Studies show the average person would rather spend 15 minutes reading something on an aesthetically pleasing page than a plain one. Design matters on so many levels that it’s difficult to narrow it down. However, here are eight common mistakes web designers make:
1. Ignoring mobile responsiveness
Ninety-four percent of consumers gain an impression of a website on how responsive it is. If the screen doesn’t adjust to fit the size screen you’re on, it turns off potential leads. More and more people are getting smartphones and using them to access the Internet. The number grows every year. If your site isn’t mobile responsive, you’re missing out on potential conversions.
2. Leaving out contact information
Would you want to do business with a company that didn’t list a way to get in touch with them? Consumers may worry that they’ll have a problem with their purchase and no way to resolve it without clear contact info. It’s a good idea to offer more than one way for customers to get in touch with you. About 64 percent of site visitors want to see a company’s contact information on the landing page.
Maids In Black offers several ways to get in touch with them, including live chat, which pops up when you land on their home page. They also offer a telephone number, email and the ability to reach out via social media.
3. Allowing your site to load slowly
People are busy and impatient these days. If your site loads too slowly, you can be almost certain your site visitors will bounce away in droves. The bounce rate increases by 32 percent if your page takes just three seconds to load. Go to six seconds, and the bounce rate goes up 106 percent. You can see why every millisecond counts when it comes to page load speed.
4. Neglecting the footer
Don’t forget to focus on the footer on your page. People have learned that if they scroll to the bottom of the page, very specific information is in the footer. Your footer needs to offer some simple navigation and contact info. It is a valuable real estate, even though it’s below the fold.
Wing Tactical takes full advantage of the space at the bottom of their page to meet and then exceed consumer expectations. Note that they use a banner to draw attention to their mailing list. If you sign up, you can get exclusive deals. They then have some basic navigation and contact information. At the bottom, they add elements that build trust such as certifications and credit cards they accept.
5. Not using enough contrast
Have you ever visited a website where you had to squint to read tiny text? Perhaps the text is hard to read because there isn’t enough contrast between that and the background. Don’t fall victim to a page that is difficult to read because there isn’t enough contrast. When in doubt between design look and contrast, always go for higher contrast.
6. Missing call to action
A call to action tells your site visitor what the next step is and guides them through your sales funnel. If you want your site to turn into a high converting one, pay attention to your calls to action, making sure they are easy to locate, stand out from the rest of the page and use bold, action words.
Petplan does a great job with their call to action on their landing page. Note how it stands out in stark contrast with the background. It’s easy to spot and resides above the fold. The words on the CTA itself drive the user to action.
7. Hiding your backstory
Don’t be afraid to share where your company started and how far you’ve come. Your backstory is what makes your company truly unique, yet it is something many websites neglect sharing. About 52 percent of site visitors say they want to see “about us” information upon landing on a homepage.
8. Ignoring data
Studies show that it takes the average user about 2.6 seconds to find the spot on a webpage that impacts them and makes the first impression. If you want to know what works on your site versus what needs work, take the time to dig into the analytics behind your site. Get to know your average site visitor inside and out. Study heatmaps and see where people are clicking on your page and where they are exiting.
It’s not easy to avoid web design mistakes, but it’s simple to fix them. Set aside time each month to work on your site and fix any issues of concern. Study the data and figure out what is and isn’t working for your site visitors. Do some A/B testing to see which changes are most effective. If you put this type of attention into your site on an ongoing basis, you’ll see more conversions and happier visitors.
This is a guest article by Lexie Lu. Lexie is a web designer and UX strategist. She writes for Marketo, Creative Bloq, Manta, Website Magazine and Cats Who Code. Check out her design blog, Design Roast, and follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.