Website design is one of those things that quickly can drive you to the point of keyboard smashing, tear-fighting frustration.
There are so many boxes to tick, codes to memorise and SEO crimes to avoid. It doesn’t help that Google’s bots feel strangely akin to that intimidating mother-in-law who remains unimpressed by every heartfelt attempt to impress them.
What we’re trying to get at, is that it can be easy to set a foot wrong on the web design path. But there are some simple changes you can immediately implement to save your user experience and SEO ranking.
Below are the most common web design mistakes we witness, and how to fix them.
Ever been knee deep in a page of website content and realised you have no escape? While hiding the navigation bar can seem like a slick aesthetic move, it’s quite terrible for user experience.
In fact, bad navigation is the quickest way to drive your users right back where they came from. This is a detriment to both your business opportunities and your SEO.
Common website navigational mistakes include:
- Hidden menu bar
- Too many navigation options
- Indiscernible links in text
- Non-standard navigation bar layouts
- Overly generic labels
- Illogical categorisations
Functionality and practicality should be at the forefront of your web design. Having a website with tonnes of pages is great for SEO, but this needs to be matched with cohesive categorisation and page hierarchies. Basically – we’re asking (begging) you to construct a sitemap that flows intuitively.
A handy little tip is to keep number of items found in the navigation bar below seven.
Designing for Desktop Only
When designing your wonderful website, odds are you’ll be doing so on a laptop or desktop. A common problem that arises here is that we forget not everyone visiting our site will be doing the same.
The reality is, 55% of visitors to your site will be on a mobile device.
Therefore, it is crucial to ensure your site is geared for mobile as much – if not, more so – than desktop.
There are three website design options to achieve this:
- Mobile-optimised – a highly advanced for of design, your site will completely reformat itself for different devices, guaranteeing better performance on different mobile devices
- Mobile-friendly – this is quite as desirable as mobile-optimised, but it will still ensure your pages load properly and is easy to navigate
- Responsive – a newer approach favoured for its flexibility, reconfiguring itself on the screen size of whatever device is accessing it.
Good news – Google has made it easier than ever to determine just how mobile-friendly your website is. Punch your URL into Google’s ‘Mobile-Friendly Test’ tool and you’ll receive a judgement from the guru itself.
Website Takes Too Long to Load
How long is your patience for a slow website before you bail?
Evidence shows a quarter of site visitors aren’t going to stick around beyond a five second load time.
We’ll leave you to rate your patience levels against those figures.
The point is – you may have the worlds most spectacular, mind-boggling website ever crafted, but what good is it if no one sticks around to see it?
A mistake we see on the daily is websites that have gone nuts on the plugins and imagery at the expense of an abysmal load speed.
If you’re finding your load speed is taking its sweet time, we suggest sussing out the following.
- Website plugins and themes – hefty plugins and modules can slow your load times right down. They may make miraculous claims about enhancing your website, but if they aren’t super necessary, scrap them. You can also try updating them if you haven’t done so in a while
- Reduce videos – auto-play videos in particular are going to take their toll
- Optimise your images – reduce the image quality (72-dpi is recommended), or just cut back on them altogether if you have a tonne
- Upgrade your hosting plan – if all else fails, it might be time to consider upgrading your hosting plan
There’s also a trove of advanced tricks to hype up your load speed, but in most cases this requires the help of an experienced professional.
Missing Call to Action
If you’ve managed to sidestep the landmine of errors so far, but still aren’t seeing tangible results, there might be a simple answer.
Failing to prioritise your Call to Action (CTA) is the fastest way to waste away any traffic you’re gaining.
Your CTA will depend on your specific business goals. If your aim is to get visitors regularly interacting with and consuming your content, you might implement a ‘subscribe to our newsletter’ button. On the other hand, if you want them to purchase a product on the spot, you might opt for ‘add to cart’ or ‘checkout now’ buttons.
In a nutshell, a CTA is a button that converts your incoming traffic into a customer.
Top tips for implementing a good CTA in your website design:
- Keep the button names short and sharp – start it with a verb to incite action
- Make it stand out – use contrasting colours
- Put it in a practical location that’s easy to spot
- Add an animation to catch the eye – don’t go overboard though, there’s nothing worse than pesky pop ups
Need a breather from the tech-overload we’ve just subjected you to? We fully understand if you want to hand the reins over to a dedicated team of web design experts. Fortunately, Wordly’s team of tech gurus wouldn’t be caught dead committing a web design crime on your behalf. Let’s have a chat about how we can elevate your website design to start making waves in the online sphere.