July 9, 2014
Your website is the most important and influential platforms you can have to showcase information about your business services to potential customers. Creating and hosting a website that is not only informative, but user-friendly, can be a challenging task. Small mistakes could cause immediate dissatisfaction, making your visitors want to leave. Fortunately, these mistakes are easily avoidable once you are aware of them. Here are some of the most common mistakes to keep in mind while crafting and updating your site.
Flash websites allow for intricate effects and animations, which are not necessary for content-focused websites. Customers visiting a small business website homepage are looking for clear, direct information. Over-the-top Flash designs can overwhelm the visitor and take away from important information. If you can, it is best to leave this out of your website design.
Flash does not work on Apple devices, so those using iPods, iPads, or iPhones to access your website will not be able to see the content you've created, decreasing your website audience greatly.
If animation is a must-have feature, using jQuery is the best approach.
Have you ever been on a website that was so challenging to read that it was unpleasant to stay on? Chances are that you have encountered something like this in the past and immediately switched to a different, easy-to-read website. Straining the customer's eyes is a fast way to get them to avoid your website and seek out alternatives or competitors.
Having a pleasant, easy-to-read design welcomes customers who no longer want headaches from looking at screens all day. This can be achieved by incorporating a simple, sans-serif font as well as finding a compatible text color and background combination.
Customers are searching your website for what they need, and are only interested in content that is relevant to them. For this reason, too much content can distract from the goal of a web page. Clear, concise content keeps customers focused, and can also draw attention to the key components of your website.
Complex navigation is extremely frustrating to customers. If the navigation on your site is not intuitive, the frustration will cause your customers to go elsewhere. Make sure that navigation is clear and consistent on every page to ease the customer through your website.
Slow Loading Speed
Having too many images, graphics, and videos on your web pages require more bandwidth. This can result in making the website take longer to download. Customers want immediacy. They aren't going to wait very long for a website to download when there's plenty of other sites to visit for the same information. Unless a large image or graphic is essential, it's often worth sacrificing for the sake of loading speed.
If you have a particularly slow mobile web page, there are a few opportunities you can consider. An AMP page could be beneficial for you, as its basically is a trimmed down version of your original page that only shows the necessary content of the page. Mobile viewers are also beginning to notice an AMP lightning symbol next to snippets in the search results, so this could give you an extra leg-up if they know your site is fast.
Customers today are accessing websites through countless devices, including phones, tablets, and laptops. If your website is not compatible with all devices, customers will miss it entirely. Having a responsive web design that is user-friendly and compatible with all devices is critical; offering an equal opportunity for various audiences to view will will result in an increase in traffic, and will help your business.
Having a website offers a major opportunity for businesses to connect with customers, so naturally it should provide a method of contact. Giving customers a way to take action when it comes to contacting your business, whether it is through a contact form or a phone number, allows you to connect with them on a more powerful and focused level.
Lack of Security
You'll want to have a site that not only protects your information, but that of your viewers. The likelihood of attracting more online viewers is significantly higher when they know that your site is safe for them to browse. If you haven't already, consider getting and SSL certificate for your website. It'll help you, your Google ranking, and your audience.
Lack of Textual Content
You need to have enough on-page text for search engines to recognize. If they can't recognize what your page is about, then they can't rank you or help you achieve organic viewers. Therefore, it is imperative that you do your research and include keywords in your content that you want your page to be recognized for when people make online queries. Don't just stuff your pages with keywords either. You want viewers to go to your site and stay there because you have quality, relevant, audience-focused material, not just a collection of related words.
Your potential audience should have a clue as to what they are clicking on before they decide to visit your site. This may be self-explanatory, but the URL you choose for your web pages should be relevant to what is actually on the page. If your URL is a conjunction of random numbers, letters, and symbols, you can count on not having a high level of traffic on that page. Make sure it's understandable to your viewers, and remember to place a keyword in there as well.
Not Using Analytics
If you're not analyzing the performance of your site, you're not going to know what areas could use improvement. Incorporating analytics into the maintenance of your site will help you better enhance your features and content, considering you'll actually be given actionable suggestions so you have a purpose in doing so.
Your website host should be helping you, not hindering your performance. Good hosts should offer some method of security, a variety of features, little downtime, and great customer service. The "big names" aren't always the best way to go depending on your business needs, so be sure to ask the right questions when deciding on a host or design for your site.
Not Using Rich Snippets
Enhance your web page's snippet in the SERP (search engine results page). You want your snippet to be the most attractive and enticing to encourage entry to your site. You have the opportunity to display products, reviews, and information about your services by incorporating a rich snippet for your web page listing.
Looking For More Help?
At Brave River Solutions, we work to help you avoid all of these web design and SEO mistakes so your business can succeed. You'll need to be fully equipped in order to take on your competitors online, and our team is ready to prep your site for optimal performance. To get started, just give us a call at 401-828-6611 or fill out the on-page contact form.