When you own a small or medium-sized online business, you need to work hard to get noticed on the web. There are thousands of other companies probably offering the same thing you are, so you need to make sure you’re always one step ahead. How? With the help of some clever web design. Now, while some good website ideas can boost your exposure and attract new clients, bad web design practices can cost you quite a lot. In light of that, here are 6 of the most common web design mistakes you should avoid at all cost.
First up is bad navigation. There’s nothing worse than losing a potential client simply because he got lost on your poorly structured web page. Here are a couple of worthy suggestions from the website Optimus 01:
- Make sure your logo is linked to the homepage
- Don’t put too many links in the navigation bar.
- Make the navigation bar always visible while the user is exploring the site.
- You could also create something called a “bread crumb trail.” It shows the users their location and the structure of the website.
- Include page jumps in the table of contents for your lengthy blogs to help users find the information they want faster.
There is a lot more to establishing a good navigation on your website, but these ideas are a good start.
Wrong Color Scheme
One of the biggest mistakes people make when creating their websites is choosing the wrong contrast and color scheme. On one hand, the colors you choose should relate to your logo or reflect your company style. On the other hand, it should not be invasive, difficult to look at or bland.
According to a study done by Nielsen Norman Group, 79 percent of people just scan pages they come across and don’t read word-for-word. That’s why you need to draw their attention right away and offer them something easy to read. A good contrast will make your text stand out, especially phrases in bold, italics, and hyperlinks.
Understandably, quality images don’t come cheap but that is simply because they can make quite a difference. People are visual beings and love seeing images that reflect what they’re reading. Of course not any image will do.
We’ve already mentioned the users’ tendency to scan pages first without reading them. Well, images are the ultimate attention grabbers (and quite often clickbaits). The biggest problem, however, are irrelevant images people use simply because they’ve already bought them or like them personally. For example, you may love your dog quite a lot but posting its picture on your financial website can make you seem unprofessional. Who knew, right?
Also, be careful how you name your images as they’re an important part of your SEO, as BNG Design suggests. Besides the title, you also need to include the alt tag, which will describe your image if it’s unable to load for some reason.
Pretty much every website needs to advertise in order to make money from its users. People generally understand that and are willing to let it slide as long as the ads are not too intrusive or overwhelming. Some companies casually test their audience’s patience by forcing the ads everywhere.
One of the easiest and most popular ways to monetize your website using ads is definitely Google Adsense. Google’s brilliant algorithm allows the creation of contextual ads on your website, making them look like they belong there. However, according to the website ShoutMeLoud, you shouldn’t use it on your business website. The problem is that the ads you display may actually promote your competition and draw your visitors away. So, look for direct sponsorship and always think about the user experience.
Wrong Target Audience
So many small businesses have trouble determining who their target audience is and, because of it, their profits suffer. This is a crucial part of every good business plan. You have to take some time, examine the services or products your business offers and think about the potential customers. Take as much time as necessary, just try to get it right.
If you need help with this, CoSchedule offers a great guide that will most likely clear things up for you. They suggest a couple of useful strategies to establish your target audience like creating your reader personas to try and identify their needs and desires. You have to continually conduct surveys and use Google Analytics to focus your content. Once you get a solid understanding of who you’re speaking to, it will be much easier to promote your business.
No Call to Action
In the end, every good website has to have a call to action that will motivate your readers and lead them to your desired goal. So many companies forget to include this call to action at the end and lose their potential customers. You don’t want your visitors to end up with the question “OK, now what?” In fact, all your content should basically lead to that one, final answer.
A blog on HubSpot made a list of the companies with the best call to action ideas, so in case you’re not sure about how to do it properly, take some advice from the best. It doesn’t matter that some of them seem quite simple. The only thing that matters is that they’re effective and successful.
As you can see, there is a lot to think about when making your business’s website design, but as long as you keep these 6 common mistakes in mind, you’ll do just fine.