Your website is a veritable tool for driving your digital marketing strategy. As more consumers gravitate towards online shopping and websites take the place of physical stores and offices, it has become imperative for businesses and organizations to ensure that their websites enhance their digital marketing efforts.
When audiences are redirected from social media sites to websites, their experience on the website determines their next step. It follows then that if potential customers land on web pages that are ineffective or unimpressive, they will not only take their business elsewhere, but will also have an unfavorable impression of the business or organization. A research showed that 94% of first impressions of websites were design-related. So, the onus lies on web owners to guarantee an effective design that aids a smooth interaction between visitors and the business.
Six web design mistakes
Whether you are a rookie designer who has designed their website with a content management system (CMS) like Wix, or you hired a professional to design one for you on WordPress, these mistakes are likely to occur. Therefore, it’s advisable for you to regularly review your website design and audit your web analytics to identify loopholes that may be weakening your digital marketing efforts.
Invisible communication tools
When new visitors (or returning viewers) land on your pages, they need to be able to communicate with your website or your business. If for some reason they are unable to do this, it defeats the purpose of your digital marketing.
But much more than their ability to communicate with you, is their ability to be able to provide avenues for others to communicate with your business too. For this reason, your website should have communication tools that enable visitors to lead others to you.
These four tools are important for your visitors to communicate with your business and include others in the communication too.
Live chat option on MediaOne
This tool is super effective to help visitors who are anxious to get the information they seek promptly. If you’re selling anything, you should have a live chat feature on your website. Think of this tool as a shopping attendant, helping visitors to get acquainted with your website and leading them to the location of their need promptly. With AI technology, you can also set up chatbots that get visitors exploring your website and making purchases while you’re fast asleep.
Here are things to note when using a live chat function:
- Make sure that the color theme is distinct from the main color of the page—this is to attract visitors to the function.
- Use legible fonts.
- Ensure that the live chat function has been optimized to answer a variety of questions, or you have staff on ground to respond to web visitors.
Some visitors will detest the idea of chatting with a bot or need a more detailed answer to a question. These types of visitors who contact you via your contact form are particularly important leads who should be able to interact with you without searching for the option for too long. These visitors are on your page with a strong intent to make a purchase or collaborate. A contact form will give you an opportunity to set up a business meeting with them to close the deal.
Here are things to note to make your contact form page as effective as possible:
- Make sure it’s visible somewhere in your header or footer—always add it to the menu.
- Make sure that the input fields are clearly visible. This isn’t the page to put a bunch of design features. Make it clean and simple.
- Don’t ask for too much information: the first name, email address and message fields are sufficient. You might decide to add a field for phone numbers but make it optional. Visitors can get spooked if you’re asking for too many details.
- Fill in details of other ways they can reach your business.
- Leave a nice note acknowledging receipt of the message. It’s great if you can add how soon the visitor can expect to get a response and what form it will take (email or phone call). This not only shows that you’re a serious organization, but it also gives the visitor something to look forward to—a great way to keep them thinking about your business instead of simply moving on to another.
There have been times when I have tried in vain to find things on a website. It’s frustrating and utterly disappointing when you have no way to find past posts or a product you’re browsing for. This is why it’s important to always put a search field on your website. You have a short time before the visitor decides that they’re not going to waste any more time searching for something on your website, when they can go elsewhere. Always ensure that your search function is strategically placed—preferably in the header.
But placing a search button isn’t enough. You must make sure that it actually works. So, categorize your products and posts well, so that a simple query can elicit every relevant response in no time.
Don’t overlook this, especially not now when most shopping decisions are digitally facilitated. As I said earlier, the importance of communication is much more than satisfying your visitors, you should also think about the many visitors they can bring through sharing tools like social media, email and instant messaging buttons.
Place these icons at the end of your posts, in your header or footer. People often place these icons on the side of the web page, but I find that this adds to clutter on the page. Headers and footers exist for a reason, use them well. Don’t forget to embed your social media page links in the buttons—check to ensure that they connect to the places where they should.
Here are a couple of reasons why these buttons are so important:
- Your help visitors personalize how they share information from your website.
- It solidifies your authenticity and builds your social media followership. Visitors can immediately see your social media followership and follow you right from your website.
Social media is a good way for businesses and organizations to keep their followers abreast of their activities, so placing these icons conspicuously on your website will make sure that you not only enable visitors to share your page links, but also have them connected to your business.
I find most pop-ups irritating—like pesky flies buzzing around the ears. However, I have also seen interesting pop-ups that persuaded me to respond to the call to action (CTA) with gusto.
So, what makes one pop-up irritating and the other interesting?
Bombarding visitors with pop-ups upon landing on your website is a sure way to make them ineffective and get them dismissed. If you must use pop-ups, ensure that they appear after a considerable time in which your visitors have gotten comfortable on your website.
If you wouldn’t bring tea to the door to welcome a guest, then please don’t set pop-ups to appear as soon as visitors land on your page. Let them get comfortable on your page first, before you present pop-up ads. And if you’re worried about them leaving before the pop-up appears, then you might as well forget about setting pop-ups because they won’t respond to them anyway. Your web content should be interesting enough to keep them comfortable before you serve your ad.
One of the things that make a good pop-up is a good design. How well are you designing your pop-ups? Are you using compelling images and attractive colors? Pop-ups take the viewer by surprise, and it’s important to manage that suddenness with an appealing image. Don’t just muddle up images, icons, and fonts; be as deliberate with your pop-up ad as you are with your web design. Let the viewer see the thoughtfulness behind it.
Right pop-up placement
The key to placing your pop-up appropriately is keeping these three questions in mind:
- Has the reader spent sufficient time to be comfortable on the website?
- How can I place this pop-up without interfering too much with the visitor’s experience?
- How easy have I made it for them to respond to it?
Bearing these in mind will guide you on the right placement of your pop-up ads. The best placements are not too soon, too conspicuous, and incredibly easy to respond to.
Large font sizes, too many fonts, illegible fonts. These are just a few of the things that turn web site visitors off. Avoid busy designs and keep it as simple as possible, especially if your website is designed for your business. What you want to do is inspire confidence in your visitors; they won’t get that feeling if your website is full of several images, wrong fonts, and font sizes. As much as possible, stick with the serif type style (a study of type classifications will guide you in this). A good number of these fonts are legible and can still give your website that professional look.
Serif type style sourced from Fonts.com
Ever seen a web design with dull colors and backgrounds? A color theme so dull and uninspiring that you promptly close the tab? If you felt displeased and confused by it, that’s likely the same way that visitors to your website will feel, if it isn’t bright and inspiring. Colors are a fantastic way to pull audiences in, and a skilled web designer can make colors work effectively to enhance your brand on your website.
What colors are predominant on your website, and do they suit your industry? You will hardly find a skincare brand using dull colors; the colors themselves are a tool to inspire potential customers. Colors and images usually create the first impressions, so your color themes should reflect your brand essence—the spirit of your business.
Ads and banners
Yes, you should generate money, but don’t do it at the expense of your brand. Why should visitors be bombarded with ads before they get a chance to interact with your business? Consider restricting ad placements to certain pages. But if you must place ads on your pages, make sure that they are sparse, related to your industry, and do not interfere with your visitor’s experience on your website.
Here’s a checklist of things to note to avoid a busy website design:
- Fonts (for headers and footers) should not be too large.
- Fonts for paragraphs should be legible, remember the design is about the visitors.
- Don’t have too many banner ads anywhere on your website.
- Ensure that the color theme you’ve chosen correlates with your brand and industry.
- Avoid distracting, flashing ads.
Unattractive images and videos
Pictures are a good way to draw attention to your website. But just as they are powerful to attract audiences, they can also be your website’s problem. Slow loading images, blurry images (especially product images), and images with poor resolution can discourage visitors from remaining longer on your website.
Make sure that the images on your website are clear, appealing, and relevant to the content you’re pairing them with. People are more attracted to attractive websites than boring, uninteresting ones.
Videos have a higher engagement rate. Your website should have a video that shows visitors how your product works, what you do and what your business is about.
Mobile view not optimized
More internet users are doing so via mobile devices like phones, so it’s important for your website to be optimized in their favor. More emphasis is often placed on the desktop design to the detriment of the mobile design. Yet, lead generation will scarcely transform to conversion if your website’s user experience on mobile is frustrating or unsatisfactory.
Have you checked the placement of icons, menu buttons, social tools, and optimized your pages? Does the layout make it easy for visitors to navigate the pages and take the necessary steps that lead to conversions?
Faulty Content placement
Web owners are often ignorant of content placement and how it affects the overall productivity of their brand and marketing strategy. So here, I’m going to discuss a couple of things about content placement and how they influence your website.
Put the subscribe form in a conspicuous place
When visitors land on your pages, they don’t necessarily come with the intent to follow your page. But you can change that with two things: (i) your content, and (ii) a gentle nudge from you leading them in that direction.
Don’t set your subscribe form as a pop-up, a lot of times it’s counterproductive. Like pop up ads, subscribe forms can be a bother, if you place them inappropriately. Visitors don’t want to be harassed into subscribing to your blog or following your posts, they want to feel in control of this decision.
So, here’s what you can do: place them right after a well-written post, beside a post, or have them pop-up halfway into or towards the end of a post.
You should also write a good copy for it, much like the pop-up. Something catchy, fun, and yet serious; letting them know that they’re set to enjoy good articles or information from you—without being spammed.
The subscribe form helps you to keep in touch with leads, as they may not decide on purchasing your product when they visit your website, for any number of reasons. Therefore, it’s important for you to follow-up through email marketing, to reinforce what they’ve seen on your website.
Show reviews on the front page too
Show visitors the glowing praises of existing customers—along with a happy picture. These testimonies will further convince them to purchase your products and refer others too.
Show models using your product on the front page, not just on the store. What this does is that it situates the product in the visitor’s mind, as they picture themselves using the products too.
26 Common Web Design Mistakes That May Affect Your Digital Marketing Campaigns
It is common for most companies to be carried away and focus on a website that feels and looks good rather than that which achieves a company’s marketing goals. A functional website should boost conversions, generate revenue for the business, and achieve its overall objective.
As a website designer, there are common mistakes that can work against digital marketing campaigns. Though these mistakes may seem subtle, there are no doubts that once rectified; they can help increase the amount of traffic, generate leads that boost sales, and establish or cements your brand’s credibility.
A well-designed website should be appealing in terms of content and the general feel but should also be easy to navigate through and address the needs of the visitors.
Let’s explore the most common website design mistakes done by entrepreneurs and small business owners and some tips for fixing these mistakes.
Unclear Call-to-Action (CTA)
A call to action encourages a website visitor to take the desired action, which should predominantly be your website’s goal. A CTA takes various forms; a click button, a text hyperlink, or plain text.
A CTA should be strategic and straightforward, as this is what drives traffic and conversion rates. A good CTA can lead to a visitor filling in a form, purchasing a product, reading a blog post, subscribing, or inquiring about service. However, unclear call-to-action creates confusion and drives away visitors hence reduced traffic on your website.
Here is how you ensure your website has perfect perfect call-to-action with examples.
Invisible navigations on your website do not answer the question “Where am I?”. The visitors end up second-guessing what pages they are on and whether or not the links on the menu will take them to the desired pages. On the other hand, straightforward navigation keeps the visitor focused and oriented on your website, making it easy for them to manoeuvre and easily find what they are searching.
It cannot be frustrating for the visitors to spend more time figuring out how to use the navigation bar, leading them to abandon the site without achieving the intended or desired action and goal.
This informal survey of 3,475 users shows the responses given on why the users might not even consider using your page again.
Poor Use of Content and White Space
In website design, white spaces refer to the blank spaces on the pages. These spaces ensure that your audience is not overwhelmed by your content. Hence, improving readability, clarity and its overall appearance.
Choosing a responsive design ensures that your website is accessible on any of your audience devices, on large screens, laptops, or even on mobile phones. Good use of the white spaces and content makes your website attractive and ensures your audience focuses their attention on the main things on your website.
Using Blurry Images
Blurry images make your website look cheap and unprofessional. When using images on your site, ensure images scale vertically and horizontally with a one-on-one ratio.
Poorly scaled images and large images decrease your website loading time. Slow websites make visitors bounce from your site hence low traffic. The best way to work with ideas is to ensure that you use standard file formats like JPEG, GIFF, and PNG. Consider using CDN to improve your website loading speeds.
Use Of a Generic 404 Page
The generic 404 pages can be a significant turn-off and ultimately a silent website traffic killer. The 404-error usually happens when a visitor clicks on a URL whose page has been moved, deleted, or renamed.
This page can be strategically designed to make it better and appealing to your audience. By creating a headline to let people know they are on the wrong page or listing options where they should go next.
Use Of Generic Stock Images
Using generic stock images on your website creates confusion and reduces clarity for your audience. If you have to use stock mages, ensure that the images are relevant and reinforce your content or the message for your audience.
Using original images or photos for your website is always the best option as long as they remain relevant and focused on the subject matter. Your photos should add meaning to your content besides making your website attractive.
Poor Search Results
A functional search engine for your site is crucial, especially when a visitor needs to master a large website such as an e-commerce one. A good search always provides the most relevant results for queries and can handle hyphens, plurals, typos, and keyword variations.
Forgetting To Including a Favicon
A favicon is an image displayed in the address bar of the browser accessing the site or next to the site name in a user’s list of bookmarks. This technically should be a piece of your brand design that has a transparent background. It makes your website design appear more appealing to your audience and enhances your branding.
Not Using Key Words and Phrases
Keywords and phrases are what visitors use to find your website. It would be best to find out what exact words and phrases your visitors type on their browsers while looking for your products and service. List them out and use them throughout your website. As a result, your website, search engine ranking improves.
Poor Use of Typography
Using unclear fonts on your website decreases cognitive fluency and makes it hard for readers to comprehend and find what they are looking for on your site.
Too many fonts create confusion and many distractions that tend to take away readers attention from important messages. Generally, it’s advisable to stick to 2-3 fonts.
Using A Font Size That’s Too Small
The font size of your web pages should not be too small such that your audience struggles to read. Your minimum font size should be 16px. It would be best to consider very elaborate fonts to enhance readability, especially on the blog pages.
This page explores different ways to add font size to the pages of your website
Using Too Many Fonts
A website should stick to at least 2-3 fonts that match your branding guidelines. Arial(san-serif) is the most commonly used font for the website, with particular fun font highlighting specific words and headings.
This site features good font recommendations and combinations.
A Slow Loading Website
A site loading speed is vital for search engine optimization. A site with a slow loading speed has higher bounce rates, which interferes with traffic and search engine ranking.
Wondering what your website loading speed is? Use this Google’s PageSpeed Insights to check your website speed. If your site is loading slowly, use optimized images and minified CSS to improve its speed.
Minify Your Code
Minification refers to the compression of code, which reduces 10% – 95% of its size by modifying or removing unnecessary characters from the code. As a result, the website runs faster, enabling it to get higher Search Engine Optimization (SEO) score.
Having Too Many Pages
Best website design is simple and offers clarity to your audience by focusing on the company’s goal. A sitemap where you list all the pages of your ideal website ensures you do away with irrelevant pages on your site and focus on the landing pages where you need visitors to perform specific actions.
Ignoring Your Website Visitors’ Questions
There are several things that your website should be clear about such that a visitor should not struggle to find some information. To enhance clarity, always ensure your site is clear on:
What services or products do you offer?
Location or how they can get in touch with you
Missing Image Meta Data
Image metadata is a piece of descriptive text information that is relevant to the image. The description should include keywords, be short, and convey information about the photo to ease understanding.
Double-check your website’s images to make sure they all have metadata that includes keywords primarily. The keywords improve website ranking and accessibility.
Lack Of Image or File Compression
When using images on your website consider using image compression to ensure you get a smaller, sizable and quality image by removing all the redundant data.
Writing Content that is Not Ideal for your Clients
Who is my ideal client, what are their needs, frustrations, and aspirations? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself every time you create content for your audience. Great content should address and satisfy your audience’s needs and goals.
Having very well curated and scanned content eases readability for your visitors.
Not Including SEO Descriptions to Your Site
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) helps your site rank higher based on online searches. SEO descriptions, also known as search descriptions, are short text that helps describe your page content.
Adding SEO descriptions on each page of your website’s content helps you get found by your target audience based on their online search terms. Ensure every content on your blog posts, podcasts, photos, products, or services has an SEO description to enhance your website optimization and ranking.
No Browser Caching
A “cache” is a tool used by the internet to speed up the page loading process. When a browser cache is enabled, the pages load faster. Ensure that your cache in the browser is enabled to enhance efficiency, increase traffic, and avoids visitors bouncing off your website.
Your Checkout/Inquiry/Sign-up Process is Tedious
Who is my ideal client, what are their needs, frustrations, and aspirations? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself every time you create content for your audience. Great content should address and satisfy your audience’s needs and goals.
Having very well-curated and user-friendly call-to-action process improves on efficiency and saves time
Having Website Content that Isn’t Scannable
On an average visit, your website users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average visit; 20% is more likely, which means your content should be precise and straightforward.
The readers are more likely to scan through your content; therefore, use concise paragraphs of 3-2 sentences, descriptive sub-headings, listing highlighted, and bold text as some of the key features to make your content easily scannable. This type of content is more likely to attract and be read by your audience.
Not Having Enough Contrast Between your Text and Background Colour
Having enough contrast between your text and the background color is helpful for your page’s readability. You do not want your audience to struggle to navigate your website pages and figure out words on those pages.
It is also advisable to add a functionality where the colors of the links visited or hovered on change; this will ensure the visitor can know what pages they are on and avoid visiting similar pages.
Website Fails to Load On Browsers
Your website should work on modern browsers without losing any of its functionality.
Though only 20% of the internet users actually read privacy policies, a large portion of the internet users want to know what and how you are going to use their information.
Designing an attractive website is essential for most reasons, but you also need a website that generates revenue by consistently increasing traffic, lead generation, and conversion rates.
These six design mistakes can affect your digital marketing in more ways than you can imagine. The key to keeping visitors on your website is making a good first impression and providing valuable content. But to get visitors to enjoy the latter, you often have to take care of the former.
Take note of these common mistakes and watch your digital marketing produce great results.
The first thing to consider is identifying your target audience, understanding their needs, and figuring out how to satisfy those needs and their goals. Having this in mind will make it much easier to build and monetize your websites that will help maximize profits for your business.
Easily accessible and faster loading websites showcase your expertise in the market and approves and improves the overall brand identity. Avoiding and constantly rectifying the most simple and common mistakes every designer is prone to make is always an excellent place to start.
MediaOne Marketing has a team of website design on standby to audit your website and help resolve these and other errors that may be lurking in the dark. Don’t leave anything to chance – get in touch with us for more details.
Nikola Baldikov is a Digital Marketing Manager at Brosix, specializing in SAAS marketing, SEO, and outreach strategies. Besides his passion for digital marketing, he is an avid fan of football and loves to dance. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter at @baldikovn.