Top 10 Website Design Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
August 4, 2012
Designing and developing a new website for your company? Be careful – you may be doing more harm than good. Here are the top 10 Website Design Mistakes and How to Avoid Them:
1. Website Domain Selection
Selecting the right domain name is critical these days. In fact, many business upstarts base their company name on whether or not they can secure a domain that intuitively drives traffic to their new website. In terms of SEO relevance, your domain is KING. A good website development partner understands and deploys domain development and even domain-aging strategies designed to help drive prospects to your new or existing website.
2. Web Navigational Structure
Most web designers understand how to arrange a website’s Global Navigation, which is typically the primary navigation at the top of the website page. But you’d be surprised how few understand the value of primary and secondary navigation within the site. Primary and secondary navigation dramatically improves User Experience (UX) but also helps with Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
3. Clean, Professional Website Design
Similar to world-leading print advertisements, the best and most professional and functional websites are simple and clean. Your website needs to direct the eye of the visitor and control what they see and how they react and respond within the website. Heat tracking has become a very popular technique deployed to understand and measure how visitors view and navigate within websites but I’d take an experienced marketer’s advice over heat tracking (sometimes referred to as eye-tracking) any day of the week. Most professional web design companies, including us, run every website through a marketing department.
4. Solid Goals and Objectives
Before we start each project at A&G Creative Group, we make sure we understand our client’s goals and objectives and, more importantly, make sure their goals and objectives are definable, realistic and reasonable. To understand this one has to understand marketing and how people use the web but they also must understand the client’s business and how their competition are participating in the online world. Understanding your company’s business is an investment. Make sure your web development company have the expertise and are willing to take the time to show you they understand your business.
5. Set Goals Within Your Goals
Standard practice for any reputable Canadian web development company is to install Google Analytics within the code of your website. This data is critical in measuring web performance but it takes an expert to interpret it (more on that later). Successful companies set conversion goals ad install them within their site so that they can track finer objectives and measure performance in real time.
6. Call to Actions
Your website design must include call to actions. Call to actions could be offers, promotions or events that draw the visitor closer to transaction with your company. Promotions work because everyone likes to save a little money or get something extra. If a visitor is looking at three equally qualified companies the one offering the best promotion typically gets the business. Determining which call to action is best and the location and design within the site is a difficult proposition, but one an experienced web design company with a solid marketing credentials will understand.
7. Social Media Integration
Integrating Social Media into your website can be a very good thing…if you use it correctly. However, most companies still put young and inexperienced staff members in charge of their social media outposts without giving much thought to whether or not they have any marketing experience to manage today’s most powerful mediums. The prevailing thought seems to be, “Well, they are the ones using Facebook so they should manage it for our company”. This is completely wrong, unless that same person could be put in charge of the print advertising for the company too. An experienced web development company will know how to best utilize social media for your company and how to harmonize it with off line, traditional marketing strategies.
8. Proper Architecture
Nowadays, Google is basing a larger part of their page ranking on how websites are architected. This makes sense, since Google’s monetization is based on delivering reputable companies and websites. A solid web development company will have the tools and know-how to audit new or existing sites so they the sites are not penalized by Google and the other search engines.
9. Search Engine Optimization
Most contract web developers have little to zero experience with search engine optimization tactics. Given this, the websites they develop have very little chance of being discovered. The customer may be absolutely thrilled with the design but the odds that many folks will see the website are quite slim. Slimmer still are the odds of converting browsers into buyers should they somehow stumble upon an unoptimized website. Professional web design and development companies offer high-level SEO expertise. We avoid tactics like keyword stuffing, blind back-linking and article blasts because we know that eventually these tactics will be discovered by Google and the client will effectively kill their search results.
10. You Get What You Pay For
The best advice one can take in designing a new website for their business is to hire a professional company. You will pay more but your website will be designed and developed to drive qualified visitors to your site and then convert browsers into buyers once they get there. Too much is at stake to simply leave your website design to a contract designer with limited marketing expertise or poor design and development practices. Your website is a powerful marketing tool. It pays to build it right.