Websites can be a difficult component of your business to manage. People don’t seem to realize just how complicated designing a good website is, and they’re all too focused on web building applications and services that can promise a cheap and effective solution. However, they don’t seem to realize just how detailed a website needs to be in order to truly convert viewers into paying customers.
So in this article, we’re going to examine just exactly what makes a terrible website, and how you can fix it with some simple steps.
- You’re trying to do it yourself
Unless you’re a certified web designer, you’re probably not qualified to actually design a website. You don’t know what it’s like to create a coherent design and you certainly don’t know what makes a good or bad website. Just because you use the internet a lot, it doesn’t mean you understand the nuances that make a website legible and easy to understand, and there are also many technical aspects (such as website security) that are difficult to grasp for beginners. This is why it’s important to realize that you simply don’t have the power or knowledge to make a good site, and it’s why you need to invest the capital into having one built for you.
When it comes to hiring a web design service, the most important thing to consider is their portfolio. A service that churns out page after page for small businesses isn’t going to be as unique as a personalized service that you have to pay more for. There’s no telling how much you should expect to pay in this case because it’s entirely dependant on how much your website is worth to you. It’s crucial that you speak with financial advisors in order to get a rough estimate of how much you should be paying for a service and also compare it to the return you should expect on your investment.
- You’re not focusing on mobile users
One of the biggest flaws in modern web design is forgetting about your mobile audience. There are actually millions of people around the world that don’t rely on desktop web designs and exclusively use mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to view your content. This means that your website needs to be responsive and it needs to be easy to read and navigate on a small vertically-oriented screen. Many people seem to forget that this is an important aspect of web design and it also helps with SEO. According to Search Engine Land, optimizing your website for mobile gives you a competitive advantage and it’s important to take advantage of this as early as possible in order to become higher on Google’s page ranking.
But the reverse is also true. Some people forget that websites should scale depending on the platform you view them on and they’ll focus exclusively on just the mobile aspect, meaning that even on a desktop platform the website will just have huge text and no useful information. It’s important to scale your content depending on the platform it’s viewed on, which requires a lot of expertise and also testing. Neglecting one set of users for another is a poor business practice, so make sure you accommodate both if you want to grow your business.
- You’re not integrating social media
Social media is one of the best ways to save money on advertising and promotions. This is because social media somewhat has a life of its own; posts can go viral at any minute and the more witty and relevant you are, the more followers you gain. It’s one of those internet miracles that has surfaced and companies pour a lot of effort into trying to gain the upper hand over other companies on social media. It’s good to remember that advertising on social media isn’t just about posting an advertisement through Twitter’s built-in ad service. Rather, it’s about stirring up interest for new products and building a following with the help of a community manager.
The importance of a community manager is often underestimated. Many companies don’t seem to believe that a community manager is a helpful asset to your business because they’re essentially just on social media the whole day. However, a community manager can bring a lot to your business. For instance, they can help you manage your online reputation and they can even grow your business through clever interactions with influencers as well as your audience. As such, it’s important that you think of social media as a platform that goes with your website. Be it sharing widgets so your viewers can easily share your products on social media, or linking back to products on your main website through a Twitter or Facebook post, it’s essential that you mix the two in order to create a better business.
- The design of your website doesn’t stand out
There are a lot of design elements on a website that simply don’t work very well. We’re going to list a couple of the biggest offenders so you can understand what it takes to create an easy-to-use and eye-catching website.
- Correct colour schemes – Colour means everything, and this is often something your designer should have a good grasp of. Clashing colours need to be removed and you need to find a complementary colour scheme that fit the theme of your website as well.
- Navigation is too complicated – Huge sites need simplified navigation. If you’re constantly throwing your viewers into a loop because you’re not sure how to set up your menus and links, then they’re going to get frustrated because they can’t reach the information they want. Categories should be clear and detailed information such as contact details and your address also need to be in plain sight.
- Too many clicks to get to information – And speaking of getting the information you need, it’s vital that you reduce the number of clicks required to get to different parts of your website. You should expect your customers to click just once to log in to their accounts, or at most click twice to find a product they need.
- Too much form, not enough function – Many designers focus purely on the aesthetic of a website and forget that it also needs to be functional. If you feel like your website is suffering from this issue, then you’ll need to reject the draft design or consider changing your website so that it’s functional. A good example is having too many animated transitions instead of just simple links to the content your audience is looking for.
- Inappropriate design – Designs need to suit the product or service you’re selling. If you’re trying to attract legal clients then a colourful website won’t work. On the contrary, if you’re creating a website that sells fashion to teenagers, then it needs to be stylish and fit the theme.
- Overwhelming text or images – The right balance of text and images is needed in order to create a good website. Using too much text makes it difficult to read, especially on a small mobile screen, and having too many images (despite the saying that a picture tells a thousand words) just makes your website seem lacking.
- Your website has no purpose
Lastly, you need to have an actual purpose for your website. Think about why you need a website and don’t give the answer “because everyone else has one”. A website is a fantastic way to provide extra service and information to your customers, but depending on your business model, more things can be added to make it more valuable.
For instance, if you’re going to make a website for your store, then you may want to sign up for e-commerce services so that you can also sell your products on the internet. However, if you don’t want to provide this service, then your website needs to contain relevant information such as your store’s location, what you offer and also a gallery of your products. Similarly, if you’re a restaurant business, then your website needs to have basics like a menu, gallery and reviews. However, if you want to offer more services, then you can consider an online booking system or perhaps even an online delivery service. Without a purpose, your website will suffer and people won’t visit it.
If you’re in need of more reasons to have a website, then check out these 21 reasons why you need a website. It’s a surprisingly difficult question to answer if you’re not fluent with digital technology, and it’s important that you take the right steps in order to fully grasp the importance of a website.
Web design is a complicated and involved process and it’s incredibly important to focus on these points if you want to grow an organic audience, rank highly on Google and also provide an excellent customer service to your audience. Without a good website, your business will suffer in the long term and ultimately fall behind your competition.