38.5% of internet users judge a business by their first impression of its website. They’ll leave and try another if it’s poorly designed. 

Creating a clean, easy-to-use site is how you keep customers in the digital age. Knowing what to avoid is just as important as knowing what to add. 

Read on to learn how to avoid 8 common business website design mistakes.

1. No Optimization

92.3% of internet usage comes from a mobile device. 65.6% comes from a laptop or desktop. 27.3% comes from tablets.

You’ll need a mobile-friendly website that’s also optimized for these other devices to keep users from clicking away from a site that doesn’t work on their preferred device. If they do, you’ll have a higher bounce rate and reduced traffic, which will negatively affect your SEO.

Running a separate mobile version of your website isn’t great for your web design budget because it’s costly and time-consuming. Having one that works on every device will lower your long-term maintenance costs. 

2. No Accessibility

At least 16% of the global population has a significant disability. Your business website needs to be accessible wherever users access it and whoever they are. To keep accessibility high, make sure to add enough:

  • Color contrast
  • Alt text for images
  • Visual focus indicators
  • Accessible names and labels

These changes have other benefits that make them worth implementing into your business website design. They reduce screen fatigue and improve your brand image.

3. Inefficient/Unnecessary Features

Certain features that may have once improved a website are now obsolete and inefficient. They’ll increase your loading speed and increase your bounce rate. Avoid adding:

  • Large image and video files
  • Autoplaying videos
  • Complex animations

Pop-ups aren’t always a design mistake as long as you keep them short and clean. Use website metrics and user feedback to see which ones visitors engage with and which ones make them want to click away. 

4. No CTA or Clear Purpose

Potential customers don’t go to business website pages until they want to buy a product or have a problem they need fixing. If your site doesn’t clearly show them you give them what they want, they’ll click on another.

One of the best ways to do this is to have a CTA or call to action. It lets customers know what you want them to do on your site.

You’ll also need an easy-to-access Contact Us page. It should say what your business does and where they can reach you if they have any questions. 

5. Poor Navigation and Search

Even if you have a clear purpose throughout your website, visitors won’t be able to see it if your navigation is poor. The last thing you want is for it to feel like a labyrinth they have to stumble through.

Create a clear hierarchy and a menu that’s easy to find and use. The navigation needs to be optimized for different devices. For larger websites, you may need to split parts of it into categories. Do the same for large pages such as a  blog with hundreds of entries.

A search box is another way to help users navigate your site. Make sure it’s easy to find, can handle variants of their search terms, and offers auto-complete if necessary. 

6. Poor Security

There’s a new cyberattack every 39 seconds. 43% affect small businesses.

Website hacks and attacks get blamed on the IT department, but they can also be business website design mistakes. Design your site with security in mind from the beginning.

63% of internal data breaches involve compromised passwords. Require strong ones from your customers and employees and use HTTPS to protect their login credentials. Use strong authentication systems such as two-factor authentication.

7. Poor Content

Written content goes beyond your blog. Map out the pages you need and make sure they have the words that your client wants to hear without overwhelming them  

Write as if you were speaking directly to your ideal clients. Find out their preferred:

  • Tone
  • Style
  • Length
  • Keywords

Most visitors prefer content that is scannable. They’d rather look over it to find the most important parts than read every word. You can increase scannability by using bullet points and images.

Headlines are even more powerful because they increase your SEO. You should have an SEO description for every page, post, and product on your site.

The way your written content looks is as important as other visual elements on your site such as images or color schemes. Choose a small selection of clear fonts that go together. Pick the right size and space between each character. Save color for hyperlinks to set them apart from the rest of the content. 

8. Slow Website Loading Speed

Most internet users expect sites to load within 2 seconds. Conversions drop 20% with every extra second of load time.

Large images are one of the most common business website design mistakes and the most common reason for slow loading speeds. Check the size of all your images before uploading them and make sure they’re compressed.

Caching is another way to improve website performance because it saves data to be used later. Most web design tools include plugins that do it for you.

You should also avoid what’s known as “unclean coding” when creating your website. Visitors may not be able to see it, but they’ll notice longer load times from elements such as:

  • Excessive white space
  • Inline styling
  • Comments that increase the size of the website style sheet

Where to Get Help to Avoid Business Website Design Mistakes

Avoiding common business website design mistakes gives viewers the best first impression, but it involves more than creating visually appealing pages.

Optimize your website for any and all devices and add accessibility features. Avoid unnecessary components that could annoy your viewers or slow down your site.

Make it easy to navigate and clearly indicate what you can do for them. Keep your viewers’ data secure, write content they want to read, and make sure your pages load quickly so they won’t click away.

CAE Marketing Consulting is a results-driven marketing agency. Contact us for web design services today.

David Morton

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