Your website is a gateway to your brand’s story, values, and product offerings
Do you know it takes just 50 milliseconds for users to form an opinion about your website? That is just 0.05 seconds, equivalent to the blink of an eye. While we might advocate the saying – do not judge a book by its cover, the truth about digital consumer behavior is a different story.
Studies also reveal that 94% of consumers’ first website impressions are design-related. So, users judge the credibility of a business based on its website design.
As a small business in the competitive US market, your website serves as more than just a virtual store. It acts as a gateway to your brand’s story, values, and product offerings. It is often the first point of contact for potential customers, and can significantly influence trust and purchasing decisions. As such, your site plays a pivotal role in the success of your business.
An effective website design can significantly impact your online presence and customer engagement. However, web design isn’t a once-and-done task; it’s an ongoing process that requires adaptation to evolving trends and business needs. A well-defined website design strategy is of utmost importance to ensure the success of your business.
A good website design that stands out and grabs the attention of prospective customers is a necessity. If you are thinking of revamping your website, it is crucial to steer clear of common website design mistakes. The stakes are high and a bad first impression can prove costly.
When you set your goals, you can design your website accordingly.
1. Not Having a Clear Website Design Goal
Clarity of goal begets purpose and purpose begets success. Before you start designing your website, it is important to have a clear goal in mind. Think about it. What is your goal for website redesign?
What do you want your website to achieve:
- Generate leads
- Sell products
- Provide information
Once you know your goal, you can design your website accordingly. Draw up your website design checklist to ensure you stay on track.
The goals you set should be measurable. Determine how you will measure the success of each goal:
- To increase sales specify the percentage increase you aim to achieve
- To generate leads set a target number of leads per month
Not all goals are equal. Some may be more critical than others.
- Prioritize your website design goals to focus on the most important ones. This will help you allocate resources and efforts effectively.
- Establish a timeline for when you expect to achieve each goal.
- Setting deadlines helps keep your website redesign on track and ensures that you monitor progress regularly.
2. Not Understanding Your Target Audience
Who are you designing your website for? What are their needs and interests? Once you understand your target audience, you can tailor your website design to appeal to them.
- Align your design with your audience’s expectations Whether it’s the layout, color scheme, or navigation structure, a website that aligns with your audience’s expectations is more likely to be well-received.
- Create an audience-centric approachIt ensures a user-friendly experience.
- Build intuitive & easy navigationWebsites that are intuitive and easy to navigate are more likely to retain visitors and encourage them to explore further. It is in fact one of the most important website design tips that you should remember.
- Choose the right keywordsKnowing your target audience helps you choose the right keywords and phrases for SEO optimization. This, in turn, makes your website more discoverable to the people you want to reach.
3. Not having a Strong Headline and Body Copy
It is one of the most common website redesign mistakes.
Your landing page headline is your first chance to make a good impression on visitors. It is the virtual equivalent of a firm handshake and a warm greeting. Think of it as speaking directly to their needs, desires, or pain points.
Tailor it to your target audience and use the surrounding copy to provide context, highlight your unique selling point, and persuade visitors to take action.
Your headline is the conversation starter, and your body copy is the storyteller. Together, they guide visitors through your landing page, making your case, and convincing them to take action. This dynamic duo is your ticket to capturing and retaining the attention of your audience and driving conversions.
A cluttered UI is a Big NO
4. Using Too Much Clutter or Too Much Text
Design teams often get carried away with all the content they want on their website, forgetting the need for clarity. The result? A cluttered UI with too much stuff, leaving customers feeling lost.
A great website should be easy to navigate and free from unnecessary clutter. To give users a clear and simple experience, avoid using too many fonts, colors, images, buttons, and media elements that compete for attention.
While showing off your design skills is cool, the main goal is to make sure visitors instantly know what to do. What action should they take with the info on the page? The design should answer this without wasting their time.
For a streamlined web design, remember these two things:
- Use Negative Space Minimalist sites with white space aren’t just a fad. Extra space between elements makes your page look cleaner and directs attention to the important stuff.
- Prioritize Key Elements Figure out what users pay the most attention to. Once you know that, move or ditch what doesn’t help your users.
The content on the web page should complement the design and make the purpose of the webpage clear. Use crisp and short sentences that can be easily scanned on the go. Also, ensure that the website copy is SEO-optimized.
5. Poor Call to Action (CTA)
Think of a powerful CTA like a magnetic force. It draws your visitors in and nudges them to take action. Position your CTAs prominently on the page, and leverage action-oriented language to convince your visitors to make a move.
Effective CTAs have psychology on their side. Here’s why they work:
- Clarity A good CTA leaves no room for confusion. Visitors should instantly understand what’s expected of them.
- Urgency Phrases like “Limited Time Offer” or “Act Now” create a fear of missing out. People hate missing out on good stuff.
- Benefit-Oriented Effective CTAs convey what’s in it for the visitor. “Save Money” or “Get More Leads” tells them the value they’ll gain.
- Color and Placement The button’s color and where it’s positioned on your webpage can significantly impact clicks. Contrast your CTA button color with the background, making it stand out.
Here are a couple of examples that work like a charm:
- “Get Started Today” This CTA is like an invitation to an exciting journey. It’s clear, action-oriented, and creates a sense of urgency. When visitors see it, they’re more likely to click and explore.
- “Join Our Community” This one taps into the human desire for belonging. It’s not just a click; it’s an initiation into something bigger. People love being part of a community.
Don’t leave your visitors guessing; guide them with a clear, compelling CTA, and watch your conversion rates soar.
6. Neglecting Mobile Optimization
There are 307 million smartphone users in the United States. More than 58% of global website traffic comes from mobile devices. Google also prioritizes the mobile version of a website for indexing and ranking
Websites that are not mobile responsive are by nature poorly designed because they do not provide an optimal user experience.
It is important to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly and easy to use on all devices. No company wants its website visitors to be wary of referring to them because of a subpar website experience on mobile.
7. Unappealing, Inconsistent Visuals
Visuals play a crucial role in conveying your message effectively. They not only reinforce your value proposition but also convey your brand’s personality to visitors. It’s essential to be deliberate in your choice of visuals and their placement.
Ensure that videos and images are of top-notch quality and capture the viewer’s attention. Consider leveraging animated and illustrated elements to convey information visually. Additionally, think carefully about your color palette, as it can evoke specific responses from your audience.
When building your website, invest in the good stuff. Get sharp, clear images and high-definition videos – your visitors will thank you, and your website will look pro-level awesome.
8. Not Optimizing Your Website for Search Engines
Not optimizing your website for search engines is like opening a store in a hidden alley – it’s not a great idea.
Here’s the deal: SEO is like giving your website a prime spot on the digital map. When you optimize your site for search engines, you’re basically telling Google, “Hey, check me out; I’ve got something valuable to offer.”
For SMEs, especially those trying to crack the competitive US market, SEO is your secret weapon. Why? Because it levels the playing field. You might not have the budget of a big corporation, but with smart SEO, you can still grab a seat at the table.
SEO can help your website pop up when people search for stuff related to your business. This means more eyeballs on your products and services, which can lead to more customers and growth. But as with any competitive field, there are many SEO Myths afloat. Check out our post where we bust 16 Common SEO Myths and steer clear of them.
9. Slow Loading Speed
In today’s fast-paced digital world, attention spans are shorter than ever. People want things pronto, and that includes your website loading. A fast-loading website is like a sprinter at the starting line – it’s ready to grab attention right away.
A slow-loading website can cost you big time. Stats reveal that in the US slow loading websites cause a $2.6 billion loss in sales each year. 47% of users won’t wait longer than two seconds for a website to load and 40% leave a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
So, how can you speed things up?
- Optimize Images Compress large images without sacrificing quality to ensure they load swiftly.
- Minimize Requests to Streamline Loading Every element on your page, like images, scripts, and stylesheets, requires an HTTP request. Minimize these requests to streamline loading.
- Boost Speed with CDNs Use Content Delivery Networks (CDNs). They distribute your website’s content across multiple servers, reducing the physical distance data needs to travel. This can significantly speed up load times.
- Optimize Server Optimize your server response time to serve content faster.
- Boost Speed with Effective Caching Caching stores elements of your website on a visitor’s device. When they return, these elements load faster because they’re not fetched from the server again.
With a fast, optimized website, you can seize short attention spans, retain visitors, and avoid the revenue loss that plagues slow-loading sites.
A responsive website design delivers an optimal user experience across a multitude of browsers and devices.
10. Not Testing Across Browsers and Devices
In the US, consumers use a wide range of devices and browsers to access the internet. Some prefer iPhones, others are Team Android. Some are loyal to Chrome, while others swear by Safari or Firefox. Then there are tablets, laptops, desktops, and even smart TVs. It’s a real digital melting pot out there.
Now, if your website doesn’t work smoothly across this diverse landscape, you’re essentially shutting the door on potential customers. Imagine you’re a store owner, and you’re locking the entrance for half of your customers – not a great business move, right?
BrowserStack’s Cross Browser Testing Guide helps your website deliver an optimal user experience across a multitude of browsers and devices.
11. Lack of Social Proof
Trust is a precious currency in the online world, where it can be difficult to verify the legitimacy of a person or business.
Visitors to your website often make split-second judgments about whether they can trust your business. That’s why it’s crucial to establish trust quickly. Social proof is your secret weapon here.
Social proof encompasses various trust signals:
- Customer reviews
- Logos of satisfied customers
- Partnerships with reputable brands
Strategically placed on your website, these signals act as beacons of credibility. They tell your visitors that others have tried, tested, and trusted your products and/or services, creating a comforting sense of safety.
The bottom line is that trust drives conversions. When visitors trust your business, they’re more likely to take the action you want, whether it’s making a purchase, signing up, or getting in touch. Social proof plays a pivotal role in achieving this by swiftly instilling confidence in your business.
12. Neglecting Security
In the US, SMEs are a prime target for data breaches. Why? Because they often lack the robust security measures that bigger corporations have in place. 40% of US consumers have expressed concern about their digital privacy.
The risks are huge:
- Customer data theft
- Financial losses
- Damaged reputation
- Legal consequences
The fallout from a data breach can be catastrophic. Customers may lose trust, and it can take years to rebuild.
The US has its own set of cybersecurity regulations and standards that SMEs need to be aware of. For instance, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) impose strict rules on data protection. Non-compliance can lead to hefty fines and legal troubles.
Moreover, there’s a patchwork of industry-specific standards like the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and various state-level laws. These add complexity, and SMEs must navigate this landscape to protect their businesses and customers.
When designing a business website, it is imperative to invest in robust cybersecurity measures to safeguard digital assets and reputation. Check out this list of top website security measures that one should take.
Implement these steps for an effective website design/redesign strategy
4 More Things to Implement for an Effective Website Design/Redesign Strategy
1. Thoroughly Analyze Your Website
Neglecting a thorough website analysis is a cardinal sin in web design. Before you embark on a website redesign journey, harness the power of tools like Google Analytics and heatmaps.
Dive deep into your data to uncover:
- High-performing keywords on Google
- Keywords with the best conversion rates
- Your top landing and exit pages
This analysis isn’t just useful; it’s vital. It unveils issues, untapped potential, what’s effective, and what’s not. It’s the foundation of a successful website revamp.
Post-redesign, keep a watchful eye on these metrics. Any hiccups? Address them promptly. This data also reveals how your website redesign enhances your site. Don’t forget to demand these insights from your web designer. They’re keys to a thriving online presence.
2. Avoid Distracting Pop-Ups
Interruptive pop-ups? Users aren’t fans. In fact, Google warns that overly intrusive pop-ups can hurt your website’s search engine ranking.
It’s vital to understand that while pop-ups can convert email subscribers like gangbusters, they can also drive visitors away.
Tips to make pop-ups less annoying and more effective:
- Timing is Everything Pop-ups should appear when they enhance the user experience. For example, set them to trigger after a visitor has spent at least 30 seconds on your site or when they’ve scrolled halfway down the page. This way, you engage users who are genuinely interested.
- Value First Pop-ups should offer something valuable, like a discount, a content upgrade, or a newsletter subscription. Don’t use them just for the sake of it.
- Device-Friendly Ensure your pop-ups are responsive and look good on all devices. Mobile users shouldn’t get a wonky, half-cut message.
- Exit Strategy Always give users an easy way out. Include a clear “X” button in the top-right corner of the pop-up. Let them decide whether they want to engage.
3. Have a Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing is like a conversation with your audience. It’s about sharing valuable and relevant information consistently. A robust content marketing plan should be a part of your website redesign strategy.
When you have this ongoing dialogue, it’s not just about selling; it’s about building a connection. You provide insights, answer questions, and offer solutions – all of which are highly beneficial.
A content marketing strategy is your blueprint for success. It helps you:
- Understand Your Audience You define who you’re talking to and what they need. This insight lets you tailor your content to their preferences and problems.
- Consistency is Key A strategy ensures you publish content regularly. It keeps your website fresh, which search engines love, and keeps your audience coming back for more.
- Build Trust When you consistently provide valuable content, you become a trusted source of information. People are more likely to do business with those they trust.
- Drive Action Ultimately, the goal is to inspire your visitors to take profitable actions. This could be signing up for a newsletter, making a purchase, or any other goal you set.
Your website visitors are looking for guidance, insights, and solutions. A well-planned strategy ensures you always have something meaningful to offer, which keeps your audience engaged and coming back for more.
4. Plan a Post Website Design Strategy
Many believe that a website redesign every few years is sufficient. In this fast changing digital age, your website is never truly “finished.” It should evolve with your business and your audience’s needs.
Don’t just wait for a major website revamp – embrace continuous improvements based on data-driven insights.You cannot just build a website and expect miracles – like generating sales and attracting new customers. This approach is far from effective.
In reality, successful websites employ a growth-driven design strategy. This means ongoing, smaller-scale adjustments based on relevant data.
It’s all about seizing every opportunity for sales, engagement, and conversion rate improvements. Here is a comprehensive website maintenance checklist that you may follow.
This is how you’ll stay ahead of the game and keep your website a powerful asset for your business.
Trust us for professional website design & development services
Wisitech – Your Trusted Website Development & Design Partner
In the dynamic landscape of website design and optimization, staying ahead is vital for small and medium businesses. To ensure it’s a lasting and impactful one, consider partnering with experts who understand the intricacies of design, functionality, and user experience.
At Wisitech, we’re here to help SMEs navigate this digital journey with confidence. With 1,000+ clients worldwide and 24+ years of solid experience, we are a leading digital marketing agency specializing in creating robust and dynamic web and digital solutions for businesses in the United States.
Our website design/redesign services cater to your need of creating a website that not only looks great but also performs exceptionally, meeting the diverse needs of your business and audience.
Talk to us for end-to-end solutions — from SEO and Social Media Marketing Services, UI/UX Design Services that increase conversion, cutting-edge Web Development, and E-commerce Solutions to Content Development; we help you take your business to the next level and beyond by ensuring increased ROI and profits.