By Steven Titchener
When building websites is your profession, you see a lot of them. Which also means you see the same mistakes come up again and again. So we’ve made a short list of the top mistakes we see on so many websites, how many are you guilty of?
Do we need to say anymore? Popups are one of the most hated inventions of the internet and for good reason.
Now I’m pretty sure that I can say anyone reading this hates popups right? So why do we keep using them?
You go onto a site and what are you faced with?
And it takes a long time to get these over and done with and removed from the site you are trying to view. The problem is, users do just that with them. They just try and get rid of them, if you’re lucky, if you aren’t then they might just leave the page without reading all of that great content you’ve put so much time into.
Now, the cookie consent popups are required, but the others aren’t. And if you’re website is designed properly you shouldn’t need to use them to get users to signup to your email list, the UX and design will grab their attention themselves and with the use of a good CTA, they are there… and happier to be there.
Surprisingly in 2021 we still see a lot of websites that are poorly optimised for mobile devices. There is little to no reason as to why, but they are.
Mobile traffic will make up a LOT of your web traffic and so should be a large consideration when designing and developing your website.
One issue we find in particular is not that the website isn’t responsive at all, it’s just it hasn’t been thought through. Making everything stack on top of each other sometimes doesn’t cut it, it turns the pages into extremely long and boring pages.
Instead think about the ways a user could interact with the content and develop that out to create a more engaging experience. You could even change content and images specifically for mobile devices!
Call to actions are hard, we get that. You want something that grabs a users attention, but also keeps on brand and maybe isn’t too clickbaity or pushy, but it still needs to convert. It’s a minefield!
But that doesn’t mean your call to action has to be bland. We’re talking about the ‘get in touch now’ CTAs here… you know who you are.
Try making your call to action mean something, give them a reason to get in touch!
I get not everyone can have an eGuide, course, free giveaway offer to entice people with, but you can do better than ‘get in touch now’. I believe in you!
This is a BIG one that we see all of the time. In fact, I wrote a blog on it recently that you should 100% check out.
The TL;DR version is that we can only process and hold so much information at once, so pilling information and options on your users causes them analysis paralysis or choice overload, meaning they end up just leaving your site without doing anything at all.
Sad for everyone.
We often see this as navigation options and buttons. You have your navigation at the top with 20 different options, then underneath you have a header with another 3 then another section with 6 more options of pages you can visit.
Keep it simple, try and make the navigation have a maximum of 4 choices. Then focus the rest of your site on 1 or 2 great CTAs (see above).
We always go on about having the smallest image size possible to make your website super fast, and while that is a genuine rule, don’t let it be at the cost of resolution.
One of the quickest ways to make a user lose trust in your business is to have poor quality images on your website.
If you do want to reduce your image file sizes, try using other image formats like WebP, you’ll be amazed at the reductions you can get.
This might be surprising, but if you just have a hamburger menu on your website, you’re hiding important information, like how to get around your website.
And I know, it’s 2021 and we all know what that little stack of lines does. But that doesn’t mean it’s good UX.
What you’re doing is making it harder for users to find the information they are looking for. That doesn’t mean I don’t like hamburger menus, but keep them for less important pages, like your about page for instance. Then have the major navigation players proudly presented in the open!
You don’t need to know all of the ins and out’s of why you need H1, H2, H3 etc. But you do need to know there is a reason having them in certain places makes sense, technically.
It might not make a difference in the look of the design, but probably does, the main reason is for the little search engine bots to find out what the website is about and who they should show it to.
Have you ever been on a website and tried to find a small piece of information that arguably should be pretty easy to find. Only to spend an entire day clicking link after link, going deeper into the abyss of a website just to get that.
It sounds a little like the UK Government website…
But it’s a regular issue we see, with businesses wanting every service and sub-service to have it’s own page with separate FAQ and information pages on top of those. And I get why they do it, in theory it makes sense, you can have more information presented that way.
But as we’ve said earlier… more isn’t always better.
So keep your website simple and don’t have too many subpages.
Okay, this one really depends on if you want your website to be great or not. That sounds really bad right… but it’s true.
Google analytics is amazing, don’t get me wrong and you can get some great data from there. But it really is the tip of the iceberg.
There are so many other ways to analyse your website other than how many people are visiting it and where they came from. Tools like Hotjar allow you to see HOW those people interact with your website, meaning you can tweak the design and CTAs for maximum conversions. Then you have more detailed SEO tools like Sistrix that help you do a whole manner of optimisation.
Google analytics is an entry point, but to really get the most from your website you need to be using other tools to get more detailed data, and then actually ACT on that data.
Don’t let poor web design and development hold you back, drop us an email to see how we can help you take to superstar level.
Part of The Digital Maze Group