Five Web Design Mistakes to Avoid for a Successful Website

It’s no secret that your website is one of the most important assets of your digital marketing strategy. But without the right execution, your most valuable marketing tool can easily turn into the biggest hindrance to your business’ growth.

With years of web design experience, we’ve seen our fair share of bad sites and how they can negatively affect a company’s bottom line. Your website is often where new customers go to learn more about you. If they don’t like what they find, then those leads can quickly leave the top of your funnel without looking back. After all, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

For that reason, we’ve compiled some of the biggest issues brands tend to run into with their website. Here are the top five web design mistakes to avoid like the plague.

1. Designing Without Clear Strategic Goals

Have you ever stumbled on a site that had way too much going on? We’re talking product listings, discounts, reviews, and more, all thrown on the page in a way that probably made you rush to exit.

Many brands try to stuff too much content on one page, distracting visitors from the primary focus of the site. They fail to recognize that their website is meant to highlight their unique selling points, set themselves apart from the competition, and provide an experience that’s tailored to their target audience.

Having a goal and plan for each page will help you make more strategic decisions regarding the layout and content of your website. It will guide the visual hierarchy, or how each design element is arranged to show importance, which influences how visitors interact with and make certain decisions on your site. Essentially, knowing what you want users to do on your website allows you to design it in a way that increases the chances of that happening.

If you need some assistance defining your digital strategy and goals, don’t hesitate to work with a creative agency like ours. We’ll not only help you figure out the best use of your site, but our expert team of web designers will work to make sure you get the most out of your investment.

2. No Call to Action (CTA)

When a website has no intentional strategy, it often reveals itself through its lack of call to action (CTA). Your website is there to help you achieve certain goals, so one of the biggest design mistakes you can make is to not be clear about what you want your visitors to do.

Whether you’re hoping to increase sales or generate leads, don’t be shy in asking for it! The call to action acts as a key selling tool and driver of engagement, so be bold with your CTA and tell your users exactly what their next step should be.

With CTAs, it’s best to be simple and precise with your language. Easily understood phrases like “Buy Now” or “Contact Us” are great examples of a strong call to action.

While there should always be a primary CTA that takes the lead on each page, providing additional call to actions to other areas of your website can encourage continued engagement. For example, if a visitor isn’t ready to contact you after reviewing your services page, providing a button to your about page can keep them exploring your website for longer. On the other hand,  having a “Write a Review” button on a page designed to get new customers would be an oddball move. When you’re including more than one CTA, make sure they are all relevant to the page’s content and follow a reasonable order.

Finally, the design elements of a CTA play a huge role in spotlighting the next action your visitors should take. Where the CTA is placed, how it looks, if it stands out, and more, can all make or break the effectiveness of a great call to action.

3. No Responsive Design

These days, no one is bound to just one kind of device. From smartphone and tablet users to those browsing with a laptop, you want to be able to provide a great online experience for every visitor that comes across your site, no matter the device they’re on.

If you’ve ever struggled to navigate a desktop-only website on a tiny mobile screen, then you know how frustrating it is when companies forget to consider device sizes as they design their sites. Luckily for all of us, responsive design exists! With responsive web design, a website can change its layout and adapt to the screen size of the device that it’s being viewed on.

responsive web design for mobile and desktop
Responsive web design for Batia Construction Co. by PH3

In contrast to having separate desktop-only or mobile-only websites, which have to be designed and updated individually, responsive web design removes the inconvenience of duplicate updates. A single change to a website’s design becomes observable to visitors no matter if they are on a smartphone or desktop. This allows for a seamless user experience where the info and experience are the same across devices, ultimately contributing to brand consistency.

In a way, forgoing responsive design is like still using a touch-tone telephone. If you’re in need of a major upgrade, we’ve got the latest and greatest. Our team of UX-driven designers prioritizes delivering a seamless experience for every visitor, from the moment they first enter your site to the second they leave as a converted customer.

4. Slow Load Times

According to Google, the ideal time it takes for a site to display content is under 3 seconds. That’s a shocking stat when you consider the fact that the average mobile webpage takes 15.3 seconds to load. With most pages having relatively long load times, you can stand out from the crowd by delivering a conveniently quick online experience.

More importantly, though, there is a direct negative effect that slow load times have on conversion rates. It’s been found that for every second delay in mobile page load, conversions can fall by up to 20%.

In short, your visitors expect your site to load quickly. Every second they spend waiting is an invitation for them to bounce and never come back.

Pay attention to elements that may affect the load time of your website. Some common speed killers include:

  • Unoptimized images
  • Large or complex video files
  • Server issues
  • Bulky code
  • Too many HTTP requests

Not sure what’s bogging down your website’s speed? Having an agency complete a thorough website audit can help you solve the issue.

5. Ignoring Analytics

While it may be tempting to call it a day once you’ve got a nice little website up, the work doesn’t stop there. How do you know you’ve got a successful website if you don’t measure and track it?

There are loads of metrics tools and plugins that can collect and present valuable data on your web performance. These tools can inform you of load time, the most popular pages, and more. Having someone keep a close eye on these analytics will be key to keeping your website design optimized over time.

Of course, despite the importance of analytics, regularly reviewing that data may be a task that you just don’t have the time or skills for. If that sounds like your situation, then consider getting agency support from us here at PH3. Our team will stay updated on your analytics to uncover key insights and then handle any updates and maintenance needed to keep you at the top of your web game.

Let's Strengthen Your Online Presence

Whether you need a full website makeover or help with the finishing touches, PH3’s got the tools and know-how to amplify the effectiveness of your web presence. So what are you waiting for? Read more about how we can help or get the ball rolling by reaching out to us today!