7 Deadly Website Mistakes
Okay, maybe they're not exactly deadly. But these 7 common website mistakes can potentially make the difference between a visitor checking you out + taking action or peace-ing out because they don't connect with you. Keep reading below to find out what they are and correct them before you lose more customers.
1. You have NO PHOTOS OR BAD PHOTOS
As a designer I can tell you that one of the more challenging parts of building a website is choosing photography. In fact, it can be so intimidating that some people try to get away with using no photos at all. The problem with this is that we are visual creatures. We're faster to connect with images than we are to read a butt load of text. So having beautiful, high-quality photos on your site is super important. Especially on your homepage because it's the first impression people have of your business.
My first tip is to use photos of people if it's at all possible because your viewers can then imagine themselves in the position of buying your product or service. My second tip is that if you're going to use stock photography (which there is no problem at all with) then for the love of god please don't use super cheesy images. Make sure that the stock photos complement each other or have a similar style so that they look cohesive and go together.
2. Your site is NOT MOBILE FRIENDLY
The percentage of people who are viewing websites on some sort of mobile device could now be up to 50% (source). If your site looks wonky or terrible on a tablet or smart phone, then you're missing out on half of the opportunities to get a customer. 'Nuff said. Get with the times.
3. Your website is TOO BUSY
It's tempting to want to add all the fancy doodads and hoo haws on your site because there are so many cool ones. But do you really need that weather widget (unless you work for the weather service)? Ask yourself if you're instead detracting from your main message and distracting viewers by giving them information on things that aren't your products or services.
It's also tempting to want to fill every inch of your website with elements, pictures, text and other things. But I'm here to tell you that white space is your friend. Having negative space between items on your site and intentionally leaving a little bit of breathing room is incredibly beneficial for people to scan your website for the information they're looking for. It's overwhelming to a person's eye when there's so much STUFF on your site that you don't know where to look.
4. You have TOO MANY FONT STYLES
Along those same lines, if you have more than two or three different font styles on your site then you're making it even harder for people to read your information. I know that there are so many cool fonts in the world to use, but when you have too many it ends up looking busy and unprofessional.
5. You don't have ENOUGH FONT STYLES
To make things even more confusing, some people don't have enough font styles. If everything is in the same font and it's all the same size, then all text blends together into one giant blob. And that means nothing is standing out. An easy guideline is to use two complementary font styles (that means that they don't look too similar, but aren't crazy different) and make sure that you have one large headline (about 10 points larger than your paragraph font), one medium headline and one body copy. That's a pretty safe bet.
6. Your ABOUT PAGE ISN'T ABOUT your CUSTOMER
The about page can be one of the most beneficial pages on your website for converting visitors into customers. But it's also one of the easiest places to make huge mistakes. So many times I see people write an entire life history of themselves on the about page. Sorry to burst your precious little bubble, but the about page shouldn't even really be about you. You're going to have a better response if it's more focused on telling your audience about themselves and why they should choose to work with you. Yes, it's totally cool to include some information about yourself. But let's be honest, as much as we love talking about ourselves, our target audience doesn't care. In fact they love hearing about themselves as much as we love talking about ourselves.
7. you have NO CALLS TO ACTION
You are leaving money on the table if you're not asking your audience to take action after they visit your site. Not only should your website be informational, but you should guide your users to the next step you want them to take. Call them to take a specific action. Ask them to subscribe, tell them to click to learn more, or offer them an incentive to reach out. Make sure that there is some sort of instruction, plain and simple, on your site that tells people what to do next. Otherwise you're letting them leave and forget you forever.
A website is never truly finished. You should always be working to improve it, so if you found yourself guilty of one of these deadly sins then there's no better time to fix it than now. What other web mistakes have you found that irk you?