6 Common Website Design Mistakes, and How to Fix Them

 

About two years ago, HubSpot published an article which rankled a few nerves in the business world, and in the world of website design.  That article, with the unapologetic title, “17 Things People Absolutely Hate About Your Website,” was intended to give businesses a reality check.  After all, if there are things about your website that don’t work, or that consumers don’t like, wouldn’t you want to fix them?

So, What’s the Problem with So Many Websites?

According to Internet Live Stats, there are more than 1.5 billion websites across the globe, about 200 million of which are “still active.”  According to HubSpot, most of them have significant problems—some take forever to load, some don’t provide adequate direction (like giving consumers a clear call to action), and some don’t work well on mobile devices.

Here’s the good news:  although the problems with some websites are many, for each one there’s a fix.  Your business doesn’t need to suffer with a website that simply doesn’t work—it’s a matter of getting the help you need from experienced professionals who can get your site into shape and get your business booming again.

So, here (in no particular order) are the 6 most common problems with websites:

  1. There’s no call to action:  the internet can be confusing—and annoying.  Consumers tend to be impatient when they’re on it, and the last thing they want is a site that doesn’t give them clear directions.  More importantly, the last thing your business needs is a site that doesn’t generate a sufficient volume of high-quality leads.  If you want them to do something, like consume certain content or visit a product page, tell them how to do it with a clear call to action.  Make your call to action easy to find, limit copy, use action verbs, and make the “click” button stand out clearly from its background.
  2. The tone of voice is unfriendly:  the voice you use for your website should be conversational and friendly.  Too many websites feature copy that sounds like it was composed by a robot—or worse.  Remember, people visit your site in lieu of visiting you, so be sure to feature a voice that sounds natural.  A good way to check for bad copy is to read it out loud.  If it sounds stilted or is peppered with insider or technical jargon, change it, or partner with an experienced design agency which can do the job for you.
  3. It loads too slowly:  this one is important.  According to a study from KISSmetrics, almost half of site visitors will leave a website that takes more than three seconds to load, which means of course that if you don’t fix this problem, you could be losing almost half of your site traffic.  Equally important, if your site takes too long to load, a substantial portion of site visitors will conclude that your business doesn’t know what it’s doing, and that will hurt your reputation, and your sales.
  4. It doesn’t work on smart phones and tablets:  in May, 2015, Google made it official—more people were now conducting searches on mobile devices than on laptops.  It’s one of the reasons the search engine giant issued a new algorithm update that summer, one which penalizes websites that aren’t mobile-friendly.  If more than half your customers are looking at your website on a smart phone, and if it doesn’t work on that device, there’s a good chance they’ll leave your site and go to one of your competitors.
  5. The navigation is confusing:  having poor navigation on your site is like designing a city without any street signs.  The results will be frustrated visitors who aren’t likely to make a return visit.  Be sure your navigation bar uses clear language that every visitor will easily understand, and be sure that they can get from point A to point B without fuss or confusion.  Think of Hansel and Gretel:  make sure there’s always a breadcrumb trail.
  6. It doesn’t tell visitors what you do:  this problem is more common than you might think—websites where you need to go on a scavenger hunt to figure out what the company does.  You try the “About Us” page and find generic copy with phrasing like “We are committed to excellence,” or “We take customer service seriously,” but no explanation about what products or services they offer.  Don’t make visitors to your site guess—tell them in clear and simple language what you do, and how you can help them or their business.

Final words

This is just a small sampling of problems that exist on millions of websites.  Others include popups that interrupt whatever else visitors are doing, cheap stock photography, headlines that don’t match the text beneath them, broken links and contact pages that don’t include your company’s address and phone number.

If you have problems like these on your website, we can help.  To learn more about the ways our web design and development, graphic design, copywriting and photography services can help you increase profitability and grow your business, contact us today.