Let me preface this by saying that most of us judge a book by its cover. The unpopular opinion is that it is true to quite some extent. While it may or may not apply to people, it certainly applies to products, services, and websites. It’s only fair, right? With the number of tasks we conduct in today’s world, and the number of options we have, a small business owner must do their best to ensure their website design stands out.
It is not all theoretical. As per Stanford’s web credibility research, 75% of users admit that they make judgments concerning a company’s credibility based on their website design. With 87% of shoppers searching for products on the internet, you as a small business owner cannot possibly afford to portray a poorly designed website, which translates into mediocre credibility.
That being said, at this point, most of us might make the mistake of simply seeking newer and better website creation approaches. Nonetheless, before you look into that, I suggest you need to unlearn ways of creating a website that you already know, and that shall effectively and accurately direct you towards creating an extraordinary website.
“Before people can begin something new, they have to end what they used to be and unlearn the old way.”William Bridges
Mistake 1: Slow Website Speed
When was the last time you waited in a queue? Exactly, that is not a pretty memory, and you mostly won’t suggest that to anyone. Now imagine having to stand in a queue when there are other options available with no waiting time. It goes without saying, you will want to go with the latter option.
If your website is taking anywhere more than 2-4 seconds to load, you might want to look into the bounce rate of your website, and it will not be pleasing. As some of you may know, the speed of your website pages serves as a ranking factor to assess its index. As a small business owner, any mistake to slow down your website is simply unaffordable.
In order to ensure your website speed does not make the user leave, it is important to understand the factors that affect your website speed: document completeness, visual completeness, and a number of file requests, to name a few.
Fix 1: Prompt as a Wink Website
You cannot improve something without knowing its current state. Therefore, before applying any of the below-mentioned approaches to increase your website speed, I highly recommend checking the speed of your website as it is at the current moment using tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights and GT Metrix. Post that, here are some of the actionable tips to increase your website speed:
- Try compressing the images on your website.
- Explore another web hosting service (one which is known for its speed).
- Consider reducing redirects.
Mistake 2: Poor Search Options
Many times, when a user comes across something on your website that they (almost) like, they search for similar products or blogs or details that exactly match their requirements. It goes without saying, this becomes a lot more difficult if there is no search bar on your website.
While it is quite a subtle and overlooked aspect of the website, it does most of the work, especially for eCommerce websites. In the more physical-store sense, without an option to search, it’s like you are asking your viewers to explore packages in your warehouse. Inconvenient, right? The same applies to your website.
Fix 2: Searchable Unlike Waldo
Be it for a small business or an established brand, an online presence is crucial. However, a clumsy and cluttered online presence is worse than no online presence at all. On the same front, your website shall have an option to help users navigate through complex and massive websites: a search option.
If you are using WordPress as your content management system (CMS), you can simply place the widget at any position on the website (preferably on the top right corner of every page that includes multiple products, blogs, or services).
Also, make sure your website has an on-site search engine that is relevant to your business and prioritizes the best result. Some of the aspects your on-site search engine shall be able to manage are:
- Typing errors
- Errors in the name of a product or service
- Keyword variation
- Punctuation-centric errors
Mistake 3: Overwhelming Text and Typography
Let me preface this section by saying: no, I do not mean that text and typography are the same in any manner.
By text, I mean the length of text (is it too short and incomplete or too long and confusing) and quality of the text (are the resources cited, is the content well-researched, and is it all updated). On the other hand, typography is how this text is represented on the website.
For instance, cursive fonts look pretty on some websites but you shall make sure if it is readable – easily readable? How many fonts should you use on a website?
While there are several other typography options, you must ensure that the font you choose conveys your brand message to the target audience.
Fix 3: Readable and Comprehensive as Children’s Books
No, a website shall not look like a children’s book. However, most children’s books have visuals and huge font sizes which makes it easier for them to read and understand the book. Similarly, know your target audience: do they prefer minimalistic views or do they like beautiful typography even if it is unconventional.
While doing so, understand that mostly the key component concerning the text and typography of a website is clarity. Therefore, ensure the following elements:
- Kerning: space between the characters (letters, numbers, and symbols).
- Tracking: space between words and/or phrases.
- Leading: space (vertical) between the lines.
Mistake 4: Unresponsive Website Design
As one of the most important features of a website, an unresponsive design can do harm in ways you might not realize yet. Of course, it seems like a thing people say but is not true. Wrong.
If you give it a thought, you will realize that the primary aspect of having an online presence of a business, a.k.a. a website, is to reach out to a wider audience. Be that as it may, without a responsive website design, your website will not be accessible to certain viewers on certain devices.
Mobile accounts for almost half of the traffic around the world, which was 54.4 in 2021 – and this is excluding tablets. Clearly, devices besides smartphones, such as tablets and PS4s, are widely used worldwide to surf the internet. Thus, having an unresponsive website can cost you in several ways.
Fix 4: Responsive on a Click
I strongly recommend beginning by avoiding pieces of content that are accessible or functional only on a number of devices. Also, change your website design as per smaller screen requirements. For perspective, it is not always effortless to navigate through a menu bar of a website using a mobile device. Thus, having a mobile-friendly header can be a starting point for making your website more responsive.
Besides it, here are some of the approaches you can explore to make your website responsive:
- Use images and videos which are responsive.
- Consider touch screens while designing.
- Differentiate and decide elements that will be included separately for each device type.
Mistake 5: No Leverage of Analytics
You can do everything right – from images and responsiveness to speed of a website and various other elements – but it will all be of no worth if there is no direction towards which the performance of a website is indicated.
By analyzing your website analytics, not only will you have an idea of the current state of your website, but will also be able to know the areas of improvement. Additionally, the website will be more optimized, user-friendly, and higher concerning lead generation than ever before.
Fix 5: Track Like a Rolling Stone
Slow loading time, viewers having problems with readability and search bar on the website, and lack of responsiveness – it can all be known only when you get down to the metrics of your website’s performance.
However, I do not suggest spending hours tracking and noting down all the data of your website. Rather, target the ones which are related to your business. For perspective, bounce rate, page views, and so on.
Through this, you can make informed decisions concerning your website.
At any point in a business, you will find yourself surrounded by mistakes or errors or simply things not falling into place. However, the only constant is to make changes with time, not only in our business but also the website associated with the same.
While the above-mentioned aspects are nowhere ‘ultimate guide to better website design,’ they are certainly acting as your wake-up call to analyze the overall performance of your website.
Businesses accross the world have consulted DesignBro to build their brand with logo, website, packaging design and much more.
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Business Development Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the Media and Digital marketing sector, Passionate about innovation and bringing the future into new business solutions.