Everyone makes mistakes. As poet Alexander Pope observed, “to err is human.” But even though fallibility is inevitable to some degree, that doesn’t mean that all mistakes are of equal value. Indeed, common website design mistakes can be some of the most detrimental for a modern business given how these mistakes tend to steer potential customers away from a business’ digital domain.
Web design mistakes are easy to make, too, especially if you’re a small business owner with minimal experience designing your own website. Whether it’s a lack of a mobile-friendly interface or an overabundance of ads, many website design experts agree that these small-scale mistakes can lead to large-scale sales impacts for an inattentive business.
Luckily, it is never too late to adjust your course and fix your business’ mistakes in website design. When the opportunity strikes, pull open your live business website and review it to see if any of these 4 common website design mistakes appear. If you notice a mistake or two, make all due haste and correct the problem in order to maximize your users’ experience on your online platform:
Mistake #1: Lack of Mobile-Friendly Interface
As wireless internet technologies advance and evolve, more and more contemporary internet users are spending the majority of their digital time interfacing with mobile browsers and apps.
Given the compact form factor of many mobile devices, these browsers tend to condense and modify web pages as they load in. If your business website lacks a devoted mobile-friendly version, you should expect your website to appear jumbled and unnavigable on mobile devices.
Through a series of adaptable components, mobile-friendly websites are able to automatically scale to fit the screen that they are appearing on. Moreover, mobile-friendly websites tend to include a navigation method that is easy to manipulate with a finger tap or two. If your website isn’t responsive in this way, users may quickly grow annoyed with the need to constantly zoom in and out, causing them to abandon your business’ website altogether.
Also, a lack of mobile-friendliness may affect your ranking with search engines such as Google, which prioritizes mobile-friendly websites in queries made from mobile devices. In order to remedy this problem, consider using a quality website builder, like Wix or GoDaddy, which accommodates simultaneous desktop and mobile website iterations.
Mistake #2: Hidden or Challenging Navigation
Many businesses are constantly adding to their websites in order to provide more and more direct information and access to prospective customers. With a rise in content comes a need for increased navigational simplicity, which is where many business websites fall flat, unfortunately. Simply put, if a user cannot find or easily manipulate the primary navigation scheme, they’re sure to leave your site in a hurry.
In the era of apps, many users have grown to expect some degree of built-in navigation that requires just a few finger taps to traverse. Most modern websites accomplish this by using a simplified tab at the top of their web pages (often with five or six tabs at max). From there, users are often able to navigate to other pages that fit under the broad categories indicated on the exterior tabs.
This same need for effective navigation extends to mobile versions of your business’ website. Many mobile websites today accomplish this task by placing their navigation menu under a universal icon with three parallel lines. By implementing this system, you’ll be able to easily meet your users’ expectations when it comes to moving about your website’s rich content.
Mistake #3: Missing or Outdated Contact Info
Remember the days when the Yellow Pages contained contact info for every business in your area? Well, those days are gone as the digital marketplace contains more businesses than a thick phone book can hold. Today, most users in search of contact information for business will look online to find what they are looking for.
Even though most business owners recognize this new reality, many make the troubling mistake of failing to update (or sometimes, even include) their contact info on their website. Without this info (such as your business email, phone number, office address and social media channels), prospective customers will have no means of reaching out to you to follow through on their new-found interest.
Also, missing or outdated contact info can be a major black eye on the face of your business, digitally speaking. Without this critical info, users may assume that your business no longer exists or lacks the initiative to include even the bare minimum. Both of these negative factors can really hurt your business’ sales potential if they are left unchecked. If you think you’re likely to move sometime in the near future, put it on your calendar to check your contact info, and update it if necessary, every 6 months or so. It’s also a good idea to list your contact information on Google and make sure it matches as well.
Mistake #4: Too Many Ads
Everyone has to pay the bills, that’s a simple fact of owning your own business. Though it may be tempting to offset your online hosting costs with a few ads on your website, you should fully understand that too many ads can be a major deterrent to internet users today. As such, any ads placed on your website should be done strategically and with regard to a user’s experience.
Most internet ads today (often provided through Google’s AdSense system) are graphical in nature, requiring them to load in each time a user toggles to a new page. If your website contains too many of these ads, their load time alone will severely slow down your overall page load times. This extra tax on some user’s systems will force them to abandon ship before ever engaging with your marketing content. It’s important to weigh both the costs and benefits when deciding whether to include advertising on your website—and ensure you are doing what is right for your business.
Website Design Mistakes are Avoidable
All in all, there are a wide variety of ways you can make mistakes while creating and managing a website for your business. Whether you’ve failed to update your contact info or have implemented a sub-par navigation system, there are proven methods for resolving your mistakes in the short term.
Don’t delay in making these corrections. Every day that passes with these mistakes in place is another full day in which your business misses out on prospective customers in search of business information online.
Are you working on building a better website experience? See how Hightail’s HTML preview feature can help.
About the author
Vivian Johnson is fond of writing and has been involved in the content marketing industry since 2011. She specializes in web hosting & website builder niches.