You've spent countless hours making your website into the best marketing tool it can be. A good website will engage, entertain, and entice your readers to covert. Just make sure you aren't making these common web design mistakes that will totally undermine your efforts and cost you money.
1. Not communicating your intention FAST
You have about 4 seconds to grab your readers' attention – so make those seconds count. These days, people are constantly bombarded with information overload. Your readers will move on pronto unless something makes them want to stay. Don't prattle on and on about your company's goals or embracing innovation in your industry. Tell your reader exactly what you have to offer them and why they want it. Don't leave readers confused about your objective with weak statements that don't really mean anything. Nail it on the head from the get-go with strong, active language. Give your readers a reason to stick around and learn more – and do it quickly.
2. Failing to target your ideal audience
Do you know your ideal audience? Many of us may believe our services are for everyone, but that kind of thinking will overshoot your potential customers – costing you money and effort. Figure out your niche audience and cater your site specifically to them. Who are they? What do they want? What specifics can I include in my site that will relate directly to them? For a younger generation, that might be using on-trend graphics, creative illustrations and perhaps an app for smartphones. For 60+year-olds, you may want to try a simpler approach with easy navigation and a larger font. Keep your audience in mind and use features they will respond to.
3. Burying important website features
You know that awesome feature your website has? Make sure it doesn't ends up hidden in an effort to make your website look clean and simple. In journalism, we have a saying: "Don't bury the lede." It basically means the most important elements of your story should be broached first. Similarly, you shouldn't bury your website's important features. Whenever your reader has to search for any features on your site, they're not serving their purpose. Make sure your key features are highlighted and clearly visible to every visitor who stops by your site. If they're not, who's to say anyone will even know they're there?
4. Not having a clearly defined call to action
The target of your website – whether it's selling a product, encouraging sign-ups or gathering information – needs to be clearly defined. Your call to action should be positioned front and center on your landing page – preferably "above the fold." However, your CTA should be more than just a prompt to "click here." Try to offer your readers an incentive to sweeten the deal. Can you offer a free download, a free trial or a coupon code? In addition, use strong, active words in your CTA that tells users exactly what you want them to do – like call, buy or download. Place your call to action strategically on every page, so users won't be left wondering what to do next.
5. Cluttering your website with useless badges
Sure your company has worked hard to win its awards, but plastering a bunch of badges all over the home page makes your site look amateurish and unprofessional. In addition, it makes your website look cluttered and can take away from the overall effectiveness of your site. (Remember, you don't want to hide your important website features.) If you must, post your badges and boast about your achievements in the About Us section of the website – just don't do it on the landing page.
By: Rebecca Desfosse