Even if you have hired a web designer for your business website, it always pays to know a bit more about the web design process so that when you are talking to your web designer, you have a basic idea of what you want and what is being delivered to you.
I don’t mean to say that you should develop an expertise, just enough knowledge to have a conversation not to get caught by surprise when your web designer is not up to the mark and ends up committing mistakes that won’t just cause embarrassment, but may even cost you business opportunities.
In this post I’m listing some fundamental web design mistakes your website should be saved from. Some mistakes are design related, and some happen because your web designer may not understand the online audience the way he or she should. Here we go…
1. NOT FOCUSING ON YOUR USERS’ NEEDS
Remember that you are getting a website designed to make it easier for people to do business with you. You want to get more business. If there are online business opportunities, you don’t want to miss them, you don’t want your competitors to lap them up. You are not getting a website designed so that your web designer can get a design award.
Hence, the entire purpose of your website is to provide maximum help to your visitors so that they can become your customers and clients without getting distracted, or without getting annoyed.
Make sure that your web designer has created a friendly information flow that helps your visitors make up their minds and encourages them to become your customers and clients.
2. NOT MAKING IT CLEAR RIGHT AWAY WHAT YOUR WEBSITE STANDS FOR
It is absolutely necessary that as soon as people land on your website they know what you sell or promote. Nothing should be left on guess work. The content and other elements of your website shouldn’t assume that people will draw their own conclusions.
For example, if you provide sofa repair services your headline should be something like “We provide sofa repair services.”
There should be no ambiguity.
3. NOT A MOBILE FRIENDLY LAYOUT
This is something I have written on my website time and again. Your design should either be completely liquid — it should look good on all screen sizes — or there should be alternative versions for different screen sizes and your website should automatically know which version to show according to the device being used. Your web analytics tool will easily tell you that more than 70% of your website traffic comes from mobile devices these days and if your website does not look good on mobile phones, you will be turning away most of your customers and clients.
4. NOT AN SEO-FRIENDLY DESIGN
Although search engine optimization is treated as a separate field, your web design also plays a big part. Your website is all about the information your want to communicate. Ideally, just 30% of your website should be the source code and 70% should be the information.
If there is lots of junk code on your website and it takes a long time for search engine crawlers to reach your content, it has a negative impact on your search engine rankings.
Removing unnecessary code, or avoiding it, also keeps your website lean and loads it faster on all devices — fast-loading websites get extra SEO marks.
All the images must have ALT attributes so that the algorithms can make out what the images stand for. The content of your individual web pages must be organized using appropriate HTML tags because it helps people and crawlers scan your content without having to go through individual texts.
5. NOT INCORPORATING ANALYTICS
Without analytics it’s like driving your car without headlights at night, on a road without street lights, solely depending on guess work and luck.
You need to know how people interact with your website. Which elements they use the most. What search terms bring people to your website. Which web page makes people leave your website.
You need to capture data at crucial stages because then the intelligence contained within this data helps you further improve your web design and content.
You can use analytics to measure the performance of all vital components of your website and your web designer must know how to incorporate the appropriate analytics code without obstructing search engine crawlers.
These are the fundamental 5 mistakes your web design should avoid. Are there more web design mistakes to avoid? Sure. There are hundreds. But these are the fat ones, the ones that can most negatively affect your website. Take care of these and your website is good to go.