- Vanessa Rowley-Matthew
10 Website Design and Development Mistakes To Avoid
Many website builder ads exclaim how easy creating a website is. Such a lie. There's so much to consider when you are making a website. Websites must convey information and a clear brand personality to visitors while not overwhelming them with information while moving them to take action with presented content.
You must consider how people read, the movement of their eyes across a screen, the best ways for them to comprehend information, and more. There is nothing simple about creating a website that does more than look pretty but converts visitors into interested consumers looking to work with you.
Without a brand and messaging strategy, you are already starting on the wrong foot, but there's more to consider. Here are ten website mistakes that you'll be wise to avoid.
1. Creating Rotating Header Images With Text
Studies show that you might as well deem the content on moving images non-existent. So, the next time you see a scrolling header image, see if you can remember any content on it without stopping it from moving. I doubt it. It is human nature to pay more attention to the movement than the message. So unless your message remains the same while the images are moving, you face an uphill comprehension battle.
2. Using An Under Construction Sign on Your Website
If your website is not ready for the world, direct people to a social media page or create a short landing page to let people know a few things about your business and how to contact you directly.
3. Writing Long Paragraphs
When you break up your paragraphs into 5-6 lines of text, it is easier for people to read and understand. So your goal should always be to make it easier for people to consume your content. How else will they learn from you and see you as a trusted service business?
4. Not Updating Your Copyright Year
Outdated copyrights may make people think your company is not actively operating. For example, have you ever seen a website with the copyright year of 1998? If you did, what would your initial thoughts be about this company? Would you want these same thoughts applied to your business? If not, be sure to update your copyright year on your website annually.
5. Missing Call To Actions
If you do not tell people what you want them to do on your website, the chances that they will do anything you want them to do will be slim. Ask people to take the actions on your website you most desire them to take, especially if you want to serve more people. Actions you can ask visitors to take include prompts to call, buy, sign-up, and more.
7. Missing What Your Company Does
As soon as a person lands on your website, it should be clear how you can be of service to them. If a website visitor finds themselves struggling to determine how you can help them and why they should care, you will lose a prospect to another company that does a better job articulating its value proposition.
8. Missing Product or Service Benefits
If what you offer isn't useful, it is useless. And what is useful about a product or service is its ability to solve a problem. Are you letting people know what problem you are solving for them?
I am not talking about, for example, event planning helping to produce an event. Instead, I am talking about solving a problem like giving a marketing director time back in her schedule to market an event to hit her numbers rather than worry about the ins and outs of coordinating event logistics. This is an example of the types of benefits you should be speaking to on your website.
9. Writing Hard To Read Content
Please don't choose a website design direction simply because it looks pretty or nice to you. One design direction that many love to use way too much on a website is light-colored fonts on dark colors, prints, or light-colored backgrounds. Going any of these directions with your content color will either strain visitors' eyes or lower their comprehension of your content.
I know you don't want either of these things to happen because it will surely impact how well your website converts visitors into new leads you can potentially work with. You also don't want people to struggle to read your content because the words are too small.16px font and up, please.
10. Using a Long Domain Name
You may feel that using a long website domain name that is explicit about what you do is a smart idea. It is not. Long domain names are hard to remember and type. Keeping your domain name short and simple will increase the chances of it being remembered. Don't you want people to remember your website name? So, no, your website should not be "thefabulouseventplanningbusiness.com."
You should view your website as an investment in the future growth of your business. And you should invest in a website designer who has studied conversion rate optimization and website design. Someone who will focus on design and whether your website can turn clicks into clients using the guidance of a brand strategy.