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10 website design mistakes that could limit your website’s potential

Great websites generate leads and sales, but just a few small mistakes can make a huge difference to the success of your website!

Before we start, I’d like you to consider the main purpose of your website…

If you have an e-commerce website, the website’s aim will be to sell your products.

If you offer a service of any kind, whether you are a business coach, a plumber, a events planner, photographer or any other service provider,  your website will be looking to provide enough information for potential clients to choose you to provide your service.

So whatever your business is all about, your website’s key purpose is  undoubtedly to generate leads or sales!

So, my next question is - is your website working for you or against you?

You want to make sure that when your ideal potential client lands on your website, they stick around, find what they’re looking for and complete the action you want them to take!

Aside from content, there are two main elements that will affect this outcome. I am about to share with you, from my experience both as a web designer, my previous career in international sales and marketing and from browsing online, some of the most common mistakes that I have seen people make when building their websites. I want to help you to avoid making these same mistakes, as these can limit your chances of reaching your most critical digital goals.

1. Branding

Branding is so important. Your website is very often the first impression a new potential client will get of your business – and first impressions are EVERYTHING!

Is your website giving your ideal client the right impression of your business? Does it truly reflect your brand values and how AMAZING your business is?

What to avoid:

•  Dated styling – if your website looks dated, your potential new client may start to worry that your service or product may also be out of date…

•  Blurry images – this is a big no no and will act as a turn off for your potential client. If you can’t find a high enough resolution version of the image you want to use… choose another one!

•  Poorly cropped images – if your site has an image, but the main focus point of the image is cropped out – this will suggest to your potential client that your attention to detail might not be quite what they would hope to receive from your product or service.

•  Text heavy – if your website has to much text without a balanced structure, you potential new client may lose interest very quickly. Short succinct sections will keep their attention and avoid losing their custom.

•  Poor font choice – this is the biggest of the lot! A font choice can make or break your design and determine how your audience perceives your brand . . . take a look at the example to see what I mean! 

Just please promise NEVER to use Comic Sans!

If you don’t get your style and branding right, your ideal client might leave your page, before they have the chance to find out just how perfect your product or service could be for them! Capture their attention or lose their custom!

2. Navigation

So your ideal client has made it to your page and has a great first impression… now what next? The next step is to guide the user through your website to find all the information they need to take action. 

This is what will bring in the leads and sales – so this needs to be as easy as possible! Time to keep them engaged!

What to avoid:

•  Lack of flow – too many pages and confusing navigation menus can all contribute to an awkward flow. Keep it simple.

•  Hard to find contact information – imagine your ideal client wants to get in touch, but they have to jump through hoops to find out how! You might just miss out on that sale,  because they got fed up trying to reach you.

•  Over-complicated check out systems – if it takes too long for your new client to go from deciding to buy from you to completing the checkout, they may well give up and look elsewhere.

•  Unnecessary pop ups – a single pop up, tactfully timed to be as uninvasive as possible, can sometimes help to secure a sale, BUT when those pop ups show up just at the wrong time, they can take attention away from a really important piece of content, of just be downright irritating. Either way, unless done with a lot of care and attention, a pop up can have a negative effect rather than the positive one they were intended for. If in doubt – don’t!

•  Not optimised for mobile displays – approx 50%  of internet traffic now comes from mobile devices. This is such a huge thing and if a potential client cannot easily navigate your website from a mobile device, they will likely become frustrated and leave the page.

You can have absolutely perfect content, but if you don’t have the right elements in the right places to make sure your ideal potential client finds it easily, it may as well not exist! If they don’t find that content, you are likely to lose that lead or sale.

So, whether you are setting up a new website, or giving an old website a refresh – make sure to take these elements into account so that you can attract your audience’s attention and keep them engaged for long enough to convert them into paying customers! User experience is also so important these days, with this making up a large part of Google’s SEO algorithms!

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My name is Jessica Bents and I run PB+J Web Design.  Designing and developing tailor made WordPress websites that are not only beautiful, but functional too