Did you know that design attributes to 75% of your website’s credibility? According to Business 2 Community, a website has a life span of 1.5 – 2.5 years, which means that you only have approximately two years and seven months to create a high-performing website, optimize it, establish your brand’s credibility, bring traffic, and drive qualified leads. The keys to success being – a functional website design and high-quality content.
Whether you have recently launched a startup or own a million-dollar company, your website is the face of your brand. It is an indispensable part of your organization that connects you with potential customers and clients and helps you showcase your products and services to the global audience. However, just like every other technological gadget or tool, your website design and content need to be upgraded according to the latest trends. While website redesign might seem easy for most people, you need to carefully analyze the website’s performance to determine what’s working and what’s not. Failure to do so can have serious repercussions.
So, to make the website redesign easier, we have compiled a list of thirteen common website design mistakes that you should avoid at all costs. Let’s start redesigning an intuitive and efficient website for your business.
1. Designing a Website without Prioritizing Functionality and Responsiveness
One of the biggest website design mistakes that people make is that they focus more on how aesthetic the website looks and less on functionality. Considering that more than 52% of people will access your website on their mobile, your website design should cater to the needs of all kinds of digital users.
When it comes to website design, responsiveness is the property of a website to scroll up or down and reach buttons or tabs. The last thing you want is for the order now button to be so small on a mobile phone that it becomes impossible for the user to click on it. Thus, when redesigning your website, always make sure that it is responsive and functional across all devices.
2. Separately Working on the Website Copy and Website Design
When creating a website, what do you do first: Do you write the web copy, or do you work on the website design? Even though both are completely different things, for a website to be successful, the content should be the voice of the design. In simpler words, you should collaborate on the website design and copy closely.
For example, while long-form blogs tend to perform better and generate more leads, modern website designs require short, to-the-point copy with lots of visuals and content blocks. Therefore, your job here is to find the perfect balance and opt for website design layouts that favor the trending content demand.
3. Keeping Underperforming Content
Use the website redesign opportunity to audit the performance of your website and remove low-performing, unnecessary, and outdated content. Here are four advantages of letting go of under-performing content on your website:
- Create an easier-to-manage and cleaner website design.
- You don’t need to make many changes during the next website redesign
- Provide your users with the highest-quality content.
- Establish brand credibility and improve the user experience.
4. Overlooking Your Website’s SEO Ranking
Developing a website that doesn’t rank well is just like building a shop in the middle of nowhere; you will not get any users. This was proven by a report by Search Engine Journal which stated that 60% to 70% of brands lose organic traffic after a website redesign. Therefore, no matter how hard you have worked on your website’s layout and design, it’s a failure if customers cannot find it.
So make sure you stay on top of the SEO trends and incorporate them in your website redesign. Here are some expert-advised tips that can help you improve your SEO ranking after a redesign:
- Use 301 redirect mapping to ensure that all the old URLs of your website direct the customers to the new one.
- For your redesigned website to be indexed, crawled, and ranked, you must submit a site map to major search engines.
- Get SSL certification and install other security tools to improve your SEO ranking.
5. Not Defining the Website’s Performance Measure Plan and Long-Term Goals
When creating a website, you must always have pre-defined long-term goals if you want to succeed. The best way to do this is to define performance indicators for your website. Because different web pages have different roles, make sure that you set varying KPIs for all website pages and sections.
In simpler words, when you redesign a website, your main aim is to fix a problem. However, your goal here should be to find the root cause of the problem. Use analytical tools to analyze the performance of your website and redesign it accordingly. Once the website redesign is complete, set long-term goals to ensure the growth of your website and the brand.
6. Having a Complex Website Design
The number one rule of creating a user-friendly website is to simplify the site as much as possible. While having many features, visual elements, and options is a good thing, they can sometimes make your website design complicated, making it difficult for the user to understand your services and product.
People like simple and straightforward websites. Thus, ensure that your website redesign doesn’t have any complex or cluttered web pages, as this will only increase the bounce rate, and you will start losing potential customers. Stick to a simple design theme and create a website that can be understood and used by people of all ages.
7. Lack of Hierarchy
Imagine visiting a website and seeing that all content is of the same size and color. Would you be able to find the call to action or understand the business? Similar to how a newspaper uses headlines to differentiate between headings and content and divide focus, in order for your website to look appealing and be functional, you should follow the website typography hierarchy to the tee.
8. Using Unclear CTA (Call-to-Action)
A website is incomplete without an effective call-to-action. The CTA plays a critical role in navigating the customer around the website and telling them what to do next. During your website design, make sure that all the CTA buttons are bold, large, have clear text, and are strategically placed. Avoid adding multiple links or options in one place, especially if you want to customer to follow the CTA.
9. Letting Videos and Images Take a Backseat
Visuals and videos add life to your website design. To create a human-centric website, you don’t need one but lots of images and videos. You need to ensure that all the graphics are properly setand go well with the layout of your website design. Therefore, look for royalty-free images online and use online tools to compress them or amend them according to your website needs. Here are some tips and tricks to help you out:
- Make sure that all the images have meta details (Image Title, Image Description, and Alt-Text).
- If you don’t have an in-house design team or don’t have any photo-editing experience, don’t opt for design elements such as collages or transparent backgrounds, as they can be expensive to maintain.
- Getting carried away with creating icons is one of the most common website design mistakes. While having unique icons is a good thing, you should remember that you will have to update the old ones and design new ones in the future. Therefore, keep the iconography as simple as possible.
- If you are adding pictures of your team members, ensure that they are taken in a style that can be replicated for future employees.
10. Neglecting the Metadata
The main reason a person opts for a website redesign is that they want their digital storefront to rank at the top of the search engine results. To make this possible, you must ensure that every web page has meta details (Meta Title, Meta Description, and Keywords). Although Google might not use the meta details or titles to rank your website, it helps in validating to the user what they will find on your website.
However, be sure that every web page has different meta details, as Google might qualify it as duplicate content, negatively impacting your SEO rating. Unique meta details also improve the user experience and make it easier for searchers in understanding your website.
11. Not Optimizing the Website Design for Lead Generation
There’s no point in driving users to your website if you cannot convert them into leads. The primary purpose of your website isn’t to showcase your products and services but to provoke people to make a purchase. This is why it is essential to have a lead generation mechanism in your website design.
First of all, your website design should prove your brand’s credibility. The best way to do this is to use images of your team members working together and share testimonials and achievements of your business. You can also include a contact us form to collect details of interested customers and keep them in the loop by sharing newsletters or updates via email marketing.
12. Failing to Test the New Website
Launching a redesigned website without careful testing is the biggest mistake that you will ever make. Regardless of how cautious you were during the website redesign process, even the most efficient websites are bound to have bugs in the initial stage.
Conduct rigorous testing by browsing through your website on different devices. Test every button, tab, and feature to check the website’s functionality. We recommend hiring a testing team or giving the website’s beta version to random people for testing. Having the perspective of multiple people will make it easier for you to improve the functionality of your website. Here is a website testing checklist:
- 301 redirects
- Load speed check
- Grammar and spelling check
- Cross-browser testing on the tablet, computer, and mobile phone
- Third-party integration
13. Not Keeping Your Site Updated
If you want your brand to grow, you need to update your website following the latest trends. This doesn’t mean redesigning the website every month but making the necessary changes to the content and design on a smaller scale. Doing so will increase your website’s engagement and improve sales.
According to research, 90% of business owners end up abandoning their websites because of poor design, and more than 50% have said that website design has played an integral role in shaping the authenticity and trustworthiness of their business. Simply put, for your business to survive in the ever-changing digital world, you need to upgrade your website design every two to three years.
When redesigning your website, you need to keep in mind that the web makeover will do you no good if you make the aforementioned website design mistakes. Therefore, to ensure that you don’t repeat the website design errors, you must have answers to the following questions:
- Why have you opted for a website redesign?
- Do you aim to learn and fix the mistakes that you initially made?
- What is your brand story? Does the website designrepresent your brand?
Use the website redesign opportunity to take a few steps back and rethink your long-term goals. Study the performance chart of your website to determine the design and content flaws and make strategic amendments accordingly.
If you are developing a website from scratch, make sure that you leave enough space for improvement. As the biggest mistake a website designer can make is to create a website design that cannot be updated easily. So, prioritize content and remember that a high-performing website is always developed, keeping the user’s perspective and needs in mind. Good luck designing a seamless digital storefront (website) for your brand!