Irrespective of whether you are a young startup or an established entrepreneur, setting up a business website is no mean feat. Your website is vital because it is your window to the world. You need to ensure that the design elements are not hindering the website’s success.
This piece takes a look at the most often overlooked web design mistakes that end up hurting website traffic. Keep these in mind as your strategise your next site.
Not having a blog
Content is vital when it comes to creating brand awareness, increasing and nurturing leads. Failure to add a blog to your website or hosting your company blog on a separate domain is a mistake you should avoid. Through a blog you can communicate with your prospects and provide additional value through educational content that addresses everyday challenges. A blog also allows search engines to pick up more positive signals from your website, thereby increasing visibility in the SERPs.
A combination of these factors leads to greater traffic and improved success for your business website. Having your website and blog all in one place also makes for increased efficiency, and a more powerful, focused online presence.
Cluttered homepages and internal pages
Your homepage is the first thing a visitor see most of the time. If they don’t bounce off a landing page they will almost certainly navigate to your homepage. If the home page is unappealing visitors will almost certainly leave pronto.
Small business owners make the mistake of overloading the homepage and thus creating a cluttered appearance that is off seriously putting. “When it comes to web design, web visitors value intuitiveness, simplicity and fast loading pages” says Online Strategist Brendan, at Umbrellar.
He adds; “Think of your website like your home. How appealing is a living space when there are dozens of shelves on the wall filled with books and nik naks, and bookcases overflowing? When people are surfing your site they are seeing it as a room for your business. Layout your room so it is tidy and refined.”
The rise of the power and reach of the internet has been largely put down to the proliferation of smartphones and tablets. The number of mobile users has soared over the years. This means that a high proportion of your visitors will be visiting on their mobiles; perhaps over 50%!
You will lose these visitors if your site doesn’t render appropriately on a mobile device. In Google’s search results, sites that are mobile friendly are duly marked. This means your target audience are more likely to hit your site and engage with it if it is responsive.
Mobile responsive web design is not a passing fad. It is a functional requirement that is driven by a permanent shift in the way that the internet is consumed.
Not including social media pages in the design process
In today’s marketplace, you need a social media presence to be able to remain connected to your customers and ensure relevance. However, having social media pages is not enough. There must be a seamless connection between your social media pages and your website. Your target audience should be able to find your social media pages when they visit your website and vice versa. This way, your customers can always stay in touch with your business, and you leverage the power of your diverse marketing channels.
Hidden or missing contact page
Users should be able to see how to contact you at a glance. Many web owners make the mistake of placing the contact page away from the immediate view of the visitor and others do not have the page in the first place.
This is a sure way to leave your visitors sceptical about your brand. Always list your contact details in a “Contact Us” tab and provide all the info your visitors may need, including phone, email address, snail mail info, etc.
Improve trust in your brand and improve your lead generation potential- make your contact page prominent and comprehensive.
Passive content – no calls-to-action
You have gained a visitor. What do you want them to do?
Your web content should be direct in telling them if you expect them to register, view, share, buy, download or just keep flowing around your website. Strategically placed calls-to-action are a good way to make things clear. A carefully place CTA button may be all you need to create conversions, and help you achieve your business goals.
When developing landing pages be clear on the purpose, and begin with the end in mind. If you find yourself adding information or a design element that does not move a visitor towards a conversion activity then think again about including it.
Too many designers and webmasters forget the fundamentals when building websites. You have to build credibility and trust through design and content. You need to engage, interact, and have an emotional impact on prospects in order to have them become your loyal customers.
In short- your site should have the goal of leading visitors to become customers.