Nowadays, entrepreneurs have to maintain a unique and compelling web presence for their business in order to sustain a competitive advantage. For many, the ultimate goal is to maximize conversions by integrating the website’s interface with the best pipeline management software, which isn’t a cakewalk.
According to Kinesis Inc., 75% of consumers agree that they judge a businesses’ credibility on the basis of their website design. Also, attention spans are extremely short which has convinced entrepreneurs to take a more focused and practical approach to their web presence.
“If the user experience design does what it’s supposed to do, the user won’t notice any of the work that went into it. The less users have to think about the interface or design, the more they can focus on accomplishing their goal on your website.”Smashing Magazine
There are several web design elements that have a direct impact on conversions such as CTAs, images, content, and more. Let’s take a look at website design mistakes which, when corrected, can be the driving force behind an increase in online sales.
1. Painfully slow web page loading
Loading time research suggests 47% of users expect web pages to load in 2 seconds or less. Fast loading websites can increase conversions. Meanwhile, a majority of online visitors won’t return to slow websites. A slow website is often the result of large unoptimized images, poor coding, broken links, bloated plug-ins, etc. Thankfully, it’s easy to fix these issues and reduce the loading time of your website. Also, you can use online tools such as GTmetrix and PageSpeed Insights to analyze and optimize the speed of your digital portal.
2. Outdated website design
The web design and development industry can evolve rapidly, and professionals upgrade their skills regularly in order to keep up with the latest trends. Web development standards change over time, which makes it essential for your business website to remain updated, fresh and relevant. If your website design is outdated or obsolete, it can quickly become a conversion killer.
Hire a web development agency or freelancer who can help you design an updated site with the potential to fulfill specific requirements of your audience and meet your unique business goals.
Troubleshoot your website for usability and design flaws to ensure it provides visitors with exceptional user experience (UX). Keep the checkout process simple to reduce shopping cart abandonment. Moreover, pay attention to the visual branding and aesthetic appeal of your site to attract visitors.
3. Cluttered landing pages and complex navigation
Landing pages are powerful sales tools when implemented correctly. They can generate high-quality leads and increase conversions. However, if your landing pages are a mess with too much information, it looks uninviting, complicated and will drive visitors away (which is noticeable by an increase in bounce rates).
Providing site visitors with too many choices can be confusing and discourage them from taking the desired action. Keep landing page design as clean as possible with relevant details and remove all unnecessary elements. Also, ensure your site is easy to navigate so visitors can quickly find what they’re looking for. Provide a search box feature as well. Create a thoughtful UI/UX strategy to keep visitors on track.
4. Unoptimized for SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a key strategy to help your audience find you online. Optimize your website (on-page and off-page) to improve search engine rankings and increased visibility.
This can be done on-page by integrating meta descriptions, page titles, tags, custom navigation links, and keeping your site index fresh to help search engines easily find and index your site.
5. Confusing and irrelevant call-to-action copy
Your website should serve a distinct purpose and compel visitors to take specific actions (i.e., sign up for your newsletter, make a purchase, request a quote, etc.) A clear and prominent call-to-action (CTA) will help visitors do this and prevent them from getting lost on your site.
Design CTA copy and UI elements (such as buttons) to persuade users to convert and carry out an action. Use Google Analytics to identify where users are converting and why. Heat mapping tools and user tracking software can hel[ analyze overall CTA performance.
6. Ignoring above the fold opportunities
“Content layout and placement is important because content that appears above the fold is what is first visible when the user loads the page. It is the prime real estate that gets most of the attention from users,” according to Optimizely.
You have to grab a visitor’s attention within a few seconds. One way to do this is to place content that is essential to achieving your business goals at the top of the page (i.e., above the fold). In technical terms, “most web designers agree that the fold line is at approximately 1,000 pixels wide and 600 pixels tall.”
Your CTAs should also be placed above the fold to increase the likelihood of visitors converting and viewing multiple pages of your website.
7. Using mediocre stock photography and visuals
Visuals have a prominent impact on your brand image and website visitor perceptions. This is why it’s a good idea to use relevant and high-quality images. These visual cues can easily grab attention and increase the likelihood of conversions.
In addition to quality visuals, organize multimedia and content in a way that is clear to leave a lasting first impression. Keep content formatting consistent and an appropriate length for your audience and their needs. Also, avoid copying or plagiarizing content from other sources – as it will prompt Google to flag your website for duplicate content, hurt your reputation and negatively impact search engine rankings.
8. Lacking responsive web design (RWD)
According to Statista, 3.8 million people worldwide use their mobile devices to surf the internet. This means that your website must offer a responsive design that is mobile-friendly across a range of devices.
Google gives priority to mobile-friendly sites – which rank higher than unresponsive websites. So responsive web design is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity if you want to increase reach, visibility, and boost metrics.
9. Unsecured website
“SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral.”
If your website isn’t secured with an SSL certificate, it will pose a slew of potential problems. Not to mention: the latest version of the Google Chrome browser (and others) now call out sites with unencrypted connections as “Not Secure” in the URL bar.
Help instill visitor trust and keep customer data safe (especially if you buy and sell products or services online). Ensure all of your web pages are deployed with HTTPS-enabled encrypted connections that feature a green lock icon in the URL bar.
By avoiding these elementary web design and development mistakes you can easily create a business website that maximizes sales conversions.
Usman Raza is a co-founder of Christian Marketing Experts, content marketing specialist at PSDtoWPService.com. He has been writing for magazines and newspapers since 2001, and editing and managing websites since 2006. Usman has a BA in Business Development, Philosophy, and English. A generalist, his most covered topics are business and technology. When he’s not working, he’s spending time with his family.