Is your website driving away customers? What factors would drive away site visitors fast? How do you make it more successful?
Those are some of the most common questions asked by website owners.
Creating the perfect website for your needs doesn’t require you to be the best artist or even the best coder. It only requires you to learn and understand some common mistakes website owners make.
7 Deadly Sins of Website Design
If you’re committing these site development sins, it could be costing you more than you know.
Website Sin #1 – Cluttered Design
You can’t be all things to all people. Decide what content will go on the site and organize it in a clean and logical manner. You should be able to look at the home page of any site and figure out what the site is about in less than four seconds. If you can’t, the site is a failure. Putting too much content on your home page is a common mistake website owners make. Be selective and efficient. If it’s not essential, remove it. Good web design is about minimalism.
Website Sin #2 – Making Things Difficult
The route from first click to sale has to be easy. It’s important to think like customers. Evaluate the site from their perspective – it will help you figure out potential pitfalls. You don’t have to religiously follow the 3-click rule but it shouldn’t take much more than that for the visitor to get to the information they are looking for. Your site should be easy to navigate and perform the desired tasks. For example, requiring registration to leave a comment on the blog or having customers setup an account before checking out are two good examples of making it difficult for the visitor to do what they are set out to do. Make it simple or your visitors might abandon your site.
Website Sin #3 – Staying Static
You website is never done. You need to find ways to make it fresh, engaging and relevant. This will not only keep customers interest but will help in your website rankings. You can create separate landing pages for new campaigns and special promotions, add fresh content via blogging and connect your website to your Facebook fan page. Your goal is to keep adding to your website to bring visitors back and keep them engaged.
Website Sin #4 – Copying Your Competition
It’s smart to check what your competition is doing – this is how you can learn new ways to improve your site and make it stand out. Just don’t be a copycat. If you look too much like other businesses customers could have trouble telling you apart. Also, avoid building generic looking website or those that follow current trends (there are plenty of those on the web too). Instead speak your own voice. Create a unique site, both visually and as far as content goes. Offer a unique experience to your visitors, an experience that speaks directly to your customers and is relevant to your business.
Website Sin #5 – Ignoring Your Audience’s Needs
In order to be successful, every website needs to be built with audience in mind. We all know that the only reason your website exists is to solve your customers’ problems. But oftentimes, small details we forget to consider regarding your audience’s needs can make a huge difference. Does your website need to be mobile friendly? Will your baby boomer visitors be able to read that small type? Be sure to understand your audience and its preferences before building your site. Rule #1: Design for the people who buy from you or you could be loosing their business.
Website Sin #6 – Ignoring Analytics
Google Analytics, or any other quality analytics tool available, will help you understand where your traffic is coming from, what keywords people are using to find you and what they’re reading on your site. Armed with that information you can build more of what’s working.
Website Sin #7 – Refusing to Get Help
Don’t let the fear of spending money stop you from being successful online. If you need more then what a design template can provide, seek professional help. Look online for sites you like. Many have links at the bottom to their designer’s sites, so you can find a designer whose work you already like.
There are a lot of ways for websites to go awry, but keeping a customer focus and using a little common sense will help you avoid many of the common pitfalls… and ensure that you don’t find yourself featured as the worst website of the year!