It’s never too late to build your online footprint. If you’re looking to launch your own website ,or improve traffic on a site that’s just not really getting off the ground like you expected, then making sure to avoid some key website design mistakes could make all the difference between having a website that helps your business grow and one that gets ignored altogether.
Before you put your website online, it’s important to understand some of the most common website design pitfalls and take note of where you may have made the same mistakes. If you’d like some
help making a world-class website site that you can write home about, then compare website builders to find what’s best for you.
Not ensuring the site is mobile-ready
This should go without saying, but any website launched in this day and age must be optimized for mobile viewing. Virtually all of us live our online lives through our mobile devices and chances are you’re reading this article on a smartphone or tablet right now.
What a customer or reader thinks of you or your company will hinge upon the mobile experience and how your website reads on their device. If the site is slow or not optimized for mobile devices, readers will not try to pull it up on their desktop computer – they’ll just go to a competitor instead.
Using hard to read, unclear text
Whatever your site is selling, it’s kind of a moot point if you’re displaying it with hard to read fonts and colors that aren’t easy on the eyes. The text needs to be easy-to-read, with color schemes that draw viewers in and make them want to spend more time on the site.
Look at some of the major websites that you enjoy reading to get some ideas about color schemes and texts that you could implement for your site.
Not focusing on content
Now that you’ve mobile-optimized your website and you’ve used attractive fonts and color schemes, there’s something else you may have overlooked – the importance of high-quality content that people actually want to read. True, the format is important, but if the content is poorly-written it’ll come across that way to the user no matter how many bells and whistles you put on it.
Invest time and care into the writing on your site, and keep a mindful eye on your bounce and click through rates for visitors to see which content is working and which needs to be tweaked.
Not keeping the reader in mind
Sure, your website is your baby, but the focus needs to be on the visitor. What are they looking for? They’ve come to your site to solve a problem, get an answer, or purchase some sort of good or service. You need to supply them with the information and/or services they need and do it quickly, with a call to action that gets them clicking.
Not keeping it clean
A messy, disorganized layout will obscure whatever it is you’re trying to do with your website, and get visitors heading somewhere else. Most visitors aren’t looking to read big chunks of text. They’ll probably skim the site with a specific goal in mind and you should try to help, not hinder this process.
If you have big blocks of text, try to trim the fat some and break it up with bullet points and pictures. Most website builders offer attractive, clean, and professional ready-to-use templates that can be a big help. If you can’t get them on a free website builder then it’s probably worth cracking open your wallet and paying for a design service that will put your site on the canvas it needs to shine.
Also, remember: broken links are your enemy. Make sure all hyperlinks actually go where they say they’re going, and consider putting in a search bar to help users navigate your site.
Choosing a bad domain name
There’s a possibility that your first choice may be taken when you start looking for a website domain, but that’s no reason to add insult to injury. Your domain name is the first thing potential readers will see of your site and it should be something that draws them in. Keep it short, simple, and easy to say and spell.
Not staying on top of security
Always make sure to run updates on your website in order to stay ahead of any cyber-security threats that may be lurking around the corner. Many website builders include automatic updates, and if you can, make sure to turn them on at all times.
(Lack of) Speed
If your site loads slowly, you’re going to lose visitors. They probably came to you by way of a search engine and if your site is sluggish, next time they’ll choose somebody else on the list. There are some easy steps you can take to increase load speed, including compressing images and resizing them, removing unnecessary plug-ins, and using a high octane web hosting service, even if it requires ponying up some cash.
You can also make use of website analysis tools to get an overview of your site’s performance and some advice about how to improve your speed.
Hidden contact details
Visitors to your website may want to follow-up and/or make purchases and it is up to you to facilitate this. Your site should have your contact details prominently displayed on a page that is easily found.
An online contact form can help, but make sure to also display a contact email clearly and in a way that it can easily be found.
The Bottom Line
A website is an essential tool for any business or person trying to increase their brand recognition. Often times the difference between a website that is an asset and one that is dead in the water is a simple matter of taking your product and avoiding certain own goals that can gum up the works.
By focusing on your readers and what they’re looking for, and by making sure your site’s format, speed, and content are solid, you’ll give yourself more than a fighting chance of standing out from the pack.