Brand new, shiny website. Check. Newly created content and branding; ready to rock. But the phone’s not ringing. What gives?
Here are 4 web design mistakes that could be the reasons.
1. Too little content.
There’s a certain tipping point in the bulk of content a website has that establishes authority. There’s no magic bullet to the amount of content every page on your site needs to have. But it’s a simple general rule to bear in mind that if your site has very few pages, and pages all with less than a few hundred words on them, it’s going to cost you.
It can be tough to strike the right balance here, because being overly verbose on certain pages can also detract readers. This is one of the areas where blogging helps because it adds to the total amount of indexed content on your site without all of your main pages having to be essays.
All the same, though, make sure your site pages are informative and more than simply sales tools. We all have to demonstrate our knowledge to search engines as much as human readers to show up in search results.
2. Pages are loaded with jargon.
Here’s where web design can get a bit more complicated. Yes, we need to establish our authority online. But sometimes the attempt to do that leads us to throwing around fancy industry terms that confuse rather than impress.
Commence with the adherence of epidermal recovery apparatus.
That’s a silly example of an over-complicated way to say “Put on a Bandaid.” But versions of this exist everywhere.
Not only is this an issue for readers, but search engines are starting to pull away from this kind of content as well.
Think of it this way. Throwing around big words might seem like it makes you sound like an expert, but the mark of a real expert is the ability to break down a complex topic so it’s understandable for anyone. Even Einstein said “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
3. It’s not really mobile-friendly.
I’ve heard this before. Wait! This one is sneakier than you might think.
People usually understand mobile-friendly to mean that the site adapts its content for mobile devices so users don’t have to pinch and zoom to comfortably read things. That’s true, and it’s part of it.
But so often at least one of these things is happening:
- Content that isn’t padded well from the edges of the screen, or runs off the screen completely
- Images that look bad when scaled to mobile screen size
- Sites still relying on Flash material (not a good idea for full sites anymore either, but a big no-no for mobile)
- Content is too tightly packed, runs together, or uses buttons that are too small for mobile
Diligently review your web design prior to launch or redesign. We’ve seen finished, live sites made even by professionals many times still having one or several of the above issues.
Again, this one may seem obvious but crops up all the time. Even for sites where the owner would swear this list is covered.
4. Sloooow loading times.
This has always been true, but particularly as mobile visitors increase, a fast-loading site continues to be one of the most important factors in preventing a click of the back button.
You can’t count on everyone having fast broadband connections. Often times they’ll be viewing you from a mobile network where speed is subject to signal. Object-heavy sites that may load OK on fast connections suffer otherwise, and can create a bad experience for big segments of users.
The temptations for cheap hosting are strong, especially for startups. Many hosts charge rock bottom prices and load each server with large numbers of websites, counting in the hope that none of them will get much traffic. It’s easy on the pocket book, but you pay in the long run with lost opportunities.
This is one of the big reasons we recommend obtaining more premium hosting such as Siteground or WPEngine, especially for WordPress sites. WPEngine is specialized for WordPress installs, is very snappy, and can handle large volume site visits at once.
They’re pricier, but will also show everyone you’re serious.