Did you know? 88% of consumers will research or compare product or service information online before they make a purchase. (via PYMNTS.com)
In today's world, it's critical that your brand or business has an online presence. With many templates available and DIY site hosts, it's getting easier and easier to design your own website. Although it seems like the quickest and most inexpensive option, you might be making a huge mistake that could damage your brand's online reputation, or keep you from getting the most return on your investment.
When it comes to designing your site, there are many different aspects that you need to pay attention to. Along with choosing the right images, graphics and content, you have to worry about the technical aspect - sliders, videos, functionality, user experience, layouts, mobile responsiveness, search optimization and action rules, just to name a few! Here are some mistakes beginners often make, which can cost you web traffic, and more importantly, paying customers.
1. No easy way to contact you.
People don't want to go through 5 pages to find contact information for you. Having a form fill and your information readily accessible on each page is the easiest way to ensure that no matter where on your site your visitor is, they're able to contact you with the click of a button.
2. Your website is not responsive.
Your website looks great on desktop, but what about on mobile? According to BroadbandSearch, not only is mobile traffic up 222% in the last five years, it has also surpassed desktop usage as the way most people surf the web, shop online, use social media, and do other online tasks. It's imperative that you have a mobile-friendly site to keep up with a solid brand reputation.
3. Slow load times.
Having images that are not optimized, or file formats that don't belong on the page, could drastically increase the time it takes for your website to load. If your website takes too long, chances are you'll drive away potential customers who are already accustomed to the fast-paced digital world.
4. Sound that plays automatically.
Not everyone is viewing your website in an environment where they can afford for music or sound to start playing upon visiting your website, or any individual page in your website. Regardless if it's music or sound from a video, users should have the option to choose what plays and when.
5. Poor navigation.
Organizing your menu tabs is critical for people to be able to find exactly what they're looking for. Whether they want to learn more about your company, find out pricing, make a purchase, or even contact you, they should be able to access your menu and make their selection without having to scroll through each page. On each page, can users easily get back to the previous page or the home page? Your navigation must connect everywhere in an orderly way.
6. Too much clutter.
What is the goal of your website? Once you decide what you want your call-to-action to be, then determine the layout for each page. Having too many pages, out of order, or too much information can create confusion and drive visitors away. Keep your website clean, simple and to the point with ONE clear call-to-action on each page.
7. Not capturing information.
Having a place where visitors can leave their e-mail address to sign up for a newsletter, or any type of correspondence, allows you to build a base of potential customers that you can still reach out to long after they've left your website. Not getting e-mail subscriptions? Include a lead magnet. Lead magnets can be an ebook, white paper, template, checklist, guide, or any similar downloadable asset that gives users a taste of the expertise that your company has to offer.
8. Not optimizing for SEO.
Search Engine People shared that 93% of online experiences start with a search engine. Making sure your website is fully optimized, indexed with Google, and has proper page titles, descriptions, headlines and metadata on the backend is extremely important to compete in rankings. Consistently adding new content and doing keyword research is imperative to increase your results.
Having a website for your business or brand is no longer optional. If you want to establish credibility, a professional, customized website is a must.