Whether it is for lead generation, e-commerce or just plain branding – every business should have a website. Having a website puts your business ahead of more than half of small businesses which do not have a website at all.
Marketing researchers have found many design problems that work against the business – the website is supposed to promote.
Listed below are some common web design mistakes that confuse visitors, erode their trust or hush them away along with suggestions for design improvements.
1. Slow-Loading Website Pages
Users will not wait more than 3 seconds for a page to load before they give up and leave. The Nielsen Norman Group found that many site visitors spend 20 seconds or less on a page unless the content grabs their attention and they only read about 25% of the text on a page.
This means your home page needs to load fast and explain your business quickly in just a few words as possible. Anything that affects page load times – like complex graphics or auto-play videos should be removed or moved off the home page.
Long blocks of text are a waste because visitors will never take the time to read them.
Focus on clean graphics, a strong logo, a short explanation of your business and an easy to navigate menu on your home page. Make sure you are not making the same mistakes.
Web designing should factor in – target audience’s age, educational background and purpose for visiting the site.
Businesses catering to customers over age 60 should follow design guidelines from respective regulated bodies for the aging. They include the best fonts and type sizes, colour combinations to avoid and recommendations on graphics and content.
Businesses catering to working parents, busy professionals and Millennials – many of whom who rely on their smartphones for product research and shopping – should make sure their site is optimised for mobile use.
Too many graphics, too much text, clashing colours and confusing navigation tools are common problems.
Visual clutter makes it difficult for your audience to find the information they want and also damages your credibility.
According to Forbes – design elements including busy layouts and obnoxious ads were the factors that created distrust feeling in customer’s visiting a website.
Remove page elements that distract customers from the main purpose of their visit.
Fresh content helps your site rank more highly in any search results and also guides visitors through your sales funnel.
Abandoned blogs, neglected Twitter feeds and Instagram with a few old photos confirms your business is overwhelmed, neglected or incomplete. Your site should only feature a blog or social media feeds if you can regularly update them.
High quality images are an important. Low end and free stock photos do not build credibility, nor illustrate your business services.
If you choose your image from Flickr or a popular stock photo website – you have the wrong image.
Use high-quality product images, include professional shots of you and your employees and leave it at that.
You can use your smart mobile phone to do this and this will create a clear, unique and high quality photo of you and your business.
Your logo – is central to your branding. Its design should receive the same level of care and research you put into your business plan and site design.
Most users only spend a few seconds glancing over your page deciding whether to stick around or leave.
Stick with readable and professional looking fonts and make them large enough for the average glasses-wearer to read them easily.
When it comes to font size – 14 is the new size 12.
Review all the links on your site regularly to make sure they are still valid, good and fix broken ones right away.
Your contact information and call to action should be above the fold on each page of your website – not buried on a Contact Us page.
Make sure on your contact pages – you offer a contact form, an email address and phone number so customers can contact you.
You are better off listing a phone number and email address so customers can reach you in any moment at the top of your site.
Each design mistake is fixable with the right combination of customer research, professional expert help and effort.
Each mistake fixed can increase your customer’s trust – the time spent on your website and earn their business. This is when your website becomes a true asset to your business.
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How to Fix Common Website Design Mistakes.