7 Website Design Mistakes to Avoid
Website design mistakes such as cluttered layouts, slow loading speed and outdated content, can overwhelm visitors to your site, causing them to bounce to a competitor’s site and disrupting the user experience. Avoid missing possible business opportunities by focusing on the graphical and practical design features of your website.
Your website is often the first introduction customers have to your business, so it’s critical to avoid design mistakes that could potentially put customers off. Most customers will visit your site to get to know your business before they make a purchasing decision or turn over their personal information.
Ensure a positive first impression for your website visitors and encourage engagement by steering clear of these seven design mistakes.
- A cluttered layout – Websites that are jumbled with too much information or overstuffed with design elements are hard to read and can lead users to navigate away, increasing your bounce rate and reducing the number of leads coming in. Instead, embrace a clean design aesthetic that clearly gets your message across.
- Unresponsive design – Sites that haven’t been updated to work on mobile devices are nearly obsolete today. Encourage interactivity and conversion by ensuring a positive and seamless customer experience, regardless of how users log on to your site.
- Slow-load speed – Websites that take too long to load will put visitors off—and negatively impact your success. The longer it takes for your site to come up, the greater the likelihood of prospective customers bouncing off your site and going to a competitor’s. Some findings indicate that one in four visitors will abandon a website that takes more than four seconds to load and 40% will wait no more than three seconds.
- Missing contact information – Make sure your site has complete and easily accessible contact information including your phone number and address. Consider linking to a map as well to make it easy to navigate to your location. You could also include instant call or live chat buttons. If your visitors can’t find your contact information, they can’t reach you to ask questions, potentially leading to lost business opportunities.
- Skipping SEO – Though often overlooked by small businesses, search engine optimization is critical to your page’s organic success. SEO is the most effective way to increase your online visibility so that your site can be indexed by search engines and found by prospects. Keywords are one of the most significant ways your site will come up in searches so strategically incorporate them into your headings, subheads, body text and alt text. You should also optimize your meta data, meta descriptions and other SEO tools.
- Intrusive pop-ups – Often cited as the most hated advertising technique, pop-ups interrupt a user’s reading experience, sometimes before they’ve even had an opportunity to look at your content. Pop-ups can also impact your rankings on search engines as well as your bounce rate as prospects get annoyed and leave your site. Use pop-ups sparingly and only when offering the visitor something of value to them.
- Letting content go stale – Visitors may be put off by outdated content, especially if it’s no longer accurate. This may cause prospects to question your site’s credibility. If you have a blog or news feed, be sure to update it regularly. Keeping your content fresh increases trust with site visitors.
Avoiding these seven don’ts—and embracing the implied do’s—will ensure that your company website continues to attract, convert and retain customers.