When you launch your website, and begin to grow your business, the last thing you want to do is cause your site visitors to leave before even seeing what you have to offer.
That said, studies show that site visitors will form an opinion about your website within 50ms of landing in your page, and decide whether to stay or leave.
That doesn’t give you much time to leave a good impression.
A good-looking website that performs well and is easy to navigate is the key to getting people to stay on your site and convert.
But the problem is, so many experts out there are so focused on telling you what you should do when it comes to web design, that they fail to tell you what you shouldn’t do.
That’s why we’re here to share with you the top web design mistakes you should avoid if you want to drive more traffic to your website, generate new leads, and get more conversions.
So, let’s get started.
1. Lacking a Value Proposition
When people come to your website, whether from search results, a PPC ad, or another website linking to yours, they want to know immediately what you’re all about.
And, as a website owner looking to stand out amongst the competition, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is not telling people what you have to offer in a bold and clear way.
Another mistake is not showing the value in what you have to offer.
People shouldn’t have to hunt for what your site is about or what they need to do to take advantage of whatever it is you’re offering.
And they definitely shouldn’t have to wonder why they should care like many site visitors might after clicking on Novamind’s website:
What is Novamind about? Do they expect people to read that paragraph right away to figure it out? What does the image have to do with anything?
These are all questions some site visitors might ask themselves when deciding whether to stay or leave in .05 seconds.
It’s your job to show site visitors a compelling value proposition the minute people land on your website.
And, the key to doing this is to show site visitors your value proposition using a single sentence or phrase that they can see immediately upon clicking on your website.
For instance, Lyft does an amazing job for those landing on their website wanting to become Lyft drivers:
The proposition “Grab the wheel and start earning” is not only catchy, it appears above the fold as the headline of the website.
Plus, it’s large enough that anyone entering the site cannot possibly miss it, and it shows value by stating you can start earning seemingly right away, which everyone likes.
As a site visitor, you’ll know immediately whether you want to stay on this site or not. After all, if you’re ready to become a Lyft driver, according to this value proposition, you’re in the right place.
Don’t make the mistake of not showing people your value right away. If you do, you’ll have higher bounce rates, lower conversions, and less sales than ever.
2. No Call to Action
Next to not having a clear value proposition for site visitors once they land on your website, one of the biggest mistakes you can make on your site is not having a clear call to action.
After all, the whole point of driving traffic to your site is to get people to do something.
Whether you want them to subscribe, buy, download, or get in touch, they can’t if you don’t provide a call to action for them to follow.
For example, check out this real life website (yes, this is real):
No only is there zero value proposition, there is no clear call to action anywhere. Instead, there is just a tizzy of images, and links, and animations, and who knows what else.
To avoid this mistake, make sure you add a clear call to action (CTA) somewhere near your value proposition to encourage site visitors to take the next step.
And try to make your site more simple than the example above, for your site visitors’ sake.
Here are some powerful CTAs you can add to your site:
- Sign Up Now
- Add to Cart
- Contact Us Today
- Get Started
All of these simple phrases tell people exactly what to do. It’s in this way you can push potential leads down your funnel and get them to subscribe or buy.
For instance, Unbounce is known for not only having concise value propositions for people to see, they also have clear CTA buttons guiding people to where they need to go.
From the CTA buttons’ copy, you know exactly what you’ll be doing or what will happen once you click.
That’s the sign of good call to action design and one of the best ways to boost conversions.
3. Poor Loading Time
You can learn a lot about a person when you see how they react to a rainy day and slow loading web pages.
And let me tell you, most of the time either scenario is not pretty – even with the most patient of people.
47% of people expect your website to load within 2 seconds or less. Another 40% of people will abandon your site if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds.
Pair that with the fact that people form an opinion about your website in 50ms, and you’ll soon realize how important things like web design and site speed are to the success of your business.
Not to mention, your site’s bounce rates will continue to suffer as your site gets slower and slower.
If you want to avoid this deadly web design mistake, follow these best practices:
- Optimize your site’s images using a free online tool like TinyPNG or Compressor.io to make sure the files sizes are small and load fast
- Leverage a content delivery network (CDN) to deliver site content to visitors all around the world as quickly as possible
- Routinely check your site’s speed and performance using free online tools like Google PageSpeed Insights and Test My Site
- Use a reliable hosting provider and a scalable hosting plan
- Enable browser caching
If you work to optimize the web design you spent so much time creating for site visitors, you’ll see that your conversions will increase as your business grows.
4. Not Optimizing for Mobile Users
51.2% of people now access the internet on their mobile devices worldwide.
That means that having a mobile friendly website is not only nice, it’s necessary if you want to compete with the big guys.
Luckily, most websites are built using responsive design, which means they automatically adjust to smaller screen sizes and devices.
However, not double checking the look and feel of your website on a mobile device to make sure it renders the right way is a huge web design mistake.
There are two reliable online tools for checking your site’s mobile design.
The first is Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. Just enter your site’s URL and see what the results show:
Not only will this test tell you whether your website is mobile-friendly, it’ll show you a preview of your site on a mobile phone and inform you about any page loading issues so you can fix them.
The other helpful tool for checking your mobile design is Responsive Checker. Again, just enter your site’s URL and check out the results.
With this tool, not only so you get a clear image of what your site looks like on a mobile device you can:
- Choose from a list of popular devices to make sure each render your site properly
- Select “All Devices” and see how your site looks on additional devices
- Create a custom resolution
And best of all, you can actually scroll down your site’s homepage to make sure the user experience is seamless.
Not to mention, you can click on the any links, navigation menu items, or CTA buttons your site has to see what happens when some actually explores your site on a mobile device.
In order to establish a solid online presence, you have to do more than just create a website that performs the way you want it to.
After all, how your site visitors feel about your site’s visual appeal plays a large role in how successful you’ll be.
In the end, you should be doing many things when it comes to designing a website that attracts, converts, and retains followers and customers. But there’s a lot of things you shouldn’t be doing as well.
And sometimes, the mistakes to avoid are the most important part.