The website has become the first line of contact for any business, regardless of its niche. This is one of the reasons why more and more businesses are looking to have an active presence online.
According to research, nearly half of all visitors determine the credibility of a website by its design. What this means is that the design of your website matters. It also means that in order to maximize the visibility of the most important parts of your website, it is important to focus on its design. Here are some of the big no-no’s when it comes to web development and design.
You don’t need a crystal ball to tell you that not everybody is going to read every word of the content on your website. In fact, more than half of your website’s visitors are only going to skim the content due to time constraints. All the more reason for you to make sure they are able to find what they are looking for. Rather than using elaborate designs and bright colors that will only confuse your audience, all unnecessary elements of a website need to be stripped so that the information provide is concise and easy to find. The website you build needs to tell the user what your company is all about right away along with how they can access your service.
Big Hero Images
You’ve probably seen them. The image or images that are featured on your website should mean something, or at least be relevant to your brand or service. Most designers and website owners love to use images in websites because, you know, “a picture speaks a thousand words.” But images, regardless of how attractive they are, is never going to substitute informative and relevant content. If you must use a hero image, keep the image within the top section of the screen rather than making it take over the entire screen area.
The trick is to find unique photos that appear more realistic for your hero images and for the images you use throughout your website, rather than using obvious stock photos. Also, business owners sometimes make the mistake of stuffing their website with images that has a negative effect on the website’s load time, which can easily lead to loss of customers.
Too Many Links
Another offender of a badly designed website is one that has too many links that open up new browser windows. This strategy is a bad idea because it invites visitors to leave your website, which defeats the entire purpose of having a website in the first place. Another big no-no when it comes to website design is having too many links to other websites without any way to return back to your website.
The idea of having a website is to keep your audience on your content, and while it is okay to provide a link from an authority site that will provide them with more information, adding too many links is never a good idea. Since people normally pay attention to emphasized text while they are skimming the content of a website, rather than using many backlinks that can distract the visitor, using proper H1 and H2 tags can act as a markup for bots to read and determine what information is on the page.
Inappropriate Design and Font Size
You do not want your visitors to squint to read the content on your website, simply because, that isn’t the ideal situation that most people want to be in. Especially, then nowadays, there’s an endless supply of information available online. This is commonly caused by a website’s design that’s unnecessarily bright and distracting coupled with small text size.
The biggest problem of having a flashy website is that it appears too salesy, which can have the opposite effect and drive away customers. This is one of the main reasons why a minimalistic approach is often considered best when it comes to website design. Websites which feature a clean, sleek design invites visitors and potential customers to learn more about your product or services without coming across as salesy or pushy.
High Load Time
We live busy lifestyles, and as a result, people often do not have the time to waste sitting around waiting for your website to load. One reason for that is, the average human attention span has reduced from 12 seconds to 8 seconds. And it gets worse, turns out, we are even more impatient when it comes to searching for information online.
But, can you really blame us? The truth is that faster internet connections via 4G (and soon 5G) connection has increased our demand for getting quick information on-the-fly. This means, any website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load will have a higher bounce rate, and that’s not going to be good for business. Higher page load times are often associated with using larger images, which is again, why the images used in a website needs to be carefully curated and compressed before used on the page.
Using Short, Boring Content
It doesn’t matter if your website is filled with content, if it's not relevant or long enough, it will not have the desired effect, which is to help your website crawl higher up the SERPs. From seeing the latest trends, one thing is certain, that short firm content, aka content that’s 500 words and lower is pretty soon going the way of the dodo.
Long content doesn’t just many you seem like an authority on a particular subject it ranks higher on Google by gaining more backlinks. Furthermore, if the long-form content you produce on your website addresses a pressing issue with your audience, it will act as a go-to source of information regarding that subject. This, in turn, will help generate more traffic for your website and increase social engagement.
At the end of the day, having a website that’s able to function well on all screen sizes will give you that competitive edge you need to stay ahead in your niche. Since more than half of internet users today either browse or make purchases with their mobile devices, it makes sense to focus on making your website as mobile friendly as possible.