5 Common Web Design Mistakes

You’ve spent countless hours building and agonizing over every detail of your website. You love it, and you think your customers will too—but the leads aren’t coming and the money isn’t flowing. What’s going on?

We all know that websites play a critical role in any business’ marketing and branding efforts. A poorly designed website can lead to a confusing user experience, resulting in a loss of potential revenue. I am frequently asked to provide feedback on websites for co-workers, friends, and family. While we all agree that a well-designed website will generate more leads and revenue, it’s easier said than done. Here are 5 of the most common mistakes I see – and how to avoid making them.

1. Too much… everything

There’s nothing more frustrating than doing research online and coming to a website only to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of, well, everything. There’s too much copy, too many advertisements, and no clear indication of where to go next. If you have a list of the 25 things that make your company the absolute best, it’s 20 too many. Pare down your copy, add informational graphics, and only tell the customer the most important facts. Keep it simple.

2. No clear call to action

The first question I ask when reviewing a website is “what do you want users to do once they’ve found your website?” If I can’t identify the next step I should take within 5 seconds, chances are no one else will be able to either. If you want them to fill out a form, make sure the form isn’t buried at the bottom of the page. If you want them to call you, make sure there is a visible phone number. If you want to funnel them into a specific sub-page, don’t clutter the page with non-relevant information and links. Direct them where you want them to go.

3. Stale, outdated content

If you haven’t updated your website content since 2010, it looks stale and so do you. Customers are likely to assume you’re out of business or don’t care enough to update your website, and will look elsewhere. Keep your content fresh. Have tips and tricks to share? Start a blog. Are new services available? Tell us about it! As an added bonus, search engines love fresh content, so keep the updates coming.

4. The whole world is your audience

Naturally, you want as many people as possible to visit your website. However, you quickly run into trouble when you try to design your website for every possible type of person who might visit. Trying to please everyone is impossible, and you’re likely to end up pleasing no one. So, it’s important to know your target audience and design the best possible experience for them.

5. Not mobile friendly

Let’s face it, the web landscape is changing, and with it so should our websites. About a third of all online traffic now comes from mobile devices. That means that approximately 1 out of every 3 people who visit your website are visiting from a mobile device. If your site is not mobile friendly, you’re potentially missing out, and so are your customers!

What web design mistakes drive you crazy??

Stay tuned in the coming months as we kick off our Web Design Tips & Tricks series. We’ll dig deeper into the topics discussed in this blog and introduce additional tips, tricks, and best practices to help you improve your website.

About Jamie Harris

Jamie joined the Swiftpage team in March 2013, after spending 6 years as the Web Manager for Act! and Saleslogix. She now oversees the websites for all Swiftpage products as well as Bright Peak, the creative services division of Swiftpage. When not working, Jamie can be found watching football, reading, catching up on reality TV, spending time with friends and family, or playing with her Golden Retriever puppy, Luna.

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