Are you looking to upgrade your current business website or start one from scratch? A professional-looking website can do wonders for your small business. An extension of your brand, your website has the chance to inform, entertain and engage with potential readers, customers and fans. However, a poorly designed website can often leave readers feeling underwhelmed. Here are five mistakes to avoid when designing your website.
1 Cluttered navigation
There is nothing worse than visiting a website and being unable to find what you are looking for because of a poorly designed or cluttered navigation. Make sure you think about your user when you design your website and don’t simply plow ahead with your own agenda. If there are too many items in your navigation, don’t leave it there because that’s how you want it – think of it from your readers point of view. Can they find what they are looking for? Remember to check both desktop and mobile as your navigation menu may display differently.
2 Hidden search bar
If your website houses many pages, for example, if it includes a blog or multiple product pages, you need to make sure you have good search functionality. Burying your search bar in your navigation or footer is not helping your readers who are looking for something specific. Make it bold and easily accessible – on both mobile and desktop. In the same vein, it’s worthwhile looking into your search functionality. Does your search bar actually work? Test it out for yourself!
3 Poor choice of colours or fonts
Even a well-designed website can be hard to navigate if you’ve chosen too many crazy colours or hard-to-read fonts. While it can be nice to choose a fancy font that you think looks great, if it’s hard to read, especially on mobile, you’ll send visitors away. Choose only one or two main colours to focus on when designing your website and leave the rainbow behind. Do a little survey and ask around to see what people think of your website and if they find the font type and size adequate before you send it live.
4 No call to action
Don’t forget, you’re allowed to ask your audience to do something while they are visiting your site. If you have no call to action, they will come and go and perhaps never come back. It could be something as simple as inviting your readers to sign up to your newsletter list or follow you on social media. If you offer a product or service, it could be a free trial or a temporary discount. Think of it as a way to say thanks for coming to my site, please come again soon.
5 Too much text
We’re lucky that in this day and age, we can incorporate content in a variety of formats to our website. Instead of focussing only on text, think about how you can include different forms of content to engage with your reader. It could be a well-designed infographic, professional imagery or an easy-to-follow video tutorial. The possibilities are endless. Of course, you need to make sure there is also enough text on your page to satisfy SEO guidelines.