In this day and age, anyone can build a website. While most people would consider that a good thing, it sometimes leads to a lot of inexperienced people building websites filled with mistakes – even when there is a large business backing up the development process. This, in turn, leads to a lot of situations that can frustrate readers and customers and lead to a high bounce rate, if they can find it at all.
A lot of the most detrimental errors can happen while you’re still in the development process. When you’re just building a website, there are plenty of things that can go wrong behind the scenes. Take a look at the top five things people get wrong in the early stages of website design.
1. Wrong Domain Name
In spite of the saying that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, most people still judge books by their covers. The same goes for websites and domain names. In a sense, your domain name is the face of your website, and you’ll want to be sure it packs a punch from the minute a reader sees it. You want your domain name to be memorable enough that readers won’t forget it.
Unfortunately, many businesses choose the wrong domain name when first building a website. This can come about from a variety of reasons, like your first pick not being available or just not having enough knowledge about website development to know better. While these are legitimate reasons, remember that choosing the wrong domain name can be a costly mistake.
When it comes to choosing the right domain name, shoot for consistency. Have your domain name and company name match as best as possible, and cut down on the length of your domain name to make it easier for customers to remember.
2. Cluttered Homepage
If the domain name is the face of your websites, the homepage is the brain. It connects everything together, and it helps your readers or customers get to where they need to go. Creating the perfect homepage can be intimidating to first-time website developers, and they tend to think they need to cram every little thing of importance onto the homepage. This leads to a cluttered intro page, which can kill conversion and retention rates.
In today’s design aesthetics, less is more when it comes to the homepage. It’s true that you need to pack a lot of relevant content onto your homepage, but you can do it in a clean and organized manner. Rather than try to fit everything on page, include links to other portions of your website and give them a reason to explore further.
3. No Call to Action
Take a minute and ask yourself why you want people to visit and stay on your website? In the end, it often comes down to the fact that you want your readers to become customers, and your customers to become return customers. How do you make that happen? You need to call them to action when they get to the necessary point on your website.
Think about what you want your reader to do, then tailor your call to action around that idea. If you want them to subscribe to your newsletter, tell them to and include a form where they can easily enter their information. Do you want them to buy something? Tell them to, and tell them why they should do it with you, and make it as easy for them as possible. A call to action compels readers to act instead of just read.
4. Out of Date and Unoriginal Content
It’s hard to beat Google and other search engines, but there’s no way around their algorithms and formulas. As such, you’ll want to do everything possible to make sure your website stays on Google’s nice list. To do so, you need to come up with entirely unique content with which to populate your website. Once you get some content, make sure it stays up to date. Nothing will drive away a potential client more than content that is completely out of date and irrelevant.
5. Poor Navigation
If your customer can’t easily navigate through your entire website, there is something wrong with its design. How can you expect a customer to follow through with your call to action if they can’t find the place where they can complete said action? Having things like conveniently placed links and a navigation bar present on every page ensures your customers won’t get frustrated at every turn.
Test Your Site
These five mistakes of web design can ultimately lead to your website’s demise, so it’s no question that you should avoid them. However, sometimes you can miss things, especially after putting in long hours to complete the website. In order to avoid these kinds of mistakes, be sure to test your website before it goes live. It’s best to have someone who hasn’t worked on the website test it for you, because that person will have a fresh perspective and be able to tell you the honest truth about what works and what doesn’t.