You only get one first impression, as the saying goes, and websites are a place where first impressions mean everything. More often than not, your website may be the first stop for many of your potential customers. Within one glance or a few clicks, they’re deciding whether or not they want to do business with you. If your site is confusing, poorly designed, or hard to navigate, you could use a customer instantly.
Having a smooth user experience when it comes to your website should be a top priority for you and your business. Websites generate leads, build trust and buying power for potential customers, and is the foundation for any and all marketing and sales efforts.
There are definitely some dos and don’ts when it comes to having a good UX on your website.
Here are 10 common website mistakes that are easy to fix:
1. Slow load speed
We’ve discussed this topic in a previous blog post about how to fix your site speed, but it’s an important mistake to never make. If your site loads slowly, customers are likely to bounce off your site before even giving it a chance. This mistake is easy to make, so make sure to test your site load speed today and make sure it’s loading as quickly as it should be.
2. Design that sucks
Aesthetics mean a lot when it comes to your website, and you want to make sure that your fonts and colours are up to snuff. Some colours are hard to read when put together, like white text on a black background, or reds and whites together. Also remember that there are accessibility concerns to consider (think: colour blind customers) with using certain mixes of colours together.
Avoid light coloured background with light text, and the same goes for dark colours. Use a font that people can read! That should be a given.
3. Too many Call-To-Actions (or no CTA)
Your call-to-action is probably one of the most important features of your website. You want to make sure you chose one call-to-action per page, and make it count. What are your business goals? What are the goals of the visitor?What did they come to your site looking for? 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 and your message will get lost. Have your CTA displayed loud and proud, and make sure that it’s designed 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 biggest mistakes websites make is having the website slowly build to the message through scrolling or having the user click through pages.
Instead, you want to ensure your message is clear, loud and proud at the top of your page. What solution do you provide? What is your CTA? Less is more here, and make sure you get your main message out on top from most important to least important.
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, you need to make sure your website is responsive on mobile. This means that your website has a specific design for mobile. Don’t make this an afterthought! You can also check your Google Analytics to see how many of your visitors are viewing your website on mobile vs desktop.
6. Cheesy images or sales tactics
Trust is everything, and 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. Ensure that if you state you are #1 in the industry, that you actually are and it can also link to an article or a reference 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? If a user is on your site trying to find something, they will easily get frustrated if they’re unable to quickly get to where they want to go. One big mistake is using hamburger menus (the menus that have a main title, and then when you hover they drop down to more sections) too much.
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 you provide and there is a menu item called 'Services' but also has 17 items in the dropdown menu, make sure that the menu item marked 'Services' is clickable and on that 'Services' landing page, it states all of the 17 services you provide that link to each of those service pages. Most people 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!