A lot of businesses nowadays are creating a website just for the sake of having one. This strategy may be counterintuitive to what you want to achieve. Your website is a virtual representation of your business, and if you don’t make an effort working on it — you’re leaving money on the table.
Web design is a form of art. It combines function and style. Creating a website that’s intuitive, responsive, and user-friendly takes careful planning. Here are four web design mistakes that are making you lose money.
1. Underestimating Above The Fold Elements
Above the fold in web design refers to the first portion of your page that appears when it loads into a browser. This is the first thing that your visitors see, and this is where they will create their first impressions. Some website likes to put gimmicky stuff on it, but tend to forget the most critical elements that should be seen immediately.
Here are some important considerations when deciding what to put in this section:
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- Never use sliders on your homepage as it does not convert. According to a tulsa SEO expert, no one really watches the slider to wait for the information they’re looking.
- Always put your contact details somewhere above the fold. Website visitors read in a “Z” pattern. Your contact details are either your business address, mobile number, or email.
- Indicate your unique selling proposition (USP) and be concise about it. You can expound on it on your “About Us” section but, for the sake of attracting customers, create a concise USP and place it above the fold. It could be 1-2 sentences outlining what makes you different from similar businesses.
- Put an intuitive navigation or menu bar right at the top. Doing so will let your customers know where they can go next. But, don’t cram all your pages into it, maximum of 5 is best.
- Placing your logo above the fold should be obvious. Your logo will help improve brand awareness among site visitors.
Website visitors are willing to scroll down if you give them a good enough reason to. If the topmost portion of your homepage looks terrible, how would you expect people to scroll past it?
2. Not Updating Your Website
Some business owners tend to become complacent when it comes to their website. After all, if you’ve hired a team of experts to create the site for you, what could possibly go wrong? This kind of thinking will cause your conversion rate to decrease over time.
A website needs ongoing maintenance. For example, an e-commerce website requires daily maintenance. You can’t expect people to buy from you if they see that the products you’re selling are from 6-months ago or your promotions are from a year ago.
Here are more reasons why updating your site is essential:
- It gives the right impression – People will appreciate seeing the latest content from your website as it helps build trust over your website visitors.
- Encourages customers to return – If you’re continuously providing value to your customers, they’ll have reason to come back. Your constant updates could be in the form of newsletters or new promotions which will direct your customers to your website.
- Helps with your ranking – Your search engine optimization effort will be a waste if you don’t maintain your website. Search engines love ranking fresh content, and if your site isn’t updated, you ‘ll eventually lose your rankings.
3. Slow Loading Speed
According to a study made by Akamai technologies, users expect a website to load within three seconds or else they’ll abandon it. A slow website means that you’re not just losing money, you’re also losing traffic which also affects your conversions.
Every second matter and every second wasted means losing money. Here is how you make your load speed faster:
Make fewer HTTP request
80% of your website load speed is spent downloading your stylesheets, images, scripts and other elements. For each site element, an HTTP request is made. In short, using fewer elements or combining some elements to make fewer HTTP requests can increase your site load speed.
Compress image files –
Image files are often big which takes time to load. Compress your image files and use appropriate image sizes for optimal load speed.
4. Unresponsive Website
An unresponsive website will load differently when viewed in different screen sizes. For example, your site should respond properly when displayed on a larger screen and it should also have no problem rendering on a mobile device.
Check your website traffic in relation to its performance in different screen sizes. Free tools like Google Analytics can help give you an in-depth view of what screen sizes are being used to view your website.
If you’re unconvinced, here are some benefits of having a responsive website:
More traffic –
People have an ongoing access to the internet mainly because of their mobile devices and having a responsive website means that you can leverage this traffic.
Increased user experience –
First-time visitors of your website will appreciate the effort you’ve put in making your site responsive. This increases the chance of them coming back and potentially your chances of conversion.
It helps your SEO efforts –
Search engines favor responsive websites mainly because they have the same URL regardless of what device they’re being viewed at. This makes it easy for them to index your web pages and ultimately increase your rankings.
Now that you’re familiar with some of the most common web design mistakes, it’s time to perform an audit of your website. Look for areas that need improvement and work on them. Always consider your users and what would make their experience better. Don’t let a poorly designed website prevent you from earning the profits your business deserves.