With the advent of mobile browsing and the introduction of many cool, new design themes such as parallax scrolling, the web has seen millions of websites receive facelifts over the past few years. But, irrespective of that, we have seen many bad design decisions being made which stopped consumers from fully connecting with brands. From weak website design, bad content and thousands of bugs in the website, there are a number of things that the average website can improve on.
Here are 10 web design mistakes and how to keep them from hurting your site’s overall engagement.
Failing to Use Responsive Design
Since about 40 percent of searches are being performed on mobile phones and tablets, it is imperative that your website be responsive for different screens. However, recent estimates show that less than seventeen percent of the world’s 876 million websites have been created with responsive web design. Since Google has started penalizing non-responsive sites in mobile searches, this is a major problem for those who generate leads online.
Relying on Modern Website Builder
There are many websites and software which claim to allow people to develop websites by dragging and dropping elements on its platform. The only problem is that with each design element which is placed it adds to countless lines of code in the backend. When many such elements are placed on a website, it can lead to performance issues with sites loading slower and many bugs in the code.
If budget restrictions are a problem, then try the services of freelancer in creating a theme which will go along with your idea that already has the look and style of your ideal website.
Forgetting About Actual Design Elements
Some businesses are at fault when they go completely overboard while incorporating design elements or flat-out ignoring the design elements of their website. Adding too many customizations on your website may lead to your website being slow in loading and countless bugs in the code, plus it can distract the visitors from the actual content. Minimalist websites with very few design features can also be a turn-off to visitors though, so finding a balance is essential.
The same concept applies to photos, videos, banners and other types of graphics as well. For most websites, the entire page should be designed to lead the consumer’s eye towards making a favorable action.
Poor Use of Headers, Sidebars, and Footers
Most people consider that headers, sidebars and footers are there for advertisements. But, there are some problems when all your header content is being hidden by huge banner advertising, there is no reason to withheld content quality just because banners run website. That area can be used for additional navigation within the site.
That is not to say that there should not be banner advertising on the top of your page. It is just to say that the importance of design and balance throughout the site.
Not Capturing Customer Information
While many sites have too many ads on their website, there are other websites which might spend countless hours and advertising dollars in driving customers to their site, but forget to capture customer information. This lead or sale is lost when the customer moves away from the website and it highly unlikely that the customer will return back to the website to fill out information again. This particularly means that more dollars needs to be spent in retargeting campaigns aiming at bringing customers back. Some corporations spends millions of dollars in such endeavors and are placed in this vicious cycle with customers not gaining an advantage due to this.
This can be largely eliminated by providing certain opt-in offer that will appeal to your visitors. It can be something as simple as an instant discount or free shipping on retail sites, while others may want to offer an appealing freebie or contest giveaway.
Lacking High Quality Content Throughout
It is seen that the highest ranking factor in SERPs for Google is the content on the website. Yet, some of the businesses spend a lot of money in developing a sleek, responsive website and leave the content writing as an end task. This affects more than the search ranking as it is the single most important way to engage visitors and increase conversion rates.
To gauge the quality of content on a website, look no further than click through and bounce rates on a website. This will clearly show if people are viewing multiple pages and taking actions on-site or leaving quickly.
Making Core Information Hard to Find
Another important part which is neglected is the find ability of core information on the website. When a website loads or certain product pages are loaded, then things like store hours, return policies, directions, FAQs, and shipping details. Other important part of information such as blogs and product descriptions should have their own sub-menus in the sidebar once a visitor reaches that particular section. A search bar is also a very handy tool to place in the header of the site.
When building navigational menus on a website, it’s essential to focus on the consumer’s most frequent questions/ needs and make those pages the easiest to find.
Not Keeping Website Updated
With the advent of new technologies and also design it has created new websites which are much more robust and sleek but it also leads to cyber security issues. That’s why certain themes and plugins fully updated is essential in modern times; which makes sure that every entry point to your domain is protected. WordPress and certain websites have themes and plugins which are auto-updated, as long as they are configured to do so.
Having forms which require CAPTCHA answers and installing certain cyber protection softwares will help thwart such attacks.
Dealing with Broken and Poorly Optimized Pages
Customer become averse to sites which have links which when clicked lead to a Page not Found, especially when it comes to a product or landing page. In other cases, the page may exist but due to certain conflict or a broken plugin. Some websites also lose potential conversions by neglecting their product descriptions and failing to provide enough information. Any of these can cause your business to not achieve their sales and profit margin.
The only way to avoid these is to have people work on your website- either an engineer, a QA specialist or through feedback from customers.
Not Paying Attention to Analytics
Another important consideration which is not adhered in Analytics, not properly setting up the site’s analytics through Google Webmaster Tools or other sites which could provide insightful data on the website. The only way to accurately measure a website’s success is by digging down into the data and seeing how visitors are navigating the website.