A well-designed website is the digital foundation of any successful business.
When a company’s website is easy to find, quick to load and seamless to navigate, strangers can transform into brand loyalists in just a few clicks. Unfortunately, the journey from search engine query to shopping cart checkout is fraught with hidden pitfalls that can turn back would-be customers and leave them with a lasting bad impression. If a website looks good but takes forever to load, or loads quickly but is visually confusing, the quality of the product or service being offered is rendered meaningless. People will simply click back to the search page and choose another option.
Read on to learn more about five of the most common website design mistakes.
1. Weak SEO
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is all about cooperating with the complex algorithms that control search engines. In order to appear at or near the top of search results that pertain to what a business offers, that business’ website must be an accurate reflection of the search terms that were used. If it isn’t, Google will relegate it to the Great Beyond, aka Page 2, where websites languish in obscurity. A rock solid SEO strategy translates to a higher position on search engine results pages, drawing more website visitors that can be converted into customers.
2. Slow Page Load Times
Generating clicks to a website is just the first step in the customer acquisition process. As soon as that click occurs, visitors expect lightning-fast load times. The longer a page takes to load, the higher a website’s bounce rate will be. Bounce rates describe how often a user leaves a website without navigating beyond its homepage, and they’re a good indicator of a website’s overall health. Fast load times have become so crucial that 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load, and search engines even factor in load times when determining how to rank a site on the search results page.
3. Not Optimizing For Mobile
A killer SEO strategy and fast load times don’t mean a thing if a website is impossible to read and navigate. When a mobile user visits a site designed only for desktop computers, that’s exactly what they’ll experience. And since more than half of Internet traffic now comes from mobile devices, business owners who haven’t implemented responsive web design can expect sky-high bounce rates.
4. Bad Design
Gone are the days when a website could use generic stock photos and Papyrus as a font and still be taken seriously. Our collective understanding of good design practices has risen significantly since the dawn of the Internet. Even on a subconscious level, people recognize when a web page is too cluttered, too bare or outdated. That recognition immediately translates to skepticism about a brand and what it offers, and that’s a bad first impression to make.
5. No Clear Call-To-Action
A well-built website should be easy to find, load quickly on multiple devices and be visually appealing. When someone searches for a product or service online and the site they enter achieves those metrics, a purchase often follows — but not if it isn’t easy to do so. If the path from homepage to transaction isn’t clear, visitors will bounce. A clear call-to-action, such as a “Buy Now” or “Contact Us” button, significantly increases conversion rates.
Whiteboard Media Can Help
If your website has been collecting dust for years, or you need one built from scratch, Whiteboard Media is here to help. We build sleek and highly functional websites at affordable prices, and can even add e-commerce features, such as shopping carts, to preexisting sites.