There’s no doubt your website design is crucial to the success of your business. From branding to marketing, from explaining your product to providing contact information, your website is your “storefront to the world”. That’s why it’s imperative to get it right. If you don’t, it could cost you dearly in current and future revenues.
Avoid these common mistakes many companies make while building or re-tooling their website.
1. Not clearly defining or understanding the target audience before building the website.
Often, small and medium sized businesses want to get a website live as quickly as possible without regard to defining the target audience first. Are your customers older, younger, male or female? These are important things to consider because once you know who your viewers will be, you can accommodate your design around them.
2. Overthinking and overdesigning the website
We’ve all heard about the “KISS” theory, right? – “Keep It Simple Stupid.” That definitely applies with website design. Though you need to have a detailed plan, don’t overthink it either. And, don’t believe that your website design has to be flashy or impressive. It simply should look good, be attractive to the eye, provide the intended information quickly and concisely, and be easy to navigate. Rule of thumb is a viewer should be able to find what they’re looking for within 3 to 5 seconds. Anything longer and you risk losing them.
Also take into consideration the mobile market, as it’s growing seemingly day by day. Flashy, graphic-intensive and word-heavy sites simply don’t work well on mobile devices.
3. No call to action
This is an old advertising mainstay, the “call to action”. You can avoid the “buy now”, “call today”, “don’t wait” type stuff but you do need to tell your viewers what you want them to do. Think about answering the question, “What’s in it for me?”, and the call to action should tell them what to do next.
4. Paying too much or paying too little
Wow, this is a tough one. Since we’re all budget conscious, what is the right price to pay? Well, it all depends. Often when people ask, “How much for a website?” an appropriate reply would be, “How big is the boat?” Usually this gets some awkward looks and introduces some confusion. However, if you want a canoe, its one price; a yacht is another.
There is also an old saying – cheaper is more expensive. Often you’ll find the least expensive work means that you have to do it again, get someone to fix it, or live with a less than ideal website design. On the other hand, you don’t want to overpay, either. There are a lot of companies out there that can help, just make sure you get several bids, get references, and do your research before choosing a company to design your website.
5. Taking the “Do It Yourself” approach
Honestly, this rarely works. Much like hiring your buddy that does this work “on the side”, this seldom pans out. You’re website is often your customer’s first experience with you and your company. Do you have the skill set to really make that first impression through your website a great one? Just like with most businesses, there’s a lot of competition out there and you certainly don’t want to disqualify your business from being chosen by a bad website design. If first impressions are everything, don’t allow your customers to make assumption about your company, product or service, because of a poorly designed website.