The internet age has brought with it unprecedented amounts of change and innovation. On one hand, this has made life far easier and far more convenient for businesses, but on the other hand, it’s also created plenty of room for competition.
When it comes to website development, you have to be at the top of your game in order to stand out. Without well-planned and tactical web page design, your website doesn’t stand a chance against the competition that’s out there.
But you don’t want to make the mistake of focusing only on design, and not on conversions. Here are the web design flaws that could be tripping up your conversion rate and how to avoid them.
Why Does Web Page Design Matter?
The way in which your website functions and its overall aesthetic is a direct representation of your business and your brand. In today’s day and age, your website is the first encounter most customers have with your business. This can only mean one thing — you have to make this first impression count.
Invariably, your customer has an itch that they need to scratch, so good web page design should fulfil a customer’s need in some way.
What you don’t want from a website is to overwhelm your visitors, introduce unnecessary problems or frustrations for them, or discourage your customers from buying from you or contacting you.
All of this can be avoided with a calculated web design strategy and avoiding these common web design pitfalls:
1. Non-Responsive Website Design
In the technologically advanced world, we live in today, responsive website design should be your number one priority. It’s listed as the most important website feature.
Sounds like a tall order to fulfil, but your average customer should be able to access your website from any device, whenever they please. If not, you could be missing out on a huge percentage of site visitors.
Responsive web page design means that your website is optimised for any device screen and functionality on the market. Whether it’s a desktop computer, an iPad, a tablet, or an iPhone, your customer must be able to view and interact with your website without any hassles.
In short, websites that are non-responsive or not ”mobile-friendly” will chase away your customers due to inaccessibility and frustration.
2. Neglecting to Use a Favicon
What is a favicon? This term is an amalgamation of the two words: “favourite” and ”icon”. Here’s why it’s important for your website: today’s average web browsers have at least three tabs open at once.
If you browse in a similar way, you’d know how difficult it can be to toggle between tabs and keep track of what’s open and where. With the help of a favicon, your customer can keep track of your website in-and-amongst a list of open tabs.
Essentially, a favicon is a small icon that sits to the left of your web page title. It’s like a business stamp that your customers will come to recognise.
But favicons aren’t just important for web browsing. They’re an important part of your branding strategy, too. They should be available on all browser tabs, bookmark menus, toolbar apps, search bars, and in a customer’s browser history.
By reinforcing your business branding with something as small as a favicon, you’d be surprised how much it can drive your recognition across the internet.
3. Inaccessible Contact Details
Invariably, your customer visits your website to browse your products, purchase something, or get in contact with you.
If your contact information is hard to find and just not accessible, that’s is a whole lot of missed opportunities for potential conversions. The last thing you want is to make your website experience frustrating for your average customer.
Make sure your contact details are clearly visible without having to scroll or click around for them. Otherwise, clearly designate a ”contact us” page and list your details there. Consider adding these details to your header, footer, and sidebar too.
4. Slow Page Loading Time
If there is anything that kills conversions, it has to be a slow website. It may come as no surprise that the attention span of people browsing the internet today is very limited. In fact, Google recommends that you have an average of 3-seconds to capture your customer’s attention before they bounce (quite literally!).
If your website is still supported by Flash, it’s high time for a makeover. Flash sites are typically slow and tend to lag because the platform is outdated. Some other factors that could slow down your web page load time include:
- Non-optimised web page images
- Animated files that should be created in HTML/CSS for quicker load times
- Too much background texture or large background images
To add to this, slow server response times can also impair the loading of your web pages. This is a sign that you could also have an underlying website performance issue. So take the time to not only optimize the above factors but also consider your server responsiveness.
5. Failing to Cater To Your Target Audience
The internet is a vast place, packed with billions of web pages. So how do you ensure that your website gets the recognition it deserves? All you have to do is focus on your target audience and forget about the ”noise” around you.
As a business, you’ve probably spent a good amount of time creating customer profiles in order to attract the right attention to your products/services. The same concept applies to your website — it must be tailored and created to suit your ideal customer.
The overall look and feel of your website have a great impact on how well it’s received. You want to focus on portraying your brand in a clear and concise manner while fulfilling the needs of your customer. Don’t make the mistake of trying to cater to too many audiences!
6. Elusive Website Navigation
Ever landed on a website that looks like it’s under construction or half-finished? This is most likely because of a lack of clear navigation. Forget about trying to be trendy or overly minimal — you’ll lose sight of how practical your website actually is.
If a customer cannot figure out how to navigate your website, consider this another conversion killer. Ensure that the navigational aspects are easy to find and recognizable. This includes your main navigation bar, your search bar, and contact details.
7. Poorly Planned Content and Whitespace
When it comes to website optimisation, content is king. Your content is essential for outlining what your business offers, how you can serve your customers, and how they can get in touch with you. Not only this, but your content is paramount to the SEO rating of your website.
With all of this in mind, you want to consider how you plan your content and lay it out across your website. The font or typeface you use is also crucial. Make sure you choose a legible font that’s also appealing. Avoid using a light-coloured font on a light-coloured background.
Your customers don’t want to read long blocks of text, either. This is where white space is important. Break up your text where you can into shorter sentences and paragraphs, using white space to make the page and the reading less intimidating.
8. Failing to Use H1 and H2 Headers
Whether you’re an avid reader or not, if you have a specific search query in mind, you’re probably going to scan the content on a website as quickly as possible for your answer. The reality is that this is how most people ”read” the content on websites today.
This is why your website headers are fundamental to how well your content performs. By using strategically placed H1 and H2 headers, you can emphasise the content you want your readers to find. This also helps your customer find what they’re looking for, improving their overall user experience.
H1 and H2 optimised content also improves your website’s SEO ranking.
9. A Cluttered, Over-Complicated Website
A website that is crammed with information, images, pop-up ads, and videos that play automatically is a recipe for disaster. All of these factors are off-putting to your customer who wants to access your website for a particular purpose.
Remember this — most customers just want to get in, and get out as fast as possible. A website that’s cluttered and complicated is slow to navigate and will overwhelm your audience.
Keep things simple and try not to cram too much information ”above the fold”, which is the top half of your website.
10. Confusing Online Forms
Online forms are a great tool to secure new business leads, gain customer feedback or respond to their queries. In short, they are an important feature on any website. Don’t put off your customers with an online form that’s complicated and confusing to fill out.
Keep your online forms simple, use minimal fields, and opt for ghost fields which are pre-filled fields that prompt your customers on how to answer.
An Online Portal of Web Design Expertise
Web page design doesn’t have to be over-complicated in order to make an impact. By keeping these common design pitfalls in mind, you can avoid the loss of potential conversions and keep your customers satisfied at the same time.
ZipZipe is a platform that offers extensive information on all things web design, e-commerce, SEO, social media, and more. Check out this blog on how to improve your website’s user experience for more.