Top 10 website design mistakes to avoid at all costs
Explore the mistakes to dodge to ensure your site is optimized for search engines and inviting to potential customers
They say ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, but users do just the opposite when it comes to websites—studies have found that it takes about 50 milliseconds for a visitor to determine if they like your website enough to stay or not. 
With this fact in mind, it’s clear that it’s critical for your business website to be fully-functional and well-designed to attract visitors, establish credibility, and build long-lasting relationships with customers.
We’ve compiled a list of the top ten most common website design mistakes that we see and how to avoid them to help you succeed in optimizing your digital presence.
Mistake #1: Slow or unresponsive website
It’s important that your business’s website is fast and responsive to give your visitors a more positive experience, so they view your brand as trustworthy and reliable.
One key way to speed up your website is to optimize any image or graphics on the web pages for faster loading times to improve the user experience and the organic visibility of your page by giving contextual relevance to the images.
It’s also essential to ensure your website is fully responsive to allow your visitors to easily view your site without zooming or side scrolling. This provides for a better overall user experience, meaning lower bounce rates and higher conversion rates.
Mistake #2: No clear call to action
One of the most effective ways to reach your marketing objectives is adding clear calls to action (CTA) on your website. Even if your website is getting a lot of traffic, visitors will not know what to do and will leave without taking any action if you do not have CTAs.
Create calls to action that explicitly states what you want your website visitors to do, whether it’s signing up for your digital newsletter, downloading a free resource, or contacting your team to learn more about your services or products. A clear call to action will signal to users what to do and will more effectively convert visitors into leads.
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#3: Working on design before copy
When your website is being designed or redesigned, you may wonder if the text of your website or the actual design should be done first.
If you’re working with the right web design company, their content team will create the website copy first to ensure all of the information needed is detailed and SEO-optimized before starting the design. The graphic design team will then be aware of all the copy that needs to be included on the site as they design the visuals, so that the two pieces work together as cohesively as possible.
#4: Not including social media links
It’s a given that your business’s website needs to have your company’s name, address, and phone number, but it should also contain links to any social media accounts your business has so that potential and current customers can easily reach you through whichever channels they prefer.
Including links to your social media pages will also allow visitors to follow you and learn more about your company through your social media posts. At the same time, be sure you don’t make these links too prominent on the site because it could drive visitors away from the website to your social media immediately. It’s usually recommended that you add links to your social media profiles at the footer of your site.
#5: Poor or irrelevant images
When images on a website are done well, they can help convey the message you want your website and business to portray. When images are misused, they can be distracting and cause visitors to immediately click off your website.
The images and graphics on your website are a huge component of the look and feel of your business’s website, so have an idea of what images you’d like on your website early on in the design process.
If you are including team pictures on your website, ensure they are in a location and styled in a way that allows for new team members to easily be added in the future.
#6: Not mobile-friendly
Over 57% of all website traffic comes from mobile devices, so if your business’s website is not mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on more than half of potential web traffic. 
If your website is hard to read or navigate on a phone, mobile visitors will immediately leave your site without taking any action.
Website navigation is not the same with every device, so it’s important to ensure that your website is desktop, tablet, and mobile friendly. An experienced web design team will understand the importance of a mobile-friendly website and likely create one for you that is responsive on all devices.
#7: Ignoring SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a great marketing strategy your business can use to rank higher on search engines like Google to increase organic traffic to your website.
When designing a new website, it’s highly recommended that you and your team work with an experienced digital marketing agency that offers comprehensive SEO services alongside the websites they create for clients. The agency will be able to ensure that your new website is optimized for search engines from development of design and content through implementation of the live site.
Optimizing for SEO from the initial creation of your website will be extremely beneficial as you aim to rank higher on Google moving forward because you will have a firm foundation of keyword-rich content, optimized images, technical specifications, and more on your website.
#8: Unsecure website
A secure website is now considered standard for businesses in any industry. It shows visitors that your site is verified and safe from hackers, giving them increased confidence to make purchases and enter personal information.
Your website will need an SSL certificate to activate HTTPS protocol, which then lets visitors know your website is safe. If you do not have these measures, visitors will receive messages directly in their browsers saying that your website is not safe.
When customers trust a website, they’re more likely to make purchases or enter their information to be added to a mailing list.
#9: No plan for improvements and updates
The average lifespan of a website is 2 years and 7 months, so even if you’ve just completed a website design or redesign, you’ll need to start thinking about a redesign or updates sooner rather than later. 
Along with keeping your website design up to date, the content on your website should stay updated over the years as well. Don’t neglect your news or blog pages, and if your contact or any other business information changes, be sure to change it on the website too.
Website visitors want relevant and current information, and they’re likely not going to read something published years ago. Keep your content current to attract new visitors and bring existing ones back.
#10: Not defining roles and permissions
It’s a good idea to designate a specific role to everyone on your team regarding website updates.
By having specific people work on website updates, maintenance, and publishing content, you limit the amount of errors and security risks as you undergo ongoing maintenance over the years.
Looking for an Orlando web design team?
We’re here to help! With nearly 20 years of experience, the Different Perspective web design team is ready to design and develop a custom website for your business that helps increase your visibility, convert leads into customers, and properly represent your business online.
Contact us today to learn more!
1: Taylor & Francis Group | Attention web designers: You have 50 milliseconds to make a good first impression!
2: Statcounter | Desktop vs Mobile Market Share Worldwide
3: Orbit Media | What is the average website lifespan? 10 Factors In Website Life Expectancy