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 Extended, Social 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!