What goes into great website design? While there are many facets to that answer, we’re here to let you in on some equally important information – design myths that, if followed, will make your website not so great. If you’re looking to build a company website that will help you reach your goals, whatever they may be, make sure you don’t make any of the mistakes below that will leave your website collecting virtual dust.
1. The more bells and whistles, the better.
In an effort to keep up with the competition and be seen as modern, some companies will load their website with every gadget, widget, and cutting-edge design element imaginable, adding clutter to the user experience and slowing down page load times. With every element that you would like to add to your website, ask yourself these questions:
- Is this helpful to my customers?
- Does this lead my customers down a conversion path?
If both of the answers are “no”, it may be best to forgo on that particular element and move on.
2. Adding a lot of long form content is crucial.
There’s a lot of conflicting information out there about how much text should be included on each website’s page. One source will claim that each page needs at least 2,000 words while another will say that 300 will suffice. The cause for concern with content length is largely due to the desire to show up in relevant search engine results, and the belief that content length is a huge determining factor in whether you do so.
However, this mode of thinking goes against the purpose of a website, which is to inform and sell to your CUSTOMERS, not a search engine. Step into the shoes of one of your customers and think about the questions they may have – some of the answers will require multiple paragraphs of content while others may only need a few words. The point is to answer the question as accurately – and concisely – as possible.
A good thing to keep in mind: search engine rankings suffer when people land on your website and leave due to not wanting to sift through tons of filler content.
3. The work is done after website launch.
After months of tweaks so that everything’s just right, it can be tempting to just send your website off into cyberspace and let it do it’s thing. That is exactly what you DON’T want to do. The timeframe after launching a website is crucial, as it’s when you should be analyzing how visitors interact with your website so you can finetune your design to maximize conversions. Ensure you have Google Analytics code added to the back end of your website, which will allow you to go in and see how long people are spending on your site, what pages they’re going to, what platform they’re coming from, and other essential information that will point you in the right direction.
4. An annual website design overhaul is a must to keep your website fresh.
It’s important to keep things new and interesting for your customers but allocating a massive budget every year to completely re-doing your website is largely unnecessary. Instead, take your observations to make the changes where they’re needed most: the key pages in the customer journey. Adding in a much-needed call-to-action to your homepage can sometimes get you much further than an expensive website makeover that may just end up confusing your customers. Adding in updated photos also goes a long way in giving return users something new and exciting.