5 Mistakes to Avoid When Designing a Website

Written on 07 March, 2016 by Lisa Shannahan
Categories Web Design & ContentTags marketingonline marketingweb design

As a small business owner today, your website is not only likely to be the first point of contact with customers, it should also be the lynchpin of your marketing and branding strategy. To maximise your potential, it’s pivotal you create a great user experience through your website design.

Discover five of the most common mistakes website builders fall foul of and learn how to avoid them.

1. Poor navigation

When a prospective customer lands on your site, they’re most likely there to complete a specific task. Maybe they want to get in touch right away or they're simply looking for a little more information about your business. Whatever their intention, it's your job to make it easy for them to find what they're looking for.

Hence, having simple, self-explanatory navigation is a must for all websites. Include a prominent navigation bar at the top or side of the page that allows users to jump to their desired location quickly and easily. If your website makes it easy for them to find what they’re after, they are more likely stay on the site for longer and contact you to find out more.

2. Weak calls to action

Likewise, as a user makes their way through a website, it should be clear what their next step is. What do you need from your visitors? A sign-up? A purchase? A subscription to your newsletter? Guide users with clear and concise calls to action (CTA) that show them what to do next.

Place a CTA prominently at the top of the page as well as after short paragraphs of copy to encourage customers to click.

5 mistakes to avoid when designing a website

3. Busy, cluttered pages

A webpage packed with images, text, buttons and videos might be designed to tempt a user, but in many cases it's also likely to overwhelm them. What do you do when you can't see a simple answer or logical step forward? You hit the back button.

To help visitors move forward, keep the design on your webpages simple, logical, mobile friendly and focused on helping users get where they want to be – whether it’s a product landing page, sign-up form or your business contact details.

4. Unstructured content

On a similar note, your website needs to be well structured and make logical sense. It's not enough to have all of the right elements – you need to have them in the right place. The last thing you want is to accidentally send someone who's near the end of a sales cycle right back to the beginning.

Spend some time projecting customer journeys through the content on your site and work out how you can best guide users through the pages and towards a conversion.

5. Lack of social links

The online world is a social one, and if you have a presence on social media platforms (and you should) you can make the most of your assets by displaying links to your social profiles prominently on your website.

These can be very valuable on product pages, particularly if you have photogenic products, or content that people are likely to share.

For more information about obtaining reliable online services for small businesses, get in touch with the Webcentral Build My Website team today.

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