opinion they’re the new version of flash intro’s if you’ve been around in the early 2000’s. Sure they look great but negatively affect user experience, usability and even search rankings.
In addition, visors tend to view them the same as annoying ads offering products they may not be interested in, they push content below the fold which was mentioned by Google in 2012 and are even worse on mobile devices. So yeah.. they’re bad.
If you absolutely must incorporate one, make sure your website is setup with caching, images are optimized, setup on premium hosting and use a content delivery network (CDN).
If you don’t believe me. Run an experiment and remove your slider for 1 month and see if there is an increase in traffic and conversions.
3. No visible call-to-action (CTA) or contact info
Before you start developing a website you have to ask yourself what the goal is? Is it to increase brand awareness? Sell products? Fill out a quote or contact form? To call your business? Or a combination?
If you include a phone number on your website it should be at the top right where a visitor can easily notice it. If you want to increase leads to a form then make sure your call-to-action buttons stand out or you implement a form right in the header which is something I typically include for corporate websites.
Bottom-line, make sure your call-to-action and/or contact info is noticeable on the page and this can have a positive impact on conversions.
4. Typography and font size
Simply choosing the right font for your website can improve the look of your website. In fact, Steve Jobs was so obsessed with typography because he understood it would improve user experience.
I’ll be the first to admit I’ve been guilty of breaking both rules in my early career. In fact, I still remember using 10px size fonts with Times New Roman font on my first website. Terrible idea!
The ideal font-size is 16px which is perfect for readability and if you’re choosing a font, san serif fonts are best for body content.
5. Too much text
Over 10 years ago, ‘content is king’ also meant writing a novel on all pages that were rich with keywords so that you could improve your search ranking.
Truth is, too much content can be overwhelming for visitors and hard to digest. Sometimes less is more.
I recently launched a website for a client who had roughly 3000 words on his home page. We cut the content down by 1/3 and conversions doubled. Of course there were other improvements made but I believe it was a key factor.
6. Page speed is slow
Page speed is one of the most common issues that affects most websites. Slow page speed can result in high bounce rates, lower conversions and even impact search ranking.
While most web designers love using high resolution images to make websites stand out, what they don’t understand is that those appealing images require more time to load due to their size.
Addressing page speed can sometimes require technical expertise but by making sure you website is on a good hosting plan and images are optimized can increase page speeds dramatically.
If you’re running a WordPress website make sure you install a caching plugin such as W3 Total Cache, Super Cache or WP Rocket.
7. Not enough white space
White space is the part of a website that web designers love and website owners want to fill. White space is undervalued as it can contribute to a positive user experience and improve layout.
Having a website that doesn’t make good use of spacing or white space ends up looking like a collage.
Spacing out sections and elements evenly can make content more readable, less overwhelming and lead visitors looking to find relevant information or convert. It creates balance and harmony and should remind us that we don’t need to fill in blank spaces with more text and images if unnecessary.
8. Inconsistent Style
Small details matter. Keeping elements consistent is a great way to keeping a well balanced web design. Too many font styles, colors, spacing can make a page smooth and concise.
Your brands colors should be sampled and used throughout your website and if possible use the same fonts for headings.
New web designers often go nuts with fonts which is usually the biggest tell that the site was made by an amateur. Choose 2 web friendly fonts that work well together.
If you’re using WordPress, most themes allow you to choose heading and body fonts to be used throughout your website.
If you’re looking to display icons on your site, be sure to make sure they are the same style or perhaps use stock photos. If there is one thing I can’t stand is websites that have icons that are vastly different from one another.
9. No Favicon
A favicon icon or just favicon is a graphic that is used in a browsers tab to represent a website. These handy graphics help users distinguish one website from another when they have several tabs open.
There are several online tools that allow you to easily convert a graphic such as your logo into a favicon icon.
The ideal format for favicon’s is .ico. Once you’ve converted your graphic into a favicon.ico, upload it to the main folder of your website (publich_html) and you’ll be able to then see it in your browsers tab.
10. No Social Proof
By default visitors are skeptical with most claims made on websites claiming they are “the best” or “satisfaction guaranteed”. Knowing that your business has helped people in similar situations can influence decisions on our website.
One way to build trust, authority and/or social proof is by using testimonials or case studies from previous or existing clients.
Awards and badges earned through quality service should be highlighted on the website. I would even recommend they be used either in the header or just below where it is one of the first things the user sees when they visit your home page.
By using testimonials/reviews, badges/awards and case studies is a very effective way to build trust and persuade visitors to buy your product or use your service.
Hopefully you found this article useful. If you find that your website has any of the issues mention in the above article and would like to address them, no need to panic.
Our web design experts would be happy to work with your business and help you get closer to achieving online success.
Have any other common web design mistakes made by website designers? Feel free to leave a comment below.