Whatever sized business you run, a website is essential to your marketing and brand strategy. When building or developing a website you therefore need to be sure that not only is it attractive and professional-looking to visitors, but it tells them clearly about your product and service so that you can increase your sales. If your website isn’t built with these considerations in mind, you could stand to lose a lot of money hiring the wrong designer, or worse still, lose potential revenue that you could be making from a well designed, fully functioning website.
Here are some common pitfalls to avoid with web design:
1. Too much razzle-dazzle
Web design isn’t about dazzling the user with flashy graphics. It is about marketing yourself clearly while giving the visitor what they want. Your design should not just be focused on attracting visitors, but making sure they navigate easily around your site and find the information that they need. If your visitor comes to your homepage and within a few seconds they can’t figure out where they go next for all the colourful objects, animations and general clutter, then it’s time to have a rethink.
2. Mouldy old content
Whenever I visit a website and it doesn’t contain any recent information about the products and services it provides, I normally click off, assuming that the business is no longer trading. This is the case with the online consumer at large. Make sure that you can update your text as frequently as you update your business. A blog linked to your website can really help keep visitors up to date. If hiring a web designer, ask them about maintaining your website or building a content management system so that your business can update its web pages as easily as publishing a Facebook post. Fresh content on your web pages also helps you to move up in the search engine results, so it benefits all round.
3. “What am I doing here?”
You need to make the intentions of your website clear. When a visitor lands on your pages, what do you want them to do? Buy something? Contact you? Subscribe to your newsletter? You need to guide the visitor through your website and clearly state what you have to offer. Why would anybody want to visit your website if they feel there’s nothing in it for them?
4. Death by DIY
Your website usually offers a very powerful first impression of your brand. Unless you are experienced in web design, it is a very bad idea to make your website yourself. It is unlikely that it will do your image justice, and will simply make your business appear unprofessional. Avoid if you can.
5. The wrong designer
They say that you get what you pay for, and for many small businesses this means hiring a friend who dabbles in design or paying a super-cheap budget designer to create a substandard product. In the end, time will be wasted, nerves will be frayed, and both your bank-account and potential revenue-making capacity could be damaged. When looking for a web designer, spend some time and do your research. Look at their portfolio. Do they make the kinds of site you are looking for? Are you able to find any reviews or testimonials? Who are their clients? You will be grateful for taking the time to do some shopping.