Think of your website as being the face of your brand to your online audience. You want to make a good impression on your prospective customers. Unfortunately, a bad website with serious design flaws will create a poor user experience for your audience. For example, many web builders aren't graphic designers. Therefore, they will often use low quality images and graphics on their site that visitors find obnoxious.
Here are the most common web design mistakes that will hurt your site and lead to a poor user experience for visitors.
In the early years of the Internet, it was quite common for webmasters to try to "wow" their visitors with flashy animations and graphics. Most focused on the quantity - instead of the quality - of graphics on their site. Audiences soon grew tired of websites that used "cheesy" graphics. Now, with the immense variety of quality photos being produced and made available, you want to avoid using low quality images that will make your brand look “less professional”. In addition to using high-quality images, you should use them sparingly with a good balance of negative space on your site. You don't want distracting images to keep your visitors from reading the text.
BAD COLOUR SCHEME
One of the most important web design decisions that you will make is choosing the colours for your website. Choosing the wrong colours will hurt your site's user experience. For example, if you choose several bright colours that clash with each other, it will distract your visitors from the content on your site. Also, if you use a light coloured type font and dark background colour, unless you're making a statement, your visitors will have a difficult time reading your site's content.
Furthermore, bad colour choices can hurt your site's overall theme, brand image and subliminal selling value. Therefore, you want to select colours for your website that embody your brand, are aesthetically pleasing and work well with its theme.
POOR FONT CHOICE
Font types can make or break your site's user experience. That's why you must select fonts that are visually appealing and easy to read. For instance, using a cursive font type for the body of text on your site will make it hard for visitors to read the content. In addition to being easy to read, fonts should also look professional to add credibility to your brand. Above all, ensure the fonts you use are consistent across your website.
NO CLEAR SEO-STRATEGY
If you expect your website to generate targeted, organic search engine traffic, then you need to implement a clear SEO strategy that will get your site ranking in search engine results.
However, many website owners continue to overlook the importance of SEO during web design. You must conduct thorough keyword research to identify the search phrases that your target audience is using in their Google searches. For example, if your site promotes designing interior spaces, you need to use keywords related to the topic of interior design ideas, because that's what your target audience will be searching for online. Google's Keyword Planner is a great resource to conduct keyword research for free.
FAILING TO BUILD A MOBILE-FRIENDLY WEBSITE
Most of your website's traffic will likely be from mobile devices. Australia Talks National Survey, found that 96% of Australians own a smartphone. Therefore, your site must be mobile-friendly to guarantee your audience will want to see your content. Google offers a free tool that will rate your site based on how mobile-friendly it is.Take Google's Mobile-Friendly Test to find and fix other unfriendly features.
"Your site must be mobile-friendly to guarantee that your entire audience can see your content."
ANNOYING AUTO-PLAY AUDIO OR VIDEOS
One of the easiest ways to annoy online users is having them land on a website that automatically plays an audio or video message. In fact, many visitors won't return to sites that have auto-play audio or videos. And depending on the placement and usage of your website's audio or video, you may also be getting penalised within your Google Ranking for having that video. A basic workaround, is to embed a screenshot image of your video, and include links to audio and/or video messages on your site. This will let your visitors decide whether they want to play them.
Navigation is a huge part of website design. For example, when a visitor lands on your website, you want them to be able to easily navigate your site. Us website visitors we’re lazy. We don't want to spend a lot of time searching for content on your site. You don't want confusing site navigation to hurt your conversions - because prospective customers can't find all of your products for sale or have their questions answered. Make it easy for them to discover your content - and product sales pages - by creating a user-friendly menu to make navigation easy and logical. A good rule of thumb, is stay under 7 main menu options.
SLOW LOAD SPEEDS
One of the biggest website design problems that leads to a major technical SEO issue, is a slow download speed. The longer your website takes to load, the more likely it is that visitors will leave. Furthermore, most visitors who leave your site because they get tired of waiting for it to load – will never return. Not only will your visitors be frustrated by a slow load speed, but Google will penalise your site with a lower search ranking. You can find free website speed tests online to test the amount of time it takes your site to load. Most of those free tests will also offer tips to optimise your site for faster downloads.
"The longer your website takes to load, the more likely it is that visitors will leave."
LOW QUALITY CONTENT
Google places a priority on and loves high-quality content because online users expect high-quality content when they visit a website. However, poor content is still a common website design mistake. Unfortunately, having what's known as "thin" content is a mistake that can earn your website a Google penalty.
Furthermore, your visitors won't find your site valuable if it doesn't offer them relevant information that they enjoy reading. Optimally you want to research and develop high-value content that your audience loves, and that will naturally turn them into visitors who convert.
Many website owners monetise their content by placing ads on their blog or website. However, before you start placing digital ads everywhere, you need to think about what it's doing to your site's user experience. For instance, if visitors perceive your ads as spam, they will likely not return to your site. Furthermore, you shouldn't place ads on your website that are completely unrelated to your niche or market. Instead, just pick a few attractive, relevant ads that your audience might find useful.
YOUR TAKEAWAY NOTES
In short, the good news about web design mistakes is that most of them can be easily fixed. If you are comfortable making changes to your website yourself, then you can likely find the answer to most of the issues by searching for solutions online. In fact, you can find millions of video tutorials on YouTube from web experts that can show you how to fix common problems. If you aren't knowledgeable or tech-savvy enough to work on your website, consider hiring a web professional to fix any issues to improve its user experience.
As brand and website conversion specialists, Marketing Your Brand offers solutions and services for all the points listed above, and more. Book in a FREE 30-Minute Discovery Call Consultation or contact us to learn how we can better assist you.
What do you think is the biggest website design mistake out there? Let us know in the comments section below.