Trying to get keen on a badly designed website is like going on a date with someone you thought was cute, only to find out they’ve got some pretty nasty habits. It’s a complete turn-off and a damn shame!
No one is perfect but having one too many turn-offs on your website could mean the difference between an ok business and a thriving one. Here are six points to seriously consider when building or updating your website to minimise the risk of being dumped.
1. Bad Navigation
So you’ve made the effort to build a website to showcase your business and skills. Hell yeah! Now, don’t make it hard for your customers to get around once they’ve arrived.
There is nothing worse than visiting a website that has crappy navigation where you have to choose your own adventure. Make it easy for your customers by having not only clear navigation throughout the general layout but also throughout the content of each page. Point them to the products and/or services you offer and define their next click with a prominent call-to-action.
In this fast-paced digital age we live in, no one is willing to stick around if you’re making it hard and wasting precious time. People want to be shown what to do and where to look next; clarity in the navigation is a must.
2. It’s Not Responsive
We live in a device-driven world and if your website isn’t responsive to work on all devices, especially mobile phones, then you’ve just lost up to 85% of potential customers!
Responsive websites mean the layout, navigation, text, and images are adapted to work with every device. This is important to maintain brand continuity and display your content in a cohesive way.
Static websites are archaic and if your website isn’t responsive then it’s as frustrating as trying to load and view something on a dial-up modem. If you have no idea what dial-up connection is, then that just goes to show that it’s a thing of the past! There’s really no excuse for not having a responsive website these days.
3. Broken Links
The dreaded 404 message is a bonafide mood killer and a sure way to turn your customers off. It’s pretty messy and unprofessional and you don’t want to send your customers to a dead end, ever.
The simplest way to ensure it doesn’t happen is to double-check ALL of your links! It seems like a no-brainer but so many people either forget or get lazy when it comes to this crucial part of building a website. Check your links, guys!
4. Bad Photos
Images make up about 90% of what captures your customers’ attention on your website, so make sure they’re damn good otherwise you risk losing their attention right away.
There are so many stock photo sites out there with images that don’t suck that you’re crazy if you put bad photos on your website. And the best part about the World Wide Web is that content is so readily available and often free. (But be sure to pay credit where credit is due.)
Great images mean the difference between a bad website and an awesome one. Choose wisely as to which side you’re on.
5. It’s Soooo Slow
Optimise your photos, people! You’ve gone to the effort of taking or acquiring great image content so make sure you maximise the impact they make on your website by making them easy and quick to load.
The mobile factor also comes into play here but most WYSIWYG editors provide the option of how you’d like to optimise images for different devices. Any good web designer will make sure your images are optimised and saved for web but if you’re building it yourself, ensure your site is capable of displaying your content properly – and quickly – so you keep your audience captivated.
Also, don’t forget to give your images relevant titles and metatags for the bonus SEO points!
6. Monotonous, Boring and Irrelevant Content
If you’re going to the effort and expense of building a website for your business or brand, you should already have a pretty defined motive and message you want to share with your audience by now, right? This is your platform to get your message out there – loud and clear – so make sure you’re sending the right message. Also, stay true to what your brand represents, that’s what makes you unique and the reason your customer is visiting your website in the first place.
If your brand or business is worthy they might stick around for a bit longer but make sure you’re not cutting any corners; keep your content relevant and exciting because out-dated information is a total buzz-kill. Repetition is good to get your message across to a point, but simply saying the same thing over and over again is going to bore the hell out of your customer to the point they go look elsewhere.