Your website could be costing you business, and you didn’t even know it! Like a salesman who is taking money under the table. Sacrilege. In this post, we will highlight the 5 biggest Web Design mistakes that both small and large businesses make. We will also add some actionable techniques so that you can fix them!
Just having a website is not good enough
Before we start with what you need to avoid, let’s hop in the DeLorean and travel back a few years…
In the early 2000’s when Google started to gain popularity, businesses saw the potential in having and building an online presence, more specifically, a website. With competition in the online realm being far from competitive, businesses saw a good return from just having a website. They would rank on the first page of Google without much effort. Leads flowed in. Life was good.
Untill *he said, as the sky grew dark and the horses neighed* other businesses started catching on. Soon enough, everyone and their next door neighbour had a website. Suddenly the online landscape, once friendly and inviting, became cut-throat and fiercely competitive.
Today, just having a website is not good enough. You need a website that not only “attracts” more website traffic, but one that can convert visitors into sales.
1. Slow loading times
Website loading time is very important to both users and Search Engines. So much so that if your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, you could be losing nearly half of your visitors.
It makes complete sense – people are generally time-strapped, so the faster you can provide them with the info they need, the happier they are. And Search Engines promote websites that have faster loading times for exactly this reason – you are improving the user experience. If you want t test your website loading times, use our website auditor, It’s free.
So what can you do to decrease loading times? If you are using WordPress, install Page Speed Ninja. Just install it, and with one click you can shave seconds of your loading time.
2. Not mobile friendly
If your website is not “responsive” i.e. it does not adjust automatically to fit the device it is being viewed on, then you are losing business. No two ways about it.
Statistics show that in 2020 there will be 2.2 billion people using smartphones. And since we are throwing around statistics, here’s another one: in 2017 mobile devices were responsible for over 50.7% of all website traffic generated.
Welcome to the 21st century – this is how people browse the internet. They need a plumber, so they whip out their smartphone and Google “Plumber in Sandton”. If your website isn’t easy to browse on their phone, they will leave and try someone else.
Search Engines also prefer websites that are mobile friendly – because it improves the user’s browsing experience!
So how do you make your website responsive? Firstly head on over to www.responsivedesignchecker.com and test your website. If it not responsive, it would be best to talk to someone like LaunchWeb, who can convert your website into a lightweight, fast loading, mobile responsive website.
3. Poor design
In our article “Bad vs Good Website Design: Know the Difference” 2 of the 3 factors that we say make a good website design are Visual Design and Usability.
Visual Design is the overall aesthetic and style of the website. More than 90% of buying decisions are influenced by colour alone! If your website has a clean, professional design it leaves a great first impression on visitors and they will be more inclined to use your services.
So how do you fix poor Visual Design? Achieving a stunning Visual Design is easy, here are a few guidelines you can follow.
- Use modern colours
- Use web friendly, trending fonts
- Use more whitespace – we can’t stress this one enough
- Use high-quality Images
- Use website layouts that are modern and trending
Usability refers to how easy it is for a visitor to use the website. Is the navigation logical and simple to use? Is the page content easy to understand? Are your contact details readily available? You might have a beautifully creative web design, but your visitors can’t find what they are looking for and so they get frustrated & leave.
Usability Design is like a horse, dangerous at both ends and tricky in the middle. What you might think users like, could actually be sending them away. (I realise now that my horse analogy makes no sense in the given context, but I needed to use it somewhere).
So how do you fix poor Usability Design? Heatmaps and Clickmaps! These tools will show you what users want, care about and interact with on your site by visually representing their clicks, taps and scrolling behaviour. Using a software like Hotjar you will get valuable insight into how people are using your site. With this data you can make layout improvements to make it easier for them to find what they need.
4. No call to action
The best way of getting anyone to do something is to ask them to do it. This might sound like common sense – but we all know what they say about common sense. You would be shocked at how many business websites fail to do this one simple thing.
Whilst design & usability make for good website design, to us, a website is useless if it does not achieve objectives! Knowing what it is you want your website to do, will guide your design process in the right direction from the start.
The ultimate goal of your website is to get visitors to perform an action – purchase a product, complete an enquiry form, subscribe to a newsletter, download an eBook. Whatever the action is that you want them to perform, you have to tell them to do it.
How to add more call to actions to your site: Take a look at your site, and just ask yourself “is this page asking me to do anything?” This is done with buttons and highlight sections and clever design.
5. No Search Engine Optimisation
Here is another statistic to warm your coffee: the first page of Google receives 95% of website traffic. If your coffee still hasn’t kicked in yet, this means that if your website is not on the first page of Google, then you aren’t featuring on your customers’ radar.
Basically, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the practice of improving a website to increase the number of visitors the site receives from search engines. There are many aspects to SEO, from the words and elements on your page (on-page SEO) to the way other sites link back to your website (off-page SEO).
How do I get onto the first page of Google? Well, you can start by seeing just how bad your SEO might be – use our free website auditor to get a detailed SEO report. This report will tell you whether it’s elements on your website that need optimising, or if an off-page strategy is required. Either way, we can help you get there!
Did we miss anything?
Do you think we left anything out? Comment below with some mistakes you have seen both big and small company websites make.