There are no excuses for having a website that looks like a created ten-year-old kid created it. There are, also, no reasons why your site should load slower than your old dial-up modem. (Big shout out to everyone who remembers 56k!).
Unfortunately, at Soapbox Digital Media, we’ve seen these types of websites too many times. Remember: a site that looks unprofessional will lead to your businesses losing customers. And money. Fact.
We understand why some small businesses try to create their websites by themselves. They think it will save money and give them more control over the site. It won’t.
Most of the time, company owners don’t grasp the concepts of good web design. And this leads to them creating a website that doesn’t look or perform great.
Good Web Design: What is it?
Good web design combines form and function. By form we mean:
- appealing colors
- legible fonts
- eye-catching photography
- consistent branding, etc
The above elements invoke an idea of what your business is like in the viewer’s imagination. If your website looks amateurish, so will your business.
By function we mean:
- useful content
- simple to navigate
- easy to view on mobile, tablet & desktop
- quick loading time
For instance, 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
So a good site will be pleasing to the eye, navigable, informative and usable.
Now we know what makes a good website, let’s look at the opposite side; what makes a site bad.
From our experience, these are the common web design errors small business owners make.
Web Design Mistake #1: Too Much Going On
Some people think that when it comes to web design more is more. They cram every inch of the screen with information.
Research shows that the first few seconds of your web page loading are the most important. Users initial impressions tend to be almost the same as when they’ve spent a lot of time on a web page.
It’s important that potential customers can see what you do in an instant.
You need a direct message, which they can understand in seconds. If they don’t, they may click away to your competitor.
Another problem created by having too much information on your site is it can confuse the user. That’s why there should be clear content regions on the page.
Web Design Mistake #2: Too Little Going On
At the other end of the scale are websites with next to nothing on them. Minimalism is a popular design trend, and when it’s done right it works. For example, check out Google’s homepage. You can search for what you’re looking for; nothing else.
A lot of small business websites are enigmatic. They leave far too much to their customer’s imaginations. If people have to guess what you do, then you’re making a fatal mistake. Your website should show what your services does in order of importance to your business.
Say you’re a general builder whose most popular service is roofing. If it is, make that the primary focus of your website’s homepage. Then create other subsections, which show another aspect of your business.
By ensuring all the info on your site is useful, you will look like an expert in your field.
Web Design Mistake #3: Poor Content
When it comes to your website, content is king (or queen). Your content speaks to your customers about the products or services your business offers. So it’s important that you:
- Cut out all unnecessary words
- Use short sentences and paragraphs
- Create headlines for each new section
- Use visual elements
It is, also, important to be mindful of the fonts you pick and how you lay the content out on your page. Select a typeface that reflects your branding. Make sure it’s legible, too.
Web Design Mistake #4: Pointless Images
Images are a fundamental element of web design. Photographs or graphics can communicate complicated thoughts in an instant.
Research has revealed we can process a picture in 150ms. Fast, right? It takes twice as long to understand words.
Another problem is that many small businesses use unrelated images that mislead visitors. Worse than that, they use low-quality photographs, which make their site look unprofessional.
If you have the budget, it’s best to invest in professional photography. Failing that, buy some relevant stock pictures.
Web Design Mistake #5: Hard To Find Contact Info
A lack of contact information is the worst mistake a small business can make. The moment visitors decide to make contact; you need to make sure they can find your details.
If a potential customer has to hunt through your site for your phone number, they will get annoyed and leave.
Make sure that your contact information is only a click away. Having things like your phone number or email in a fixed header can help. We’ve, also, found that having a contact form on every page can boost enquiries, too. Make it easy for users to get in touch. People don’t like to search for too long.
Web Design Mistakes: how to fix them
As we said at the beginning of this article, lots of small businesses try to make their own website. They think using a web designer will be expensive. But web design doesn’t need to cost the earth.
Here at Soapbox Digital Media we make affordable websites. We create sites that are free from mistakes that will lose you money in the long run. Your website is an investment in your companies’ future. And we’d like to show you how we can help you shape your future online.
Call 0141 429 1356 and book a free web design consultation now.