Top 10 website design mistakes to avoid at all costs
Dodge these mistakes and optimize your website for search engines and potential clients
They say, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover,’ but visitors do just the opposite regarding websites. They are ready to decide whether to work with you or select a competitor based on your business website and online presence. As a business owner or manager, you must be aware of the top website design mistakes and how to avoid them.
For the B2B industry, the average time spent on a page is 1.37 minutes. Whereas the grocery and energy industry websites have an average time spent per page of 44 seconds.  With this fact in mind, it’s clear that your business website must be fully functional and well-designed to attract visitors, entice them to stay once they’ve found you, establish credibility, and convert them to clients.
We’ve compiled a list of the top ten most common website design mistakes we see and how to avoid them to help you optimize your business online presence.
Mistake #1: Slow or unresponsive website
Your business’s website should load fast and be responsive to give visitors a positive experience and view your brand as trustworthy and reliable.
One fundamental way to speed up your website is to optimize any image and 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 different devices and allows visitors to view your site without zooming or side-scrolling. Responsive websites provide a better overall user experience, meaning lower bounce and higher conversion rates.
Mistake #2: No clear call to action
One of the most effective ways to reach your marketing objectives is by adding clear calls to action (CTA) on your website. Even if your website is getting a lot of traffic, visitors will need help knowing what to do and may leave without taking action if you do not have a prominent call to action.
Create CTAs that explicitly state 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 users what to do and convert visitors into leads more effectively.
Six essential components of an excellent homepage
Mistake #3: Working on the design before copy
Should the text or the design of your new website should be done first?
When working with an experienced web design company, their content team will create most of the website copy first to ensure the information needed is detailed and SEO-optimized before starting the design. The website design team will then be aware of all the information that needs to be included on the site as they design the visuals so the two pieces work together as cohesively as possible.
Mistake #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. Still, 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 immediately drive visitors away from the website to social media sites. It’s best practice to add links to your social media profiles at the footer of your site.
Mistake #5: Poor or irrelevant images
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. Also, making sure that the images you use are of good quality and original can significantly improve the overall appearance of your website. A blurry image can come across as unprofessional and drive away a potential client.
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 be added in the future easily.
Mistake #6: Not mobile-friendly
Over 55% 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 the potential web traffic. 
If your website is hard to read or navigate on a phone or tablet, visitors will immediately leave your site without taking any action.
Website navigation is different with every device, so ensuring your website is desktop, tablet, and mobile-friendly is crucial. An experienced web design team will understand the importance of a mobile-friendly website and likely create one for you that is responsive across all devices and screen sizes.
Mistake #7: Ignoring SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a great marketing tactic for your business to rank higher on search engines like Google and increase organic traffic to your website.
When designing a new website, you should hire an experienced digital marketing agency that offers comprehensive SEO services alongside the websites they create for clients. The agency will be able to optimize your new website for search engines, from writing the content to developing and launching the live site.
Optimizing for SEO from the initial creation of your website will be highly beneficial because you will have a firm foundation of keyword-rich content, optimized images, technical specifications, and more on your website. It will set up your digital marketing and SEO campaign efforts for success!
Mistake #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, increasing their confidence to make purchases and input personal information.
Your website will need an SSL certificate to activate HTTPS protocol, which then lets visitors know your website is safe. If you don’t take these measures, visitors will receive a notification directly on their browsers saying your website is unsafe.
Mistake #9: No plan for improvements and updates
The average lifespan of a website is two years and seven months, so even if you’ve just completed a website design or redesign, you’ll need to start thinking about how you will keep it updated and optimized. 
Along with keeping your website design current, you should have a plan to update the content on your website frequently. Don’t neglect your news or blog pages. Ensure your team members are current and your services reflect your offerings. If your contact or any other business information changes, immediately change it on the website.
Website visitors want relevant and current information and will likely not read something published years ago. Audit, refresh, and keep relevant content to attract new visitors and return existing ones.
Mistake #10: Not defining roles and permissions
It’s a good idea to designate a specific role for 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.
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