Common website design mistakes

By the time you’ve read this little paragraph, someone may already be clicking on your website. Users typically give a website 15 seconds before assessing the content and deciding whether to stay or not. By the way, you took about ten seconds to read these three sentences, so that it doesn’t take long to create an impression, for better or for worse.

What does that mean for you? Well, you want to make sure you have a visually stunning website with amazing content that will grab your audience’s attention? How you do that? As a starting point, let’s take a look at the most common website design mistakes.

You haven’t checked your bounce rate

A common marketing mistake is not finding out what your bounce rate is. Bounce isn’t a good thing in the website world. It’s basically how long it takes for someone to look at your website and decide, “I have to get out of here.” Maybe the etymology of the slang word has something to do with the trajectory of a bouncing ball, who knows? In any case, A high bounce rate means people aren’t staying on your side and you need to find out why. Your goal is a low bounce rate.

You can check your bounce rate on your Google Analytics dashboard. A high bounce rate is normal for some pages. For example, you can expect users to leave your homepage relatively quickly, or quickly switch from a landing page to a thank you page. Often times, users drop out for a variety of reasons. Your site might either not be appealing or you might have found what you were looking for on the other end of the spectrum.

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In general, bounce rates between 25-30% are exceptionally low. Numbers between 30-40% could also be seen as relatively low, but more realistic. Bounce rates above 50-60% need to be monitored and anything higher needs to be revised.

If you have a particularly poorly designed page, you can fix your poor bounce rate by optimizing and redesigning the page. Always gentle!

Customers have no idea what you are doing

Above the fold is one of those trends that is running out of web design, but so many web designs feature these stunning images with random words above the fold that leave your potential customers feeling amused or confused, but also have absolutely no idea what you are do do. If your user can’t tell what you’re doing within that 15 second golden period, your design is ineffective.

Above the fold, we should be able to see your logo, get a feel for your branding, have a location (some navigation, CTAs) and most importantly, know what the company is doing, sometimes even with one Mission statement and slogan.

Your website is not optimized for mobile devices and it takes forever to load

Your website should adapt seamlessly from cell phone to tablet to PC and load in less than three seconds on all these devices (since 40% of people give up if it takes longer). If a user is on their phone and needs to rotate their phone, pinch them to zoom, and move their phone in all directions, you’ve just created a terrible user experience and the customer experience has likely increased your bounce rate and sent your website about a decade back in the past. Go mobile friendly and make sure all elements on your page load quickly.

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Your text cannot be read and cannot be scanned

If you have a light gray background with white text or a large colorful picture with barely visible text over it, this is not a good design. Even if your text is legible but you are writing in incredibly long paragraphs and have no headings, that’s not a good design either. It’s an internet age of fast-paced information and if I’ve just Googled “How do I backup my WhatsApp messages” or “What dust mask rating do I need when sanding furniture” I should be able to quickly scan the relevant pages without instructions having to read every word. And each word should be displayed with a reasonable amount of spaces and headings for clarity.

As much as we’d love to have readers hang on to every word (we hope they do), it’s also completely unrealistic to blog posts like they’re chapters of a novel. You need to tailor your web content to suit your audience.

Your prospects don’t know how to contact you

Your contact page is one of the most important pages on your website. Potential customers and returners should know how to get in touch. How many websites have you been to where it’s nearly impossible to find a phone number or email address to speak to someone? Probably more than you want to remember!

In need of a brand new web design and development?

These were our quick tips for common website design mistakes, but there is a lot more you could do!

If you want a visually appealing website design and development with SEO in mind, connect with us today and unlock your success. We create branded online experiences that generate growth and success. Check out some of our success stories.

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