Website Design Advice: Common Mistakes & How to Fix Them
By: Jennifer Carey
A lot of people ask me for website design advice, such as how important good SEO is for websites and how to make it part of building a new website. Let me tell you, SEO is very important. Without search engine optimization, it will be very difficult for people to find your online presence.
Just as important though, is your bounce rate. A “bounce” is when someone visits your site for just a moment and then leaves. This is no good. Yeah, you got the visit, but there was no takeaway for the viewer. Something about your site turned them off, and worst of all, they’ll likely never return again because of it.
So, what went wrong?
There are a few common pitfalls we typically see in websites. The most common is a cluttered site. You don’t have to tell the viewer everything all at once. It’s like walking into a store and having 15 salespeople approaching and talking all at once. It’s confusing, frustrating and is a good way to drive a potential customer away for good.
If your home page (or any other page for that matter) is cluttered with too many options, an array of font sizes and colors and several call to action messages competing for that first click, you’re going to confuse versus guide the viewer to where you want him/her to go.
With websites, it’s far too easy to leave, so you don’t want to give visitors an easy reason to do so. It’s one click and a split second to exit and you’ve lost them for good. They won’t come back if their first experience is a negative one, and they certainly aren’t going to send any business your way.
If you’re guilty of a cluttered website or employing other website no-no’s that drive away traffic, here’s my website design advice to help you remedy those mistakes:
- Determine the MOST IMPORTANT action you want a visitor to take. Is it subscribe to your mailing list? Visit your online store and make a purchase? Join as a member? It’s essential to know this before you can create an effective and strategic website. When a potential customer lands on your site, you have a matter of seconds to convince them to stick around and take action. Determine what that single, desired action should be.
- Create a clear hierarchy of information to drive them to that action. It’s okay to have more than one message or option on your page, but it’s not necessary to showcase everything you have to offer at first glance. The most important action should be clearly highlighted and impossible to miss. It should have no competing elements! The “less is more” approach is key here. If you have additional messages or options for your visitor, you’ll want to make sure to organize them in a way that seems natural and streamlined.
- Test to see if your efforts are working. Pay close attention to your website analytics to see what people are clicking and where they are going. You may need to revise and reorganize your site structure several times before you get the results you want. It’s important to continually assess your analytics, listen to feedback and consult with your ideal customers on what’s working and what’s not. Be fluid and make adjustments as needed to maximize the results.
Do you have additional website design advice? Share in the comments.
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