Post contributed by Heroic Search
Web design – how important is it?
Very. In fact, 77% of agencies contend that bad user experience is a major weakness.
See, your website is like your shop window. It’s the first thing that people process when they land on your site, and if it’s difficult to navigate your bounce rate will be high and your conversions will be low.
Web design isn’t just about aesthetics – it’s about many things including performance, lead generation and business growth. Let’s take a look at the top web design mistakes that could be proving to be a massive turn-off to your customers.
#1 Slow Loading Pages
We could talk all day about why slow-loading pages are really harmful to your conversions.
39% of site visitors will exit if your images take too long to load. But how long is too long?
Over 47% of site visitors say that expect a website to be up and running in just 2 seconds. If it takes as long as 3 seconds, you might lose those visitors. According to the same study, 79% of visitors are less likely to return to your website if it takes too long.
Site speed, then, is an important part of your web design. Run your website through a site speed tester to find out how fast it’s loading on both mobile and desktop.
What causes slow website load time?
There are many reasons, including too much traffic and server location, but when it comes to web design here are 3 things you need to keep in mind:
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- Images – An image that is too big is really going to slow you down. If you’ve got lots of big images, you need to cut them down to size.
Image format is also the key. The internet likes GIF, PNG and JPG files but hates BMP and TIFF files. Images should also be compressed using any of these free image compression tools.
- Too many plugins – If you’re using WordPress and have many plugins, this might be the major cause of your website being extremely slow. Go through your plugins and see which ones might not be necessary and can be deactivated or removed.
Bonus: To find out if your website is slow and what might be causing it, you can use tools such as GMetrix and Google Page Insight Tool
#2 Your Website Is Not Mobile Friendly
If your website isn’t responsive in 2018, you’re losing out on lots of potential customers and driving them away.
A lot of your traffic is coming from mobile devices.
The problem when it comes to web design is that, when you’re putting your website together, you’re priming it for desktop. So while it might look great on desktop, it will look totally horrible on mobile.
If you’re looking for a showcase of best mobile-friendly sites, you can see excellent in Media Queries gallery.
If you’re using WordPress you have many options available to make your website mobile-friendly. Also, WordPress has millions of mobile-ready themes to choose from to make it extremely easy for you to create a website that will look amazing on all devices.
A lot of the time, it will be a simple case of rearranging the elements so that your site looks good on mobile, but there will be other web design tricks you need to take into account, too. For example, if two links are placed too close to one another, it will negatively impact on user experience. When someone goes to click on one link with their finger, they might press the wrong one by mistake.
#3 A Badly Designed Logo
Does your logo really matter? Like heck it does! It’s the face of your brand. Every single serious business has one, from big companies to smaller ones. Your logo is an important part of your branding and should be treated as such.
It’s crucial for your logo to represent who you are as a brand and to make sure it resonates with your target audience.
Crafting a logo isn’t easy, but there are tools like Shopify’s logo maker that help.
As well as crafting an eye-catching logo that’s invested in your brand’s identity and values, when it comes to web design you also need to strategically position your logo on your website.
The logo also should be highly visible and linked back to your home page.
A Book Apart has a beautiful logo placed on the upper left of their website, which is usually where you’ll find most of the logos. The other popular place for logos is in the top center of the page. No matter where you decide to put it, make sure it’s distincs and stands out from the rest of the content.
#4 Vague Headlines and Titles
When it comes to web design, where you place your headline matters.
Not just that, but what your headline says matters a lot, too.
Just a few words is all you need, but those few words can skyrocket or kill your bounce rate and conversions.
If your headline tells your visitors nothing about what they can expect from your website, they will quickly bail.
It’s also important to not include words that look spammy in your headlines. Users are becoming more internet savvy and tend to avoid specific words such as “free”.
Here are some headline writing tips:
- Place your headline at the top of your page
- Make sure it stands out
- Keep it short but compelling
- Outline the benefits – what does a site visitor stand to gain by exploring your website more? Why should they be spending time here?
A headline should be much bigger than the rest of the copy. It’s your chance to grab a site visitor’s attention and tell them exactly what your offer. You only have a few seconds to convince them so make it count.
#5 Too Much Text
All the best websites break up their text into small, bite-sized paragraphs. At most, a paragraph will probably consist of just 5 sentences. Often, it will consist of just 2-3.
Why? Because it’s so much easier to read.
Internet site visitors have a very short attention span. If your website is a mass of text that resembles a novel, it’s going to be hugely off-putting. Internet users want the information to be accessible, easily available and digestible.
Here are some tips for writing a better web copy:
- Keep your paragraphs short – use 2-3 sentences
- Add subheadings to help guide the reader so that they can quickly scan your site
- Break key information up into bullet points
- Be engaging and conversational with your tone
#6 Website That’s Too Hard To Navigate
Sure, you know where your product pages are – but do your visitors?
If your website is like a maze, a visitor might make a bit of effort at first to find the holy grail, but eventually, they will give up.
A good website is one that’s super easy to navigate. The buttons are clearly outlined and easy to see, and nothing is hidden.
Hope Spring has gotten it right. Their website is super easy to navigate, with clear CTAs and drop-down menu names.
#7 No Customer Testimonials
Lastly, if you’ve designed your website but left out customer testimonials, you’re losing.
People trust online reviews and testimonials of others. User testimonials give your site major credibility and help to build trust. They’re a key form of social proof. Without them, a customer who is already unsure about you will probably decide not to buy from you.
Where to place them? The best place is your homepage – right where people can see them as they land on your site. Automatically, it lends your site credibility. The best practice is to publish 3 or 4 of your best reviews on the home page and then link to another page that lists all of the reviews from all your customers. You can see a good example of a testimonial page on our site.
These are the top web design mistakes that could be driving your customers away. The good news is that they’re all easy to resolve – so get to it!