Having a compelling and unique website isn’t an option anymore! Having a poorly-designed website causes businesses to lose customers and bleeds money every second. You have no idea how common this is for small businesses.
To save money and have more control over their website, many small businesses, unfortunately, create their own site without understanding the concepts of a great website design. This almost always leads to a website design that’s less than ideal, or simply horrible like this one.
Okay, now that website is just terrible! But, you get the idea, right? Web design is a form of art, and like art, it’s supposed to give its viewers a pleasant experience. The best websites do this by combining art and functionality, creating a design that’s enjoyable, interesting, navigable, and useful.
To do this, there are certain spoken and “unspoken” rules you must follow, or you could risk having your website look like this:
Don’t be that website, folks!
To avoid sending your customers to website hell, here are 10 costly website mistakes many small businesses are making and how you can fix them.
1. Having Too Much Going On
Let’s face it. People don’t have all day to try to figure out what your website is about.
There are far too many other options that are online, so if your site visitors are stuck without a clue as to what your business is and what it’s about, they’re going to leave.
And, this usually takes a matter of seconds.
Most small businesses try to increase their conversion rates by cramming all of their important business information on one page, leading to a crowded website. A crowded website is never a good thing because it will confuse your customers and it’ll take too long to load, which is irritating for anyone.
So, if any of your website pages have too much text, images, and other things going on, you’re literally shooting yourself in the foot. If you need an example of a website that’s doing this right now, just take a look at this monstrosity. I don’t know what’s more distracting – the butt-ugly rainbow color background or the multiple style fonts that don’t match.
Keep your website design simple and to the point to keep your customers engaged and to ensure that they know who you are and what you’re about.
2. Having Too Little Going On
Minimalism is cool, only when it’s done right. I won’t spend a lot of time in this section, mainly since I just explained how having a busy website design is a bad thing. Again, an ideal website tells your customers who you are and what you’re about. You can accomplish this by not having a lot of elements or content on your site.
Just take a look at this. This isn’t a perfect website design (it has too much white space for my liking), but it gets the job done. From just one glance, you get that Daniel Gray is a designer and writer and that he’s offering his services in New York. This design doesn’t undersell his business at all, but this web design doesn’t have enough going on.
Of course, the contrast of this site makes it a bit difficult to read. But, could you really tell me what this website is about even if you took your time to observe it? I’ve downloaded the images and looked at it several times, and I still don’t know what the world this website is supposed to be.
Your website visitors want to know who you are and what you’ll do for them. Designs like the one above will leave your potential customers guessing, and that’s never a good thing.
3. The Design is Non-Responsive
One of the costliest mistakes about creating your own website is that it likely won’t be responsive on all available platforms. Nowadays, most people are surfing the web on their mobile devices, using smartphones, tablets, etc.
This means that your website has to give the same experience to your site’s visitors on all available platforms, especially on mobile devices. If your site’s mobile version is slow and glitchy, you’re just begging your visitors to leave your site.
If that doesn’t scare you in the slightest, then you should also know that Google is penalizing websites that aren’t mobile-friendly by minimizing their web ranking. Google is a big fan of positive user experience, meaning that they actually care how their web users experienced your site.
Unless you want a poorly-ranked site without any traffic, you should look towards making their site mobile-friendly. If you’ve created your own website, this may not be possible. If you need a website for your business, click here to learn more about how we can help you today!
4. There Isn’t a Great CTA
At the end of the day, you didn’t purchase your website so it could sit online and form cobwebs. Your website is supposed to attract and convert potential customers. It isn’t said enough that conversion is actually a skill done best through an amazing call-to-action (CTA).
Your CTA should be brief and direct, prompting a potential customer to immediately make an action, such as signing up for your emailing list or heading to a product page. Your CTA always determines how successful your website will be at converting potential customers into sales, so it’s no wonder why many small businesses get it wrong.
Check out this CTA from Econsultancy.
This seems like a pretty decent CTA, right.
Well, it’s not and I’ll tell you how.
While the layout of this page is pretty good, the designer made one crucial mistake of making the text and the CTA the same color. As you can see, nothing really jumps out. Sure, a few buyers might notice the “shop now” button, what is going to convince them to even click on it.
If you want to see a great CTA in action, just take a look at this. This is a perfect example of an amazing CTA because:
- The vivid background image is attractive and catches the viewer’s eye immediately.
- The CTA buttons are clear in plain sight.
- The message of this page is very clear. There’s a sale going on, so click the button to shop. Nothing is confusing.
Messing up your CTA is a very costly mistake that can impact your site’s conversion rates. Make sure your CTA is clear, concise, creative, and subtly persuasive.
5. There’s Too Much Content and Too Little Whitespace
Content is an integral part of your website because it tells your readers about your business and the products and services you offer. Since this type of information is important, you have to make sure you’re always using a legible, attractive font. Also, you never fill your website with a lot of blocks of content.
Too much content is hard to digest and it will make your website look spammy, like this design. Ironically, this web design company has too much content on their site, making everything look like a big mess.
Your customers shouldn’t have to moan and groan knowing they will have to read a lot of content just to know what you’re all about. Keep your content brief and to the point.
But, if you absolutely must explain everything about your business on one page, make sure you break up your content using whitespace and other elements, like images (optimize them first), graphs, and something else that’s visual and attractive.
Also, your site must have an adequate amount of whitespace to keep your customers’ eyes on your entire site and to make your content look less intimidating.