Do you want a website that generates more business?
When creating a website, many people make a mistake in the role the website is to play. Is the website intended to provide information, or is it to entertain? Is the website to help you build credibility or is it to sell products?
The trend seems to be that the smaller the company or business, the more emotionally connected the owner are to their website. They add content to please themselves with little or no regard to website visitors. Unfortunately, many businesses build a website for themselves instead of their customers and potential customers.
When you start thinking about creating your website, providing a user-friendly environment should be one of your top priorities. Consider what the message is that you want to deliver to the visitor. Think about the questions they may have that you could answer for them. Also, think about the value of your website and what it has to offer the reader.
Here are some of the common website mistakes that you should avoid:
Pop-up windows are probably the biggest distractors, and annoyances, on a website. They take away from your content on the page, add an “all show no go” atmosphere to the site and if the pop-ups are too numerous, it will cause people to leave without ever reading your content.
While some advertising is to be expected on a webpage, if the business revenue stream is advertising, you should avoid putting Google AdWords or banner ads on your site. The purpose to your website is its content; the message you want to deliver, and to generate business for your company, not everyone else’s company. Yes, you could make a little extra money every month by placing ads onto your website, but what would bring in more money, that banner ad or a new client?
Flash website were never a good idea. Today, though, they are a horrible idea. Never use Flash on your website. It is that simple. Flash doesn’t work on mobile devices. Flash slows down websites. There is no reason for you to have a Flash website.
A splash page is almost as bad as Flash. Do not confuse a splash page with a landing page. Splash pages are only going to slow down visitors coming to your website. They don’t add any value. Companies that use a Splash page do not trust the content on their homepage to deliver a clear message about their company. A landing page, on the other hand, is a great idea. Companies use landing pages to better target their message for a particular marketing campaign.
Audio or Video On Page Load
While using multimedia content and having it available on your website is encouraged, having it play as soon as a visitor opens your page is not. Having an audio or video start playing when the page loads could cause them to leave your page. Perhaps they are in an environment where loud noises are not appreciated, such as at the office or a library. Having your multimedia available to the visitor so they can chose when they want to view or listen to it is the better option.
There is such a thing as too much stuff on a web page. One thing that kills a website is clutter. Clutter is the result of not planning out your homepage correctly. Your homepage is your first chance at communication with a potential customer or client, therefore it should be well thought-out and be a part of your online marketing strategy. One thing your homepage should not be is a bulletin board. If you have an announcement you want to make to visitors, make sure there is an appropriate page for it.
Ever try looking into a pitch-black closet for your favorite black hoodie without a light? Impossible isn’t it. That’s what it is like trying to read content when the contrast is not done correctly. Not only is it hard to read, it also causes increased eye strain which can result in headaches. Do you really want your website remembered as the website that gives you headaches? Keep it simple, stick with a black or dark grey font color against a white background.
While badges that show your affiliation to various social networking sites is alright, remember to use them in moderation. Badges can be tricky to get to mesh with design of your website.
Navigation that is Not User Friendly
Keep the navigation the same throughout your entire website. Your goal should be to make the information on your site as quick and as easily as possible for visitors to find. Visitors tend to get frustrated when changing the main navigation through webpages. You can assist those that visit your page by using paging and breadcrumbs in addition to the main navigation menu.
Meaningless or Unrelated Content
Content that has nothing to do with the purpose of your website should be avoided. People come to your website for a specific purpose, not to see pics of a potato chip you found that looks just like Elvis. That is, unless your business involves selling potato chips that look like Elvis. While there is nothing wrong with adding personal touches, just make sure that what you put on your website stays on topic.