A website overhaul can bring new energy to your brand or business but getting your website up and running shouldn’t feel like you are sprinting towards a finished product. It’s a marathon – just like maintaining and growing your user base.
We have outlined some major no-nos in the world of web design for you. Have a scan through this article to make sure you are not haemorrhaging users due to bad design – losing out on conversions, impressions, and all that other good stuff. If you are guilty of quite a few of these and you care about your online presence, it might be time to act.
Slow Loading Times
Slow page load times are frustrating for any user and may lead you to lose out on both current and potential customers. Kissmetrics found that “47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.” They also saw that if your page takes longer than 3 seconds then 40% of users will abandon that page. As major sites are working to reduce their load times and general speed, it’s becoming very easy for less-maintained sites to stick out like a sore thumb. Check how your current website holds up using Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
Bad Mobile Experience
Last year, the Telegraph reported that mobile web usage had overtaken desktop for the first time ever. Instead of having a separate version of your website for mobile users, it’s best to have one single responsive website that adjusts to users’ displays. Responsive websites perform better in Google’s search rankings. The result is a website that is appealing regardless of the resolution being used. Responsive design means a better experience for the user – saving them the trouble of pinching, zooming, and adjusting to see the content that you want to show off.
You Don’t Have A Blog
Blogs aid your website on multiple fronts. Not only do they increase your search engine optimization by using carefully chosen keywords but fresh content is also vital when you’re competing for search engine ranking. An ever changing website is seen to be more important by Google. In addition to these benefits, well written blogs can show off your industry leader status. Blogs also help you connect with customers and offer the opportunity for them to share your content. A website overhaul can set up the technology you need to deliver those important blog posts.
It’s Hard For You To Update Your Website
You shouldn’t have to reach out to your web designer whenever you want to update your website. They should have set up a content management system (CMS) like WordPress, which would enable you to add products, services, blog posts, and more, without diving into the back-end of your website. Using a CMS means that any employee can easily edit, alter, and post content to different sections of your site.
Lack Of Share Buttons
Those pretty looking share buttons at the bottom of most of the web enable users to do your marketing for you. One of the best usage cases is enabling customers to share a link after ordering a product. This kind of share button taps into the user’s post-purchase excitement. It pays well to have a sociable site.
This is the bane of most web designers’ lives – making sure that new websites operate properly on old computers and devices that are still in use. Although it may be an annoying task for the designer to complete, it’s vitally important that your website’s user experience is the same for everyone. Small hiccups due to incompatibility mean that you may lose out on that section of the population who are trapped in the early 2000s.
Have you ever loaded up a website and not been sure where to click? Over the last decade, user experience (UX) has developed into its own field of research – your designers should be familiar with industry standard techniques that guide visitors to the important pages with as little friction as possible. If your website looks good but is difficult to navigate, users can quickly become bored and frustrated.
Bad Bounce Rate
Watching your website’s overall hit count grow and grow may not mean what you think. The bounce rate is the number of users that arrive on your website and leave before visiting any other page. Page load times, bad navigation, and compatibility issues can all cause this. You can use Google Analytics to see which sections of the population have the highest bounce rate. Perhaps those with a specific device are having an issue viewing your content and are leaving straight away – this would point to bad responsive design.
High Risk Of Being Hacked
Security holes are more common on websites that utilize old technology. Choosing a web designer that is aware of the industry’s security standards will save you the trouble of downtime and the potential loss of consumer trust that follow a cyber attack. For example, your error messages should only provide minimal information to your users to ensure that secret information, such as database keys, are not leaked. If you perform a website overhaul, make sure that security for your data and users are at the top of your priority list.
It’s Starting To Look “Old”
As time goes on, all websites will eventually look out of date. Major players like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram stay ahead of the curve and force updates as they study user experiences and introduce new technologies. If your website was designed to be updated then things like tweaking your theme, and adjusting basic layout and images, should be easy for any professional designer and will keep your website looking fresh to new customers and old ones too.
Your colors, images, and fonts should complement the overall design of your website. Often, websites will be updated by non-designers and, over time, the cracks can start to show. The design of the services and products that you offer should also be in-sync with your website. Your brand is closely tied to your design and it should be memorable for the right reasons.
Low Resolution Or Stock Images
Your website may look great on mobile but for people with high resolution desktop or tablet screens those images may start to get blurry. Stock photos change how trustworthy your website feels to users, especially if they’ve seen the stock photos elsewhere. All pictures but especially hero images (large homepage banners) should be personal to your products or your brand.
No Social Media Integration
Social media is a must for everyone. Regardless of your message, having a digital footprint is so important as it will drive most of your website’s traffic. The design of your website should flow into the banners and avatars of your social media accounts. Keep your brand constant and obvious.
Unsubtle Use Of Pop Ups
Be careful with the pop ups – even if they are leading to clicks. Make sure that any aggressive advertising or marketing has been A/B tested to make sure you aren’t siphoning off your user base. Customer-service type portals, which simulate a chat box, can be used successfully but be sure that you respect the user’s screen space.
No Calls To Action
Although calls to action are more of a marketing technique, they are best used when the call to action goes hand in hand with design. Users should immediately understand what your website, services, or products are about. They should be told what to do. They need to explicitly understand what is on offer. Shout it at them if you have to – otherwise that bounce rate will start to rise.
Worried that your website is falling behind the times? Reward your users with a website overhaul. Reach out and contact us today.