Social media might have all the hype these days but having a website is still an important part of an online marketing campaign. One big difference between social media and having your own website is that you are given complete freedom in customizing it. You might already have your own website right now and I applaud you for it as it is your start in enforcing your brand authenticity. If not, web design services are dime a dozen these days and a web design company in right here in St. Petersburg might just be your ticket towards online domination.
Well, that’s unless they commit some web design mistakes that might do your brand more harm than good. Even the top web design companies are guilty of this. Sometimes, projects get too cluttered and complicated that both the designers and owner forget the very purpose why they created the website – to create conversions and earn money.
So buckle up and call your web design agency right now and try to identify if your website is guilty of the top 6 mistakes on website design.
1. A Visually Confusing Layout
We get it, nobody wants their website to be the boring Sally in the world of cool Lizzies and quirky Zachs. The problem is that we oftentimes go overboard. Remember that whenever you create a website, it should be targeted towards your users and not to you as the owner. The idea is simple, your customer/visitor should be able to easily find what they are looking for, buy it with ease, and then possibly give them a means to leave a feedback.
The problem arises when we try to give too much to our customers. A function right here, maybe some widgets over there, a splash of embedded content on another side. All these things are good in their own right but sometimes enough is enough. Your target should be a great customer experience and you can’t give them that if you keep shoving content every chance you get.
How Do You Solve This?
Start by structuring your pages systematically. For those who are still planning on creating their own website, you can create an outline for your web design and content. Ask yourself, what are the essential stuff that my customers should see when they go to my website? Learn to prioritize the content that will be vital and of value to your customers and place them in places where they can easily be seen. Lastly, don’t forget to remove or relocate redundant content as this will add to the clutter in your website.
2. Barely Readable Text and Bad Copy
A lot of people say that 2015 and onwards will begin the dominance of videos and images in the world of content. Personally, I still believe text or copy still has that very special place in our hearts. Nothing quite compels you to buy something than the words “Buy me now”, right? Kidding aside, we often disregard text content or your website copy and just relegate it as a secondary priority in our website design. The result? A website with text that is barely readable (all thanks to that new font your web designer got on sale) and a website copy that has no x-factor. In the case of the font, I do understand that we sometimes get tempted to use customized fonts but getting too customized might be detrimental.
Albeit more of a concern on the side of a copywriter, you should make sure that your copy sells. I mean, we all have the same pile of words to use as all the other businesses and they can easily convert while you are still waiting for your first sale. Make sure you choose your words and make your delivery succinct but compelling. Nobody wants a long and winding piece of content that ultimately begs you to click the checkout button.
How Do You Solve This?
First, go back to the basics. Choose a font that is legible enough to be seen. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. It’s also necessary for you to select the optimal font size. Not too big as it will be taking too much space and not too small that you need to look closer to be able to read. Do you need to squint to understand the text? Do you need a Wookian translator to get the gist of the content? Lastly, study your target market. What are the words they use on a daily basis? Find the right words that resonate with your target market and incorporate them into your copy. Remember that words may not look much but they can make or break a business.
3. Poor Website Navigation
Ever felt so dismayed with a website because they can’t seem to take you to where you want to go? It’s just like a library sans the markers and aisle guides. You could go round and round for ages and still not get what you want because the site is like a maze. Well, don’t worry. You are not alone. Thousands of different websites out there still can’t properly layout their page so their customers won’t get lost. It’s as if they want customers to leave instead of stay.
A proper layout should be a top priority for you and your web designer. Your website visitors should be able to easily navigate your website with as little errors as possible. It should be an effortless experience for your customer. Once the customer hits a wall, gets an error message, or is being led around like a poodle then he/she will probably leave for good. Being creative and unique is good but make sure that it won’t make the website a pain to use. If the reason why you have a website is to sell then make that a priority. Aesthetics should come secondary. Your customer should be able to visit your site, do what they want to do, and maybe stay a while to read up with relative ease.
How Do You Solve This?
Sometimes, the answer to the most complicated questions can be pretty obvious. For layout or navigation problems, what you have to do is to lead your customers to the right path. Provide a clear call-to-action button. This button should direct your customer to the next logical step in your sales funnel and please no misdirected links to your “opportunity pages”. That was cute at one point but it’s considerably annoying these days. Ensure that all your links are healthy and that there are no errors. Make sure you account for broken links or missing pages as these things really discourage customers. Lastly, don’t be afraid of having white space on your page. Simple designs will still get conversions as long as the while website is pretty straightforward. Remember that your site design should always reflect your brand’s straightforwardness.
4. A Missing Search Box
I really don’t know about other web agencies out there but a search box for me is still a fundamental part of a website especially when you have a large inventory. Having a search box simply means your customer can do a simple search for a specific item, service, or page without having to spend time navigating. Sometimes, customers just don’t want to click on links and just want to go to where they want to be. Your search box should be an alternative to regular navigation. Offering a way to customize the search so your customers can filter the search results will be a big plus.
5. Too Many Colors
Personally, I believe one of the more challenging parts in creating a website is choosing the right colors – and rightly so! On one hand, you want your website to be visually appealing but you also want to make sure that the combination of colors won’t make it look like a 3-year old’s art project. I’ve had my share of staring at websites with 5 color combinations and it was not a good experience.
How Do You Solve This?
It is a standard rule to just keep your website color palette to 2-3 colors. If you find it hard to choose different colors, do this one trick I do. Choose one color and then try out different shades to create a variation. Also, don’t forget that the colors on your logo can also be utilized on your website. If done correctly, the colors will stick to your customer’s heads and they can recognize your logo and website from a mile away. Lastly, don’t hesitate to use free tools online such as the Adobe Color Wheel to help you out.
6. Not being mobile friendly
In the US alone, 64% of Americans have smartphones while 15% of young Americans between 18-29 are heavily dependent on their smartphones for online access. This means that these days and in the near future, people will be using their smartphones more and more. In fact, according to the figures from eMarketer, we should expect 2 billion consumers using their smartphones by 2016. Do you know what all these facts tell us? That businesses are losing money by not making their websites mobile friendly. Oh and don’t just stop at making them mobile friendly. Also make sure that they load pretty fast both on their smartphones and desktops. So ask your web design agency about making your website mobile friendly. Most of the top web design companies can easily help you out in making a mobile-ready website or converting a non-mobile ready site into one.
Save Your Conversions Right Away
Most often than not, we tend to blame the marketing side of the business when we fail to make conversions. At least now we know that having problems on your website can really kill your conversions. Checking your website every now and then is a good way to ensure that everything is in order. In case everything is still unclear to you and you suspect that it has something to do with your web design then it will be great if you contact a web design expert in St. Petersburg who can help you out.