No matter what industry you are in, maintaining a unique, enticing, and effective website is now absolutely mandatory. Companies of all types and sizes rely on expert web designers who can increase brand awareness and reach potential customers from around the world. Here are four critical web design mistakes that will quickly turn a successful site into a money pit.
When business owners and their web designers are building a website, they should always keep their goals and their visitors in mind. You might think that the click path (marketing funnel) of your website is obvious, but a random visitor can easily get lost on a page or redirected off of the site, failing to convert. Every single page on the site should direct the traffic to the next touchpoint. Whether that is filling out their information for a newsletter or contacting a storefront directly, that information should be clear and prominent at all times. Most specialists also suggest having the business’s address or number in a prominent position that can be seen no matter where the visitor is looking. This is especially vital for local SEO. Intechnic has this helpful article on SMART Website Goals.
Few things turn traffic away from a website as quickly as broken links. A single broken link or link that leads to the wrong page can easily cost you a conversion and drive up your bounce rate. In addition to impacting your conversion rates, these issues can also damage your website’s reputation. Many of the top search engines give negative scores to sites with broken or misleading links. At the very least, you should customize your 404 pages by adding an apology or other personal note. You can take that one step further and create a contact button so that visitors can report broken or outdated links.
An ideal website must strike a perfect balance between search engine optimization (SEO) and the users’ experience (UX). These are certainly not mutually-exclusive areas, but can influence design decisions in different ways. Web designers have many tools at their disposal to make pages extremely unique and eye-catching, but there may come a point when those upgrades do more harm than good. On-site optimization, social media management, reputation protection, load times, and backlinks are all just as important as the layout and design of a site. Finding a good balance between the UX and optimization of a website is often an ongoing process. That is why web designers must have tools at their disposal to continuously check the metrics of each page to see what is working and what needs to be changed.
How quickly each page loads is one of the single most important aspects of a website, in terms of SEO and UX. In some cases, a delay of just two or three seconds could drive away a large percentage of the traffic that lands on your site. This results in fewer conversions and lower rankings on the search engine results pages. The easiest way to speed up the load times is to limit the number of elements that are on each page. Designers should also enable compression so that larger media files do not take forever to load. If you continue to have trouble with your load times, then you might need to speak with the company that is hosting the website. They should have a team ready to deal with behind-the-scenes issues such as slow load times. Here are some additional tips for reducing website load times.
When it comes to creating a new website, designers must focus on simplicity and effectiveness. Many of the most popular sites have quick load times, simple layouts, excellent on-site optimization, and a clear call to action on every single page. Spending a little extra time and energy on each of these issues will almost always have an excellent return on investment.