5 Common Web Design Mistakes Small Businesses Make (and How to Avoid Them)

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In today’s interconnected world, websites play an integral part in the branding and marketing of every company. A web design mistake will directly affect your customer relationship and can have a negative impact upon your business.

In order to create an awesome user experience for your clients and make sure you are engaging them, avoid making the following mistakes:

#1. Spelling and Grammar Errors

Spelling and grammar mistakes can make your website look unprofessional and detract from your credibility. Usually, the message you’re sending out is more important than a small grammatical error, but there are users who won’t consider your business professional enough, and they won’t link to you, subscribe to your updates or buy any kind of product or service from your company if you make spelling/grammar mistakes.

How to avoid it:

Check out the excellent list compiled by the people over at LitReactor. It should give you a good idea of the mistakes you need to avoid.

#2. Poor Navigation and Internal Linking

A very important aspect of a visitor experience on your company’s website is usability. A well-designed navigation and internal linking system guarantees all crucial areas of your website can be reached quickly and easily.

Make sure you’re not creating a frustrating experience for your visitors – they access your site for specific information which should be readily available and easy to reach from any point on your website. Think of your website as a map in which any area can be reached from any other area, with a central navigation for the main areas of your website. Always remember that navigation within a website should be seamless.

Here are a few tips on how to design a seamless navigation for your website:

  • Create focus points. These are parts of a page that are highly attractive and will capture the user’s interest. Use stronger, higher-contrast colors and larger fonts for your focus points.

  • Write short, interesting descriptions for each point. These should encompass the idea you’re trying to transmit and be interesting enough to maintain the visitor’s attention.

  • Any other text should be short and easy to read. Only provide essentials, as people will read short pieces of text but will be put off by long paragraphs.

How to avoid it:

While creating the navigation for your website, remember the 10 Principles of Navigation Design.

#3. No Contact and Social Sharing Buttons

We live in an increasingly social world and your visitors will most certainly want to share what they like. Sharebars, social buttons, floating widgets for liking, tweeting, pinning, e-mailing and more will make sure your visitors will never cut a frustrated figure when it comes to sharing. This is also a case of “the more, the merrier” as you’ll definitely enjoy the delicious traffic increase from social media.

Also, make sure you have a Contact or About page available where your visitors can engage with you – be it via a simple form, a Twitter handle, your Facebook page, site comments or owl-delivered mail.

How to avoid it:

There are many plugins that can assist you in creating contact forms (cformsII) and social sharing buttons. The PageLines Framework has this functionality built in, and you can extend it with plugins from the Store (ShareBar ExtendedSocial Excerpts). Additionally, there are many social sharing plugins to be found in the WordPress Directory.

#4. No Call-to-Action (CTA) Buttons

 

Now that you’re driving a fair amount of traffic to your website and things seem on the right track, you have to think about leading those visitors somewhere. That traffic is essentially useless if the visitors don’t land where you want them to land or if your CTA button is buried somewhere in a sea of text.

You need to invest time and research into crafting a good CTA button and positioning it according to the action you want your prospective clients to take. Do you want visitors to subscribe to your blog? A carefully placed “Click Here to Subscribe” button on all blog pages and posts will do wonders to your subscription list. Do you want customers to buy your product? Place a button on your pricing page, homepage or even blog page. Always remember to make your Call to Action stand out.  The possibilities are endless!

How to avoid it:

Follow the awesome guide put together by the people at Uxbooth on good Call-to-Action buttons. It should give you a great head start on designing better CTAs. Remember, don’t overdo calls to action. Don’t have multiple CTAs on the same page or they will be competing against each other which will take away visitors from your main target.

#5. Content | c o n t e n t | CONTENT

Quick — think of the first reason why people should visit your website! If you said anything other than content, you’re doing something wrong. Your website content encompasses everything that can be seen (and heard, although we’re totally against background music) by a visitor.

It is fundamental that your website has a well-defined content strategy that is followed on a page-by-page basis. Your content should be interesting and valuable, while also engaging the user. Your readers are not going to be going over every single word on a page, so focus points need to be emphasized here as well. Create a strong visual content hierarchy so the points of interest can be reached easily.

And while we’re discussing content (essentially what IS on the webpage), we’d also like to take the time and mention the impact white space has on general website design and page streamlining. It is, arguably, the most important factor to consider as it has the strongest impact on what text section your readers focus on. This has a lot to do with page clutter, which will quickly turn any visitor away. You can read more about the importance of white space in web design here and here.

How to avoid it:

This piece of advice might leave you cutting this figure, but we cannot stress how important simplicity and sticking to the point is: write interesting, meaningful content while keeping your general strategy in mind and you won’t fail. Too many small business websites make the mistake of putting too much or too little thought into their content strategy. Write down your organization’s mission statement and objectives and emphasize them through text. Write content that you find interesting and adapt to your readers’ preferences. Bonus tip: keep comments enabled and accept feedback. It will help you grow!

Stefan loves social media, extreme sports, engaging audiences and being the hero Gotham deserves. He also battles vampires from his home in Transylvania. And all of it is true… Engage with him on Twitter or Facebook!

16 Responses to "5 Common Web Design Mistakes Small Businesses Make (and How to Avoid Them)"
  1. Very informative website, i really enjoyed reading some post regarding this very helpful thoughts that you made thanks for sharing. <a href=”http://meladermwarning.com/”>meladerm</a>

  2. Website is the very important thing for any of the business so need to have some care over this while making the website design, first you need to be very clear in spelling mistake make by equally spelled in a word but when it placed to a sentenced it makes different since, need to take care while making different internal link building, Put the social sharing buttons over the website to have clear way of visitors to contact you and content is the important thing as it say what you business is doing, so mind well while making the content that it should be unique and short. So for the best services visit us at :- http://www.indianic.com/hire-custom-website-designers.html

  3. Nominasi says:

    Thank you, good information. I follow the awesome guide. <a href=http://www.cilukbah.com”>Cilukbah Articles</a>
     

  4. Nominasi says:

    Thank you, good information. I follow the awesome guide.

  5. lukee says:

    This is funny. Because all over your site you write “loose” instead of “lose”.Loose — not tightLose — opposite of win

    • Dannyh says:

      @lukee Can you provide us with links to where these mistakes are located please.

      • lukee says:

        @Dannyh  @lukee http://demo.pagelines.me/tools/  at MapsI”m fairly certain there are more but this is the one I had open in my tabs still.Also, All images are unlinked on pagelines.com/press

  6. ambreen11 says:

    Its excellent post to read! Achieving a good web design, one that works both for the end user and meets the needs of the owner , can be a difficult balancing act. Make it too simple and it can look amateur. Over complicate the design and risk losing custom because of information overload, or worse, slow download. However, it is possible to create a great website that is a pleasure to use. Simply avoid the above common pitfalls:

  7. peter12 says:

    Hi Stefan.. A good website design has a great impact on business goods & products. Thanks for sharing this useful tips for website design. Really  a great help. 

    http://www.sacredcowstudios.com/web-design/web-design

  8. David Kora says:

    Great stuff and excellent insight!!!Appearance is the first thing that makes an impression.That is why the
    design of website is so important as your website represents your
    business.A little flaw in website may take potential customer
    far away from their business.The common mistake such as outdated
    information,fail to make proper navigation,dead end pages,use of flash
    images lot more affect the business.These tips are definitely help to
    achieve better web deign that work for both customers and business
    owners.

  9. jatin123 says:

    Thanks for sharing.Nice post.

  10. Williams Brown says:

    The way in which you considered the most important elements involved in the activity of small businesses is simple and effective!
    website creation
    http://www.xavagemarketing.com/services/web-development/

  11. macwong says:

    Great! i agree with all the points. navigation, content, grammar, social buttons, contact page and spell mistakes all are most important factor that must used and take care while designing the website. this give first and last impression to the clients or users. I appreciate your job, thanks for it and keep posting.

  12. guptaabhijit318 says:

    Thanks for that respectable post.
    Thanks for sharing your views and insights into the world of web design. Any
    way I will follow these tips and this post help me a lot.

  13. Thank you for sharing. This is really helpful to make good website.

  14. Hi Stefan,

    Great Information you have shared about
    Common mistakes of Web
    Application Development i’m also a web developer i have been
    seen many time the users makes these types common mistakes .Good Stuff

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