Google’s webmaster tools to help website owners identify and fix any on-page errors that might be hindering their sites. But in the process, I learned a few tricks of my own from working with thousands of site owners every day. One thing I know for sure is that there are certain mistakes many designers have made when building websites that can make it difficult for visitors to navigate your site and take the desired action you want them to take. It’s not all bad news, though! This article will cover some of the biggest mistakes web designers make on their websites, along with straightforward solutions to fix these errors!
– Badly designed navigation
If you’re like me, you want your website to be simple to use and navigate. The best way to achieve this is by making sure the navigation is user-friendly. For example, spacing out menu items reduces clutter for search engines as well as visitors who are looking for a specific item on your blog or ecommerce site. Another important aspect of navigation is how easy it is to find. When you’re in a rush or looking for something specific, you don’t want to have to hunt around your website–it should be right there in front of you. A great way to accomplish this is by removing unnecessary dropdown menus and including only the most important links right up front.
– Lack of clear contact information
In today’s world, everyone is constantly on the go. If a user finds your website and wants to know more, they’ll want to be able to easily contact you! Your phone number and address are essential (and yes, even social media links!), but so is an email address. Ensure that each page has clear contact information near the top. Do not put this in a dropdown menu–it’s just too easy to miss!
– Conflicting calls for action
Not every visitor lands on your site with the same intention. According to SBA, there are five (5) different website visitor types:
- Window shoppers-they’re looking for ideas and aren’t sure they want to buy
- Prospects-they have a need and know exactly what they’re looking for
- Leads-they’re a little further along in the buying process and you’ve captured their contact information on your site
- Valued customers-they’re regulars who are part of your community
- Advocates-they like your business so much that they want to share it with others.
Your website should showcase the actions that each visitor type needs to take in order to convert. Make sure that each page has one (1) primary call to action in a clear, easy-to-spot location. Keep the other calls to action nearby but not on top of or competing with your primary call to action. This makes it easier for visitors to take the next step and ensures they don’t get distracted by everything else on the page.
– Not using responsive design to present your site across all devices
A whopping 55 percent of online shoppers visit retail sites from a mobile device, according to IBM. As more and more people rely on their smartphones or tablets to browse the web, it’s crucial that your website is designed for a wide range of devices. In fact, Google recently updated its algorithm to favor easy-to-use responsive design over splashy “hot” pages that were meant to attract traffic and visitors from desktop computers only. To ensure your website is accessible and user-friendly across all devices, use a responsive design framework such as Bootstrap or Foundation .
Google recommends including the following attributes for an effective mobile site:
– Easy-to-read text
If your site is full of tiny text and small font sizes, your visitors are going to have a difficult time using it. Stick with sans-serif fonts (example: Helvetica) that are easy to read on smaller screens. Remember that some mobile devices do not automatically zoom in on websites, so it’s best to stick with a font size that’s easy for people to read on the smaller screen.
– Touchable buttons and navigation links
It’s difficult to click a button or navigate a website with your fingers, especially if you’re new to using mobile devices. Google recommends making sure all website elements are finger friendly. This means that text should be easily touchable, while buttons and links should be clickable without any awkward hovering movements.
– Easy-to-find navigation links
If your website uses dropdown menus for navigation, make sure they’re located in an easy-to-spot place! Visitors shouldn’t have to hunt around the screen or touch tiny buttons just to reach the menu items that interest them most. Place the menu in the top header or footer for an easy-to-spot, always visible navigation bar.
For more information about how to create a mobile site that stands out and ranks well, check out this article https://alignmentonline.com/mobile-website-design-best-practices/
– A confusing color scheme and layout
Visitors are scanning your website like a book, looking for the most important pieces of information. You should make it easy for your website visitors to find the information that interests them most without having to search around your site or read through a lot of content.
– Using excessive text, especially with lengthy paragraphs
If you want your website to have an authoritative and trustworthy appearance, avoid lengthy paragraphs of text. However, if you do include long blocks of text on a page, break them up into short chunks using bolding or subheadings. This makes it easier for visitors to read through the content without getting overwhelmed.
If your site design isn’t intuitive, visitors will feel frustrated and may click away or ignore your call to action.
Be conscious of the design decisions you make regarding your website’s layout and information architecture.
– Not using photos to illustrate important points
Photos can help your website visitors better understand the content on your page, so include them whenever possible. Photos of people, especially testimonials from other customers or happy brand ambassadors, can create a stronger connection with your audience. The goal is to make website visitors feel like they can relate to the content on your page, so use photos of real people whenever possible!
To ensure your website is accessible and user-friendly across all devices, use a responsive design framework such as Bootstrap or Foundation. Google recommends including the following attributes for an effective mobile site: Easy-to-read text, Touchable buttons and navigation links, Easy-to-find navigation links, A confusing color scheme and layout , Using excessive text, especially with lengthy paragraphs If you want your website to have an authoritative and trustworthy appearance.
Be conscious of the design decisions you make regarding your website’s layout and information architecture. Photos can help your website visitors better understand the content on your page so include them whenever possible! We hope this article has been helpful in teaching how to fix common mistakes that many designers often overlook when building websites.
For more information about how to create a mobile site that stands out and ranks well, check out this article https://alignmentonline.com/mobile-website-design-best-practices/ For more information on website design mistakes to avoid, check out our infographic below!