8 Mistakes Not to Make with Your Website
First impressions are 94% design-related. A brilliantly designed website doesn't necessarily guarantee though that it’s brilliantly set up and working hard for you in the background. Your website is your window to the world. Your opportunity to attract your ideal client or customer. It directly impacts how people perceive the quality and credibility of your business.
According to a recent study, an enormous 75% of consumers state that they've judged a company's credibility based on their website design alone. What's more, users are very quick to make their quality assessment. One study found that it takes just 50 milliseconds for a user to decide whether or not they like your site and want to stick around to learn more.
It is arguably the most important marketing tool so to ensure it’s working as hard as can be on your behalf, we’ve compiled what we consider to be the eight most common issues that are made and given some solutions on how you can easily fix them.
You have far too much copy
This is by far the most common mistake that is made on websites. The fact is, people don’t tend to read them at any great length. Not in the way we would read a book or an article. According to a study conducted earlier this year, the average user is on a website for a grand total of 2 minutes, 17 seconds and not only that, but they’re probably mostly looking at the imagery because that same average user only reads around 20% of a website in total. Make it easy for the user and also for Google. Keep it short, sweet and simple.
When planning your site map, take care to ensure that information that may be of high importance, isn’t hidden too far into the site so the user has to search for it. Try to also not cram too much into one page and just as you don’t read websites in the same way as you read books, don’t have copy going from left to right across the whole screen.
There is no fresh content
Having a website that’s completely static may feel like at least it’s serving a purpose as a great place to direct clients to, but it won’t be doing you any favours with Google. If you want to make sure that you have a good SEO ranking for when people search for your services/product, then it is imperative that you keep the content on your site fresh.
Create a blog. They are by far the easiest way to significantly boost your Google ranking as they allow you to add in imagery which you can put keywords behind, tags and links to other sites. Google loves all of this activity and when it can understand the relevance of the content to what you’re doing, it keeps you rising up those all important ranks so people can find you.
Your font is difficult to read
It’s great to be creative with your copy. We’re always looking at ways in which we can make our typefaces unique so that brands have stand out. It’s vital though that you have easy online readability. This means keeping it simple without starting to get over styled on including extra leading and tracking. Great for print, not great for bounce rates.
The friends and family test. You know your copy like the back of your hand so reading it from your site can be done with ease. Send to some of your nearest and dearest, young and old though and be clear on the objective. You’re not looking for feedback on anything else other than whether or not they can read it with ease. If you ask for anything else you run the risk of receiving multiple personal subjective changes that aren’t align with your brand. We also recommend not going over 1.5px for tracking as it can make it difficult to read the word in full and differentiate between spaces.
You don’t have a clear call-to-actions
Make it clear what it is exactly that you want your visitors to do. People tend to want to steer clear of including calls to actions but there are ways in which you can include them which are largely helping your user rather than being seen in a salesy way.
Check your pages. There should ideally be a clear call-to-action (CTA) at the end of each page. Usually in the form of a button that prompts the user to hit it and ‘discover more’, or ‘book now’ etc.
It isn’t mobile responsive
It’s no secret, we are all spending more and more time on our smartphones. 63% of all online traffic comes from smartphones and tablets so it’s vital that your design strategy includes mobile. Studies have shown that if you go on a company website through mobile and it isn’t designed very well, it makes people assume you don’t care about your business.
There are two ways to look at this. If you are working with a web designer then make sure you approve the mobile design from the beginning. Doing it yourself? Build with a company such as SquareSpace or Shopify which have ready-made responsive templates that adapt automatically to tablets and mobiles.
We cannot stress how important these pages are. You must, must, must have them if you have a website. It doesn’t matter how small your business is, if you want to have a website, you need these documents. If you have a website, you’re collecting data and this may be through newsletter sign ups or cookies for Google Analytics so it’s vital you have the right documents to keep on the right side of the law. No questions.
You can find template documents online these days free of charge that are continually updated to ensure they’re align with GDPR and other data laws that come into place. We like Terms Feed. Or, if you’d rather be belt and braces then we always recommend working with a lawyer to put legalities in place.
Your images are too big
One of the most common reasons a website is slower than it should be isn’t because of the server, but rather then image sizes. When loading times are slow to a page, it can be the another significant reason why bounce rates are so high. You want to be aiming for your images to be around 500KB to keep it moving nice and swiftly.
Compress your images using a free online service like Tiny Jpg or if you’re able to, using editing software such as Photoshop will allow you to do the same whilst not losing any of the clarity.
Your website has no security
When you enter a website, do you ever notice the padlock in the URL bar? If you have one which is open, your site is not only also wide open for data hackers but it can make it look like you’re not bothered about your users data privacy.
Activate your SSL certification. If your site is built on Wordpress, most domain providers will actively seek to make sure you activate your free SSL certificate through them as it doesn’t reflect well on their rating if their domains aren’t secure. If not, you can use free certificate authorities like Let’s Encrypt. Otherwise, if you use a template provider platform such as Shopify or SquareSpace, you can click on these links to following the instructions as to how to secure them.