So, its nearing the end of 2017 and websites are getting bigger, bolder and brighter. With new technology and faster broadband speeds there’s no excuse for website owners to be providing anything less than a fantastic website design experience. If only that was the case! Sadly, many sites are still guilty of making the same annoying mistakes that are sure to drive us finicky customers straight into the arms of their competitors.
Read on to find out the most common web design mistakes, how to avoid them and make sure your website is a lean, mean fighting machine!
What do you mean your website isn’t mobile-friendly?
Optimise for Mobile
Over the past couple of years the terms mobile-friendly and responsive have gained huge traction, and any site that is not built for mobile devices is effectively sticking their twos up at a huge portion of their user-base. Not only is this rather rude, but it is also business suicide. Around 60% of traffic is now delivered via mobile devices, and in some sectors this is even higher. What’s more, if you’re running a business that targets local customers, be aware that mobile search far exceeds searches via desktop. So, what are you waiting for, get that website optimised for mobile now. Your customers will thank you for it!
You call that content?
Don’t say it, don’t say it, don’t say it… Oh ok I’ll say it (but don’t shoot me) – Content is King! Yes, I know it’s a cliché that we’ve heard time and time again. But… There’s a really good reason for that, it’s because it is most definitely true. In fact, of all the adages to come out of the world wide web, this is probably to truest. And… To further emphasize the importance of this, quality content is now even more important than it ever has been before. This is because Google now places more importance on the quality of your content than anything else when it comes to search rankings.
So, what is quality content. Well, in a nut shell, content that provides fantastic value to your user-base. Teach them something new, tell them something about your products which will inspire them, provide them with a piece of content which will benefit them. Most importantly your content needs to keep them on the page to avoid the dreaded high bounce rate, which will as sure as sugar send your site spiralling down the rankings.
Haven’t I seen you somewhere before?
OK, its roll your eyes time… Surely nobody is stupid enough to add the same content on different pages of their website, right? Or even worse copy content from other websites? Who would make such a catastrophic error of judgement? Well to tell you the truth this is a lot more common than you would think, and it’s actually very easy to do without realising it. Take an eCommerce site for instance… There are thousands of products and so little time, and you need to add a description for each one. The quickest way to do this is to visit the manufacturer’s site, find the product and copy the description. Hey presto, job done! But… what if all of your competitors have done the same thing, suddenly you realize this content is duplicated across a zillion websites all selling the same product. How the heck is Google going to separate the wheat from the chaff? The truth is your site will be penalized for duplicate, low quality content, and your search position will suffer… But what if you revisited each product description and customised it focusing on keyword rich, non-duplicate content? Well then you will be giving Google something great, something outstanding, something which can stand tall and proud at the top of the search results!
The truth is great content takes time, but that time spent is worth it and will reap huge rewards. Give Google and your customers what they want, quality original content.
Who turned out the lights?
So, you’ve got your new website up and running and the web design looks great, the navigation is perfect, usability top notch, and you’ve spent a fortune on professional photos… Just one problem, nobody is finding you… It’s as if you are completely invisible! But do not fear, you seem to have made the same mistake many people make, and that’s forgetting about your on-site SEO. This is one of the most important steps in your website design process and, without it, you have no chance of achieving a decent ranking in the SERPs. The number of websites we see that have nothing but the company name in their HTML page titles, and no meta-descriptions. Or… worse still, leaving the standard WordPress – My Blog page title and tagline. Luckily, it is very easy to fix this. Just make sure you have a keyword rich page title which is relevant to each page, and a meta-description with a great call to action. Simple!
The truth is that on-site SEO alone is unlikely to get you top of the rankings, but it is a great place to start. Getting to the top of the pile involves regular on-site and off-site SEO work.
Who’s that trip trapping over my bridge?
Let me ask you something… Do you know who has been visiting your site? Which cities they live in? How much traffic comes from mobile devices? How about your bounce-rate, is it high? These are all questions that you should be able to answer, but amazingly many website owners know next to nothing about their website traffic. There are many website tools out there but Google Analytics is definitely one of the most useful tools on the marketing, and it’s completely FREE… What? You say, FREE? Yes, completely FREE… And it’s also very easy to setup.
The truth is that analytics is a MUST for any website owner. It can show you where your traffic is coming from, which pages are the most popular, traffic increase due to a marketing campaign, and much, much more. If a blog topic is particularly popular you can use this data to tailor more popular content. Using data to constructively improve your visitors experience is the way to consistently improve your website and increase traffic.
So, make sure you don’t make the above, very common, web design mistakes. Or, If you already have made them, well… Be grateful you found this fantastic article! In all seriousness, the above mistakes are all too common, but are also very easy to remedy, so get that website of yours into tip top shape and working like a mean, lean fighting machine!
If you would like to discuss ways to improve your website performance, get in contact with the Dreamscape team to find out how we can breathe new life into your business.