There are a large number of contributing factors required in order for your site to be considered a great website. A compelling visual design and user interface is crucial, as is a simple but pragmatically designed user experience that encourages sales or key business outcomes. And what use is an aesthetically pleasing website design if no-one can find it. Web design and development also plays a key part in how easy your website is located in search engines.
Today I wanted to touch on a few of the biggest mistakes business owners or webmasters are making in web design. I mentioned in the title that this was focused on small to medium businesses, but the reality is that many of these mistakes are made by the big guys as well.
Poor website navigation
Are your users struggling to manoeuvre their way around your site? Not only is it extremely frustrating for your customers, but the search engines crawlers aren't big fans either. You need to pay close attention to how people navigate your website and any obvious issues they are having. If the user journey through your website is not logical and effortless, the likelihood is your customers will be gone… perhaps for good. By taking some time to optimise navigation you will retain customers for longer, they will visit more pages and it could mean more sales or subscribers.
Lacking quality content
One of the biggest mistakes many website owners make is not having a clearly defined content strategy and content that is less than desirable. Your customers or prospects have made an effort to find your site for the content, so you need to ensure that your content meets their expectations. Make sure you have a clear visual content hierarchy so customers can quickly scan and sift relevant information. Ensure content is continually refreshed. Information needs to be easily readable, avoiding long blocks of text, correct spelling and grammar and providing information in digestible blocks.
Forgetting about SEO
The single most frustrating thing about new website builds is that many web design companies or creative agencies completely neglect one of the most important aspects of any web project, search engine optimisation. Yes, a stunning looking website is a necessity. But I would argue it is even more important to ensure the site is structured for search engine success. On page optimisation is too often an afterthought.
No clear call to action
Ok, you are attracting a significant volume of traffic to your website and they seem to be actively engaged with the content on your site. That is great news. Or at least it would be if they were performing some of the desired revenue generating actions within the site. If you are relying on a single contact us form or a click here link hidden somewhere within the page to capture user details then you are missing a trick. You need to have a clear call to action to encourage them to buy a product, contact you or add their name to your subscriber database - otherwise they will leave without a trace. What’s more, you can’t make your users work for it. It needs to be straightforward and effortless.
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