Simple Website Design Mistakes To Avoid
It’s said that a visitor to your site will take seconds to decide if you provide what they are looking for. There are many potential website design mistakes which will cause visitors to close your site and visit elsewhere. It goes without saying that you won’t find any of my sites making these mistakes, but here are some I’ve come across elsewhere.
#1 Making your site too big and complicated!
Make your site streamlined and easy to navigate. If your visitors can’t find what they need quickly without having to click through several pages, they will get frustrated. Try and keep your main menu items to a minimum, and label them obviously.
Your most important content should be as visible as possible. Try and focus on your biggest sellers, and bring them to the front. Avoid trying to make your site about everything and concentrate your efforts on what you do most often.
#2 Not updating it regularly!
You’ve got them to visit once, so why shouldn’t they come back! This may not be as obvious as it sounds, but wouldn’t it be nice if your customers came back every now and then to see if you have some new products or offers? A returning customer is every business owners dream.
Make sure your content is up to date, add a news section, display new products, change your contact details if you move (seriously this last one happens so many times).
#3 Blowing their mind!
You may be aiming for ‘eye catching’ or ‘attention grabbing’ with your design, but it may not be interpreted that way. Avoid garish colours or funky designs unless you are specifically aiming for funky and garish. It may suit your niche, but doesn’t work for every website out there.
#4 Auto playing music or embedded videos.
It’s a bit 90’s to play music in the background of your website, and with the increasing use of embedded videos becoming a bit more well used again. You may want to think about your visitor coming on to your website only to have to scramble for the volume control (or close button) as they are sat in the library or their desk at work.
#5 Hiding your contact details, or relying on a contact form.
It’s entirely possible that a visitor is using your website just to get your email address or phone number, so make them easy to find ideally visible on every page. Contact forms can put people off particularly if you have to use that annoying Captcha system.
#6 Doesn’t display on a mobile browser.
You will find that a large percentage of visitors to your site will be doing so on their phone. Google is putting greater emphasis on sites which are mobile responsive in their search rankings. If your site looks great on a normal browser, but doesn’t on a mobile then you are distancing yourself from potential customers.
#7 404 Page not found
Nothing worse than visiting a website and finding that the page no longer exists. If you remove content from your site, make sure you let the search engines know. If you have decent 404 handling then it’s possible you may not lose that visitor.
#8 Too much waffle
It’s tempting to go in the the minutest detail on what you do, over emphasise your own brilliance and try to pad out pages with irrelevant content. People looking for relevant information don’t really want to read through a long essay!
#9 No search option?
Really? There is no search function on your website. This mistake probably doesn’t need explaining!