What makes a good website? There’s more than one way to answer that question. Sometimes, it’s way easier to answer the question, “What makes a bad website?” To which there are multiple reasons, all being errors that definitely need to be fixed.
We come across a lot of websites within the industry that are in need of a good do-over. Are you making these website design blunders by accident?
A lack of search engine optimization (SEO) on a website is just as bad as overdoing it, i.e. keyword stuffing and creating content meant for the search engines and not for the people you’re trying to reach out to online.
Either side of this example is bad, and it’s tricky to find the sweet spot where a website is properly optimized – including adding alt and title text to images, as well as proper keyword use in content, to name a few things – as well as hosting unique content. Proper research, as well as doing your homework on SEO, can help rectify this common design mistake.
A study conducted by Akamai Technologies indicates that online shoppers will only wait for 3 seconds –not 1, not 2, but 3 seconds – before clicking away from a page, indicating the significant fact that we are no longer a patient species when it comes to wait times.
If your server is taking any longer than 3 seconds to load a web page, you risk losing both patience and interest on the customer’s behalf. Take a look at what’s causing the load times – maybe you’re using Flash animation too often, or there are too many images on one page – and see if you can lessen up the clutter causing that slowness.
All text, no image
Here’s another thing to ask yourself: have you thought about the layout of your site’s content? Not everyone wants to see giant walls of text on a page; that’s why sub-headlines, bullet points, and images matter when you’re presenting it to the rest of the world. And it never hurts to proofread; you’d be surprised how many error-ridden content exists online.
Likewise, it’s not very helpful when a website is all image and of no help – i.e. you have a prettified contact page, but no form to fill out, or it contains outdated contact details, and so on. Nothing says “Don’t reach out to me” more than not putting contact information in a hard-to-find, or nonexistent, place.
No Unique Content
We’ve already emphasized the significance and importance of owning and regularly managing and updating a blog on a website – we don’t need to rehash.
What we do want to remind you of though is that no matter who you are or where you’re looking on the Internet, the last thing we enjoy seeing is a website that either regurgitates content that’s already been seen, or content that resembles an unhelpful advertisement. Writing unique, solid content for your web pages and blog is one of the best ways to get noticed in a positive manner, rather than a negative one.
Non User-friendly Navigation
Nothing drives people away from a website than finding one they can’t use. A poorly implemented menu, a lack of a search box, and dead hyperlinks all lead to a big mess on your hands. Another thing I’ve noticed people do is use PDFs instead of a web page to describe their services; this is not what your customers are looking for. They don’t want to keep constantly clicking on attachments so much as find what they want, and where they can find it, exactly.
The best user-friendly navigation is dead simple, without tons of clicking around trying to find exactly what you’re looking for. That same way of thinking goes for resolving all of the errors we have outlined in this post.
Honestly, when it comes to common website design errors, the list can go on and on for days, even weeks. That’s why when push comes to shove, it’s best to consult a professional web designer who knows the inner workings of layout and design. Not only can they fix what common errors can be found, but also they can provide new, simple layouts that will save you time and money, while regaining all of the traffic and sales you’re potentially losing – and maybe even gain some new attention to your website as a result.