10 Common Website Mistakes That Drive Your Customers Away

Common Website Mistakes

You only get one first impression, as the saying goes, and websites are a place where first impressions mean everything. Within one glance or a few clicks, they can already decide whether or not they want to do business with you. So, check these 10 common website mistakes right away and get that user approval.

A website generates leads, builds trust and buying power for potential customers, and serves as the foundation for any and all marketing and sales efforts. Ensuring smooth website user experience should be a top priority for you and your business. People love to search everything on the internet, and more often than not, they may find your website as the first stop to what they need.

If your site is confusing, poorly designed, or hard to navigate, you could lose a potential customer instantly. There are definitely some dos and don’ts on ensuring a good UX for your website. Here are the things you need to fix:

1. Slow load speed

We’ve discussed this topic in a previous blog post about how to fix your site speed. If your site loads slowly, customers will likely bounce off your site before even giving it a chance. This is a mistake easy to neglect, it highly impacts your user experience and bounce rate. So, test your site load speed today. Make sure it’s loading as quickly as it should be. And maintain it.

2. Design that sucks

Aesthetics mean a lot when it comes to your website. You want to make sure that your fonts and colours are up to snuff. Use a font that people can read! That should be a given. Avoid light coloured background with light text, and the same goes for dark colours.

Also, some colours do not work effectively when put together. Examples are white texts on a black background, or reds and whites together.Watch out for any accessibility issues when choosing colour combinations. Think about colour-blind customers.

3. Too many ‘Call To Actions’ (or nothing at all)

Your Call to Action is one of the most important features of your website. You want a catchy and engaging CTA per page, so make it count. What are your business goals? The intents of visitors? Web pages they usually look at from your site? What would they want to do next? If it’s booking a consultation, or downloading an eBook, then focus on that and only that.

Your users will get overwhelmed if there are too many things to do. Thus, your message will get lost. Display your CTA loud and proud. But make sure to design it properly to drive the desired action. Think of the user journey and where they would likely go next on your site. Allow them to do that.

4. No hierarchy of information

According to HubSpot, 55% of visitors spend fewer than 15 seconds on a website. That means that you have literally seconds to get your message across and make it count. One of the common website mistakes — and possibly one of the biggest — is killing the customer’s attention because of endless scrolling or the need to click through a lot of pages before getting the message they want.

Instead, you want to ensure your message is clear, concise, and accessible at the top of your page. What solutions do you provide? What is your CTA? Less is more here. Strategically place your most important messages to where the eyes can find them immediately.

5. Forgetting about mobile

Pretty much everyone these days is using their phone to view your website: it’s no secret. Especially if you’re using paid Facebook ads and driving to your website on social media, your website should be responsive on mobile. This means that your website has a specific design for mobile. Among the common website mistakes, don’t make this an afterthought!

You’re missing a lot of traffic if you don’t make your site mobile friendly. You can also check your Google Analytics to see how many of your visitors are viewing your website on mobile versus desktop.

6. Cheesy images or sales tactics

Trust is everything. Customers use your website to learn more about your company before deciding to do business with you. Think of it as the first step in building a relationship. So, it’s time to ditch the stock photography and other images that have nothing to do with what you do. If you’re in an industry where finding images is touch, stick to iconography or just a nicely designed website.

Also, avoid cheesy sales lingo. Talk to your customers in an authentic way. If you state you are #1 in the industry, ensure you actually are. It greatly helps to link articles or a references to validate that claim.

7. Trying to break free of the classic elements

While innovation is great, some things are timeless and staples when it comes to web design. For example, users are used to links being underlined. Some sites try to bold them instead, or change the colour of the link text, but it’s simply not as effective. Users like to navigate pages the way they always have, and some staples to design aren’t to be messed with.

The same goes for About Us or Contact, yes you can change them a bit (ex. Our Story, Get in Touch) but don’t stray too far away from the norm. Another small note is that Social media icons should be top right or in the Footer. This is where people look for them when visiting websites.

8. Complicated navigation

Remember the 15 second rule? When users try to find something on your site, they easily get frustrated at the difficulty on going where they want to. Another example of these common website mistakes is using hamburger menus too much. The menus have a main title and drop down to more sections. It feels like the Inception movie — drowning.

Remember that if things require a drop down, they are essentially hidden until a user finds them. Try to avoid them if you can. Or if you need to use them because you have a lot of sections, then create one page that has all of the info on it and choices for people to click on.

For instance, if you have 17 services, make sure the menu item is marked ‘Services’ and clickable. On that ‘Services’ landing page, it lists these 17 services with its short description. The names of the services are also clickable, and each one is linked to its service-specific page. Most people immediately want an overview of what you actually provide instead of clicking on 17 pages to find out.

9. No page titles

Make sure your pages are properly labeled so users understand what they’re looking at. Have you ever been on a blog and had no idea you’re on a blog? Likely, you left the page or hit backspace so many times you ended up back on Google clicking on a different page. Don’t let your users get confused!

Have every site page titled properly, in big title words at the very top.

10. No relevant links

You determine the user journey and help your users navigate your site. Provide links to the next thing they might want to see. If they’re reading a blog about your new awesome product, make sure you have a link to that awesome product either in the blog or on the side. If a user is reading customer testimonials, have a CTA button to contact your company in a visible spot.

Don’t miss out on guiding users to the right page on your site. If they’re on your website, it means they’re interested and engaged. So, help them contact you sooner to start that relationship!

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