Building a website for your business, or updating your current website to something new, can be exciting! But, it can also be stressful. You’re running a business! The last thing you need on your plate is learning how to design an optimized website that will accomplish your goals.
Working with a team who is trained in creating the user experience and ease of navigation your customers are looking for will not only save you time and give you access to quality resources, but also incorporate new technology and keep SEO ranking stable.
Regardless of how you go about a refresh to your online presence, here are the top 10 mistakes to avoid when building your website in 2023.
Nothing is more frustrating when you are a pending customer and have finally made the decision to visit a brand’s website to be met with slow load times. Did you know that 40% of visitors will abandon the website if it takes longer than three seconds to load? An average load time should fall between one to two seconds.
So how can you do this? Web designers all have their own tricks of the trade they use to keep load times to a minimum. However, the most basic of the tricks are to cache your website, make sure images are optimized, and reduce your redirects. Where you choose to host your website will also make a difference.
There are many tools on the internet to test your website’s load speed like solarwinds pingdom.
Now that your website has loaded for your visitor, they have to be able to read what you have on your site. Using script fonts, specialty characters, and other unique fonts can prove challenging to users. Another challenge is the color you use behind the text. For example, yellow is always difficult to read, and a bright background may be a bit glaring making the user’s eyes strain. Any time there is a barrier of easy access to where the user wants to go, there is a high chance that the user will abandon the site altogether.
The best resource for choosing your font is searching for what is available in Google Fonts and what is close to your overall brand aesthetic. As far as background is concerned, a clean white slate is always a great default. Add color into other elements through images, buttons, etc.
Speaking of brand aesthetic, your website should be an extension of your business online. If there is a poor connection of your website looking opposite of what your typical brand is in person, through social media, and other marketing efforts – you risk losing your visitor.
Check out this earlier blog post about creating a brand experience that works for your business.
Having poor navigation can be frustrating for your user. When someone visits your website, there is typically a goal in mind. That may just be information gathering – browsing your site to better understand what you do, but it can also be a visit for business (booking a meeting, selling retail, etc.).
It’s best practice to have a clear navigation bar at the top of your page that groups pages of the website in obviously related grouping. Adding search features, filters, and suggested content can also help move your website visitor throughout your site.
The content itself on your website is just as important as the way it is organized. Having large blocks of text will deter visitors from reading to understand what you have to say. Using short sentences, bullet points, and “taglines” promoting the products, services, and information that is most important will help guide your users.
You have great fonts, a clear background, and awesome promotional content. But having a weak call to action (CTA) ultimately defeats the purpose of your website – to make a sale or book a service. Having clear buttons, links, and actionable verbiage will make the possibility of transaction more likely. Need some ideas? Here are a few popular CTAs:
Over 59% of website traffic comes from a mobile device. Not having a responsive website that adjusts to a smaller window while keeping the aesthetic and usability is detrimental to your online business. Some small details to consider when designing your site for mobile responsiveness: expand the padding around the edges of your pages, remove unnecessary images, ensure fonts will be legible on a smaller screen, and make sure links are accessible by a single tap.
What is the point of investing in a website if no one can find it? Poor SEO will drop your rankings on Google making it harder for organic searches to pull up your business. Understanding local SEO marketing, adding sitemaps, and even making sure your website is ADA compliant can help boost your rankings.
To learn more about increasing your website traffic, click here.
Although a small detail, it is important to list contact information on your website. Even if it is a form and your email/phone/address is hidden, it will help create a community with your customers and encourage interaction. For ideas on what pages your website needs for success, visit our last blog post here.
The last mistake to avoid when building your website that we will share is the overload of red-flag elements. “Red flag” is just another way of explaining that little voice in the back of your user’s mind that questions if your website is legitimate and/or trustworthy. Avoid any element (photo, tagline, colors, pop ups, etc.) that can trigger a spammy feeling in your users.
If your website looks like it is something out of Y2K, there are misspellings and broken links, and is unsecured – it could lead to users leaving your website quickly.
Building a website for your business is a big step! And we know it can be a lot of work. Teaming up with professionals could be the answer to making sure your website is done right – giving your business the best first impression possible.
Learn what Vela Creative Co. can do for you and your online presence.
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