Strong web design is more than a nice-to-have these days – since most customer relationships are built before you’ve even had an offline touch-point, strong web-design is relationship building. With the evolution of business interactions, a website is often the first touchpoint a consumer will have with your brand. Ensuring that this touchpoint is well designed, flows smoothly, and offers a unique experience is absolutely essential. Below you will find the top eight web design mistakes that you may encounter while establishing your online brand identity.
- Broken Links: This screams unprofessionalism. Having broken links on your website may not only lead to consumers perceiving your brand as outdated, it demonstrates a lack of dedication. Assigning an employee the task of ensuring all website links are live and active can save your company embarrassment, and increase the credibility of your brand. If your website is far too large for individual link verification, there are many online services available such LinkTiger that offer affordable packages that address these tasks.
- Busy Design: Remember that your website should be easy to navigate and visually clean. Although the possibility of including creative flash-based navigation systems is available, it can become a distraction. For someone who is looking to establish a professional website to communicate their offerings, avoiding this is important. This type of design is acceptable in certain instances. Websites aimed at children such as Miniclip and Nickelodeon are more suited to pursue this type of design. Having a design that is too busy may also disrupt its ability to function on multiple platforms. Mobile browsers are best able to handle simple and basic websites.
- Outdated Information: Having content that is no longer current or relevant is a red flag. It perpetuates an image of carelessness and inattentiveness. Although the quality of your offering may be unrelated to the state of your website, all aspects of your brand can affect a consumer’s perception. Combat this by ensuring that any changes your business undergoes are automatically added or edited on the website. It is less time consuming to do this on a continuous basis than having to identify outdated information and update it all at once.
- Don’t Neglect Your Target Market: Instead of rushing to produce a website that is generically designed for the entire internet population, research your target market and their online preferences. For example, if the majority of your customers fall into the senior citizen category, the NIA (National Institute on Aging) recommends some of the following tips: Using font sizes larger than 14pt, Numbering elements in separated sections and reducing the amount of technical jargon. This information is easily found online and can be adjusted to your desired target market.
- Difficult Registration Process: Most websites typically offer a registration option for consumers to become members. Making it easy for consumers to sign up by providing as little information as possible increases the likeliness of their cooperation. Most people are generally uncomfortable disclosing information like their phone number and other personal facts. Omitting unnecessary information from your sign up field requirements will put consumers at ease.
- Speed Optimization: Consumers may decide to click your website link, however, not meeting their expectation of loading times and speed will cause very significant losses in sales. A simple Google search will present a typical consumer with a incredible amount of options. Not providing a quick and easy experience will lead to a selection of an alternative provider. Kiss metrics reports that 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Imagine how many potential customers are lost simply due to technical deficiencies. Customer loyalty is something that is difficult to establish online due to the fast-paced nature of the internet.
- URL Selection: Although a large portion of traffic is achieved through direct links, there remain to be instances where consumers will manually enter your company website in their browser address bar. Keep it short, devoid of symbols and numbers, and representative of your brand. Making it as easy as possible for a consumer to land on your web page is crucial. Allowing multiple URL’s to lead to the same website is also something firms with stronger recognition may consider adopting. For example, Coca-Cola owns many URL domains which can all be redirected to the same page.
- Browser/Device Consideration: Unfortunately, not all web browsers and platforms will display websites identically. Google Chrome is by far the most popular web browser as it is currently the selected browser by 63.9% of the internet. It is important to ensure that your website is attractive on all web browsers, however, it should be optimized for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Furthermore, a mobile-responsive website is one of the most important pieces of the web-design puzzle. With over 50% of B2B traffic coming from mobile, you better make sure that your customers are not spending the majority of their time-on-site pinching and zooming to find what they’re looking for.
Web design mistakes are easy to avoid by conducting research and giving consideration to the perspective of your customers. Remember that the shift from brick and mortar stores to online stores presents great opportunities, but to fully grasp its potential, optimizing your web page should become a key priority.
Although web design is a core part of our service offering at concept9, we think of a website as only a small component of the journey your customers take between becoming aware of your brand and making a purchase. A large part of our digital strategizing time is spent on analyzing customer journeys and optimizing them according to the segments that matter to our clients. To find out more, contact us now!