Web Design Articles

10 Typical Website Fails and How to Avoid Them

A business website is at the heart of any digital marketing efforts. It’s where businesses build or destroy a reputation.

Plan well and you’ll save yourself from tons of embarrassment of a shoddy user-experience. The end result: you can turn your site into a lead generating cash cow.

Ready to dig deeper and understand what all could turn-off potential customers from staying on? Here are some common issues and how you can avoid them:

Unstructured Information

Most website visitors are there for a purpose. They are either looking to get an answer to their query, know about a product or make a purchase. If they find it difficult to locate stuff, they leave. That’s not a favorable situation for any business, right?

It’s critical to plan the flow of a website well before it goes into design. Keeping in mind the needs of the users, it’s essential to place web pages in descending order of their importance.

The following image shows the ideal structure of a small business website:

It’s easier to find relevant information in a hierarchical structure that guides the users from one page to the next.

Not Optimised for Mobile

A study from Statista shows that more than half of all the global website traffic comes from mobile devices.

“51% of customers say that they use mobile devices to discover new brands and products.” (Source)

If a website is not mobile ready, it’s bound to lose a chunk of valuable traffic and customers to competitors.

Slow Loading

Site speed is integral to the overall user experience. It’s better not to have a website than having a lethargic one that convinces users to never come back.

“79% of web shoppers who have trouble with web site performance say they won’t return to the site to buy again.” (Source)

Google recently announced the “Speed Update” making load speed a ranking factor in mobile search. The ideal page load speed is 3 seconds or faster.

Here are some fundamental tips to optimize the speed of your site:

1. Use The Updated Page Speed Report: Google recommends that webmasters should use the Lighthouse tool to check and fix load speed issues.

2. Image Optimization: Heavy images are a common cause of slower load times. You can make use of an online image optimizer to compress your images to 200 KB.

3. Web Hosting: A subpar web host is a big reason for poor site performance. While visiting a site, a user accesses files from a remote server. The files will load as fast as the speed of the server which depends on the quality of the website hosting service.

Page speed is a ranking factor, an experience component, a critical aspect of overall site performance.

No Call To Action

A site without a Call to Action is a road without traffic signs. CTA buttons are strategically planted to guide the users to specific landing pages where they can take the desired action like filling up a contact form.

It’s practically impossible for a business website to generate leads or sales without the appropriate CTA buttons.

These buttons succeed the copy on the web page. Take a look at this example:

CTAs complete website communication messages, playing a big role in converting visitors into leads.

Error Pages

Ever seen a web page that says “404 error” or “this page does not exist”. A 404 page is the most common of the web page errors.

It isn’t a pleasant thing for the user or the business. Page issues are quite common but it’s good if you can resolve them quickly. Regular website audits can help trace such discrepancies.

A good way to fix error pages is to redirect them to the relevant pages on the site. Another alternative is to customise the content of these pages to engage with the users.

For example, the fast-food chain Wendy’s offered playable games from “Burgertime” on its 404 pages.

Here’s another example of a creative 404 page from Daniel Karcher Film Design Studios.

Cluttered Layout

The web is a cacophony of information, while users have a low attention span. It isn’t a good idea to throw up a whole thesis about your business on your website.

What you need is a clean, presentable design with generous amounts of white space.

Spreadshirt, a custom design and apparel marketplace, increased their clicks by 606% and sales by 11% with the following decluttering effort:

Inconsistent Design

An inconsistent design confuses the audience and makes them lose interest. Imagine a site which has different fonts on each page, for example.

How about something with misplaced menu items, logo and colours? It’s all quite absurd, right? Here’s a typical example:

Roxy Glass CompanyThe right design displays a synergy throughout the pages of a site. It speaks in one voice ensuring visual comfort and resonance for its users. A bad layout is one definite deal-breaker for your site and your brand.

Does not Link to Social Pages

Another crazy mistake is to not integrate your site to your social pages. Social media buttons give visitors easy access to business pages on channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube, etc.

An aspect of social integration is sharing buttons. Placed below blog content, these icons allow users to share content pieces on their social profiles. The feature simplifies content sharing helping amplify its reach.

Many product companies allow users to log in using their social profiles. This makes the process of signing up easier and user-friendly.

Linking social media platforms is an essential strategy to get more followers, build trust, and run integrated campaigns.

Missing Contact Details

There are a host of questions that website visitors have: product queries, troubleshooting, and feedback, etc. If there is no contact number or email, they wouldn’t have an option but to drop-off and look for alternatives.

No Lead Magnets

A website is a treasure trove of qualified business leads. But if you don’t dig deeper you won’t get nothing.

Most site visitors are wary of sharing their contact details. A freebie is a good way to initiate a relationship and earn yourself a contact.

The best way is to start seeding lead magnets: ebooks, white-papers, reports, videos courses, templates, guides, and original research, etc.

The following Facebook Ad Template Library helped Digital Marketer bag 35,859 leads in just 60 days.

Over to You

A stellar website strategy is fundamental to business success. It’s better to plan your site and have all those features than be sorry about poor outcomes.

A kick-ass experience doesn’t just promise higher search rankings, it lays the foundation for growing your business into a known brand.