With recent website trends like parallax scrolling, video backgrounds, and mobile browsing, there have been a lot of makeovers across the millions of sites on the internet and not all of them are good. Like the first impression made when meeting another person, your website has but a few seconds to either wow your visitor or send them on to another site.
If you want to make the best impression possible with your website, absolutely avoid the five common website mistakes below.
1. Your website is not using responsive design – Responsive design means that your website is designed to look great and function well across all computers and devices. Since more than half of all web searches are now taking place on smartphones and tablets, a website utilizing responsive design is crucial.
2. Poor navigation – If a visitor can’t find what they are looking for on your site in three clicks or less, they will move on to the next site. That means it’s very important that users can easily find their way around your site and that your navigation is consistent and intuitive.
3. Lack of consistent design – The overall look and layout of your website should be consistent across every page of the site. Creating a new look or design – or both – for each page of the site is not only annoying to users, it leaves them feeling confused and that could send them to your competition’s website.
4. Poor readability – It doesn’t matter how stunning your website is visually, if your visitors can’t easily read the text there, they won’t stay. Use of out-of-the-ordinary fonts and text sizes, or very light text colors, can make your users’ experience less than pleasant.
5. Content – Content is the most important aspect of your website. It’s what your visitors came for. Your content should be of real value to your audience not a collection of generic sentences stuffed with keywords and the right header tags for search engine optimization (SEO). High-quality content will not only keep your visitors coming back for more, but it will have them sharing your content on social media venues and establish you as an authority on the topic, product, or service you are presenting. Quality content, more than keywords and header tags, will improve your search engine rankings. Attention should also be given to the organization of your content. It should be structured in a way that makes sense to the user, with each page titled, and broken up into easy-to-read points of interest as opposed to huge blocks of text. Content should also be regularly updated else the visitor will have no reason to return.
There are dozens more mistakes that can be made like background music (bonus points if it starts automatically), lack of a search function, and failing to capture customer information. A smart website owner should be a perpetual student of all subjects that pertain to their site including content management, marketing, and SEO, and use that knowledge to constantly improve their web presence. Also, pay attention to what you don’t like on various websites you visit and ensure you’re not making the same mistakes on your own site. You’ll be glad you did.