The importance of your web design, which includes how it both looks and functions, cannot be overstated. They directly relate to the user experience which has a flow on effect to your search engine ranking. You have about ten seconds to keep a visitor on your site before they are on to the next one.
So to help you out, and no matter what your business or industry is, the following web design mistakes should be avoided at all costs.
Mistake #1: Not offering a simple explanation of why the visitor should be there
.05 seconds after your first page loads, the user has made an opinion about you and your site. They are trying to make a justified decision, and if you don’t make that as easy as possible for them to do, you’ll lose them.
Services and products should be in a clear, easy-to-understand view with any relevant supporting material that lets people know you are the right choice.
Mistake #2: Ignoring responsive or adaptive design
Stop reading right now if your website isn’t mobile-friendly and rectify it immediately. It is beyond important. More consumers are likely accessing your site from a mobile device than a desktop.
Whether it is responsive or adaptive design (the first being quicker and cheaper to achieve than the latter), it is imperative that your site is easy to view on all devices.
Mistake #3: Long load times
To clarify, by “long” we mean more than three seconds. The world of online shopping means people are beyond impatient. You will lose half of your visitors if you break the three-second load rule.
Poor page speed will also hurt your rankings in the SERP, which is something you no doubt wish to avoid.
Mistake #4: Poor readability
This is essentially a dual rule as it applies to both the visual and grammatical elements of your site. Don’t make people squint to read your text and ensure that it makes sense.
If people aren’t digesting your content efficiently, they will quickly give up and move on. This all relates to how user-friendly your site is. Body text should be above 14px in a Sans Serif font.
Mistake #5: New browsers
If we’re trying to avoid bad user experience, not letting someone leave, or use the back button because they are in a new window, is a surefire way to annoy users.
Multiple browser windows make for poor navigation and slow bandwidth, and people don’t like either of those.
Mistake #6: No H1 or H2
Headlines are a crucial way to grab someone’s attention and help them decide if they want to continue reading.
Walls of text on a site that cannot be skimmed goes back to bad user experience. Headings and subheadings also make it easier for search engines to find your content.
Mistake #7: No contact information
It seems like a simple thing to have your contact information on your homepage, but you would be surprised how many businesses don’t. After all, your website is like your online business card, the point of it is to have customers get in contact with you.
Information like phone number, address, contact form, contact page, or email should be super easy to find.
Mistake #8: Not being HTTPS secure
People are more wary of data breaches and hacks now than ever before. This means that not having a secure website makes you a risk for both users and search engines.
This rule doesn’t just apply to ecommerce sites, by the way, its any site that requests personal information, even on a contact form. Ignoring this rule will get you pushed back in the rankings straight away.
How important is all of this?
The answer depends on how important you consider your website is to your online strategy and visibility. Some would say that websites are the most essential element of your online personality as it is the hub where people find all of the necessary information about your business. All of your other channels lead back to your online home.
If that is the case, your website needs to be polished. The modern consumer has certain expectations, and it is possible for you to meet them with having to spend thousands of dollar.