The web design industry is ever-changing with new trends coming and going. Poor web design can cost a business thousands in lost revenue, with the number never really being known for sure. Without proper insights it can be difficult to tell if visitors to your website are engaging with your web design. This is where Google Analytics comes in handy. Free to use, Google Analytics provides business owners the ability to see various metrics from their actual website results. It highlights things like bounce and exit rates that can show where you are losing your customers. If your homepage has a high bounce rate (anything above the 70% mark) then you should consider re-evaluating your design and/or content.
There are a number of things that can off-put visitors to your site and be losing your business potential sales. Below we highlight 5 of the most common website design mistake we’ve come across. Most websites are guilty of at least one of these, but they’re also easy fixes and shouldn’t be left unresolved.
Poor User Experience
Navigating through a website should never be an overwhelming experience. The navigation should be featured in an easily accessible location on the site, with clear headings for each new page. Visitors to your website are looking for useful information and want to access this in the most timely manner, the more time-consuming or confusing it becomes the more likely your visitors will leave your website and not return.
A common practice is to feature the menu in a visable location, towards the top of the page. Avoid ambiguous names for web pages that do not clearly define what the page features.
Hiding Important Information
This one varies from site to site depending on your business. If you have an ecommerce site the shopping cart should be featured permanently on each page of your website, normally in the top right hand corner of the page. If you sell any type of service or product your contact details should never be difficult to find, ensure you have this information highlighted through your website.
This happens more often than you’d think. Broken links makes a website look outdated and unmaintained. Whether a link has been moved or removed it leaves your visitors with no place to go. Checking for broken links is easier than you’d think, there are a handful of Free Online Broken Links Checker that’ll do the hard work for you. Submit your site, find all the broken links and get onto fixing them right away.
Low-Quality or Stock Images
Let’s start with low-quality images. Websites showcasing poor quality, pixilated images aren’t helping their reputation one bit. Your website is for most customers the face of your business, so putting time into quality images is necessary to portray a solid representation of what you do.
On the other hand there’s those all-too-common stock images. Although they have superior quality they are also easily recognisable as stock images and don’t do much for your businesses branding. It may be worth investing in a quality camera or the skills of a corporate photographer to take professional photos of your business and using these instead. Trust me, these will give you much more credit than generic stock photos.
Old, Irrelevant Content
This again is one that seems to happen all too often. Whether it’s an old promotion still highlighted on your homepage, or content that just hasn’t been updated in years. Providing new and current content, alongside relevant updates shows that your proactive in your business. Not to mention Google loves new content - so the more the better! A great way to regularly feature new content is through a blog or business news section on your site, it's easy to set-up and can be updated as often as you like.
Web design trends come and go, but one thing will remain constant and that’s a well maintained and functional website. We’ve only highlighted 5 of the more common mistakes we come across, sure there are many more we can add to this list but these are a good place to start. If you think of any other common mistakes we’ve missed please add them to the comments section below.