Curating an effective website is a challenge. Building and operating your web presence is one of the most crucial parts of running a business in today’s marketplace. You need to design a site that drives conversation and creates revenue. This can be a serious struggle. Your site needs to be appealing but it also needs to convert and provide leads and/or sales. This isn’t a simple process and finding how to achieve these goals can be confusing.

It is easy for a business owner to focus mostly on design and neglect the details needed for effective conversion rates. Overwhelming your customers, building unintentional obstacles to buying, and creating unnecessary hurdles that build objection and stifle engageability. These, and many other mistakes, can subtly affect your ability to convert traffic into revenue.

Drawing people in is a must, but it can be common for businesses to overlook certain things that have the potential to push people away. Mistakes in web design and execution can take many forms. It can be incredibly difficult to know all the pitfalls. A leading web design company located in New York city, MAXBURST, Inc., advises small to medium sized business owners across many vertices on how to best drive traffic to their websites. Effectively building connections along with brand loyalty, and producing sales, can all be helped greatly by avoiding the mistakes your competitors are making.

The effect of these mistakes can be quite dramatic. The first step is identifying what you could be going wrong. Here is a look at 6 mistakes that can drastically reduce traffic, sales, and engagement with your business. Some of these may already be on your radar, while others could be smaller issues that you never thought of before. Even the little things can have a surprisingly large effect on your website’s performance.

1. No Consideration for Responsive Web Design

Including responsive web design as a feature of your website can make all the difference. Consistency can be imperative to the success of a website. A seasoned web design company will know the importance of this format. So what is responsive web design, and is it really that important?

Responsive web design allows for a consistent yet optimized website experience across all platforms that access it. People access websites from a myriad of devices. Computers, smart phones, tablets, and gaming consoles, all have different qualities and abilities. This feature allows for changes to the website to fit the capabilities of the device being used. Design differences across different platforms allows for optimal accessibility regardless of screen size or browsing features available on a certain device. Wider screens, vertical vs horizontal layouts, overall screen size, typical distance from the screen being used, and hardware interaction specifics like a mouse vs a touch screen, all need to be considered.

The technical explanation is that a website with responsive design serves all devices with the same set of URLs, and each set of URLs delivers the same HTML to all devices, changing the page rendering on each device using only CSS. This allows there to be one HTML for your website no matter what device is accessing it.

What this really translates to is that you only have one site to manage and update and don’t need to translate changes and updates to multiple versions of your site as you go to accommodate differences across devices.

Sometimes businesses use what is referred to as a “mobile-only” approach. This means that when a site is accessed, the device being used is detected and if it is different, the user is redirected to a separate version of the site to accommodate the device’s capabilities. What this means is that you have now multiplied your work in designing your web presence by requiring design, updates, and management of multiple sites. There is also a smaller subset of features available on mobile versions. Consistency is key and it is a mistake to not offer all of your content on all devices that can access your web presence. Mobile first design structure can offer some benefits, but the drawbacks can be significant in most applications.

2. Underinvesting in Your Web Host

A web host is not an area that should be skimped on. Web hosting can be found for cheap, but you will often be left with a number of serious issues that can cost you time, money and overall website performance. A quality web host is definitely worth the investment.

Cheap web hosting often means that the company will not be investing in staff, as they need to keep their overhead down to be able to offer lower pricing. This means that if you have a problem, it is very unlikely it will be handled in a timely manner or dealt with effectively at all if it is a more complicated issue.

Another major issue with a cheaper web host is server quality. Part of keeping overhead down means packing websites on a server like sardines. With thousands of sites on a server, high performance is almost impossible to ensure. Cheaper web hosts will also likely be using outdated servers with little maintenance support and little or no updating. You are also likely to experience painful bandwidth limits.

Don’t short your investment in quality hosting, and be aware of what makes a bad web host.

3. Unclear Marketing and Trying To Be Too Clever With Your Copy

Yes, it is important to be engaging and to draw attention, but there is such a thing as being too clever. Clear and clean is the best way to go. Communicate to viewers quickly and clearly the most important questions they have. Who are you? What do you offer? Why should they care at all?

Too often do websites utilize confusing copy that they may think makes them sound more technical or distinguished. People need to know what they need to know fast. A clear simple message can be far superior to something grandiose but confusing.

4. Competing Design Standards

Creativity is great, but web design standards became standard for a reason. People get used to certain design systems and find it very hard to accept engaging with sites that avoid these norms.

Viewers need to be able to easily find your search bar. Menus need to be easily accessible. If all of your options are listed in the top headers but contact information is in the bottom left for some reason, people will not engage in the ways they could if you stick to easily recognizable formats.

This seems like something that should be a no-brainer, however many businesses don’t take the time to consciously consider how a design element could be fighting a norm. If you keep this consideration in mind you may find that something you never considered as an issue could be holding back user engagement.

5. Irrelevant or Difficult to Remember Domain Names

This is another consideration that may seem obvious, but countless businesses don’t seem to see the correlation with success that can come with a relevant and easily remembered domain name. Yes, most businesses will have considered this in their branding and company name, but sometimes domain names can feel like they are less important to consider this way.

Many viewers will access your site through links, but an easily memorable domain name can really increase traffic to your site and help maintain return visitors. Relevant, clear, and concise domain naming can also help with search engine optimization results and SEO is one of the most important elements of a web presence today.

6. Overstimulation and Information Saturation

More is not always better. You may have a ton of information to include in your website, but it is very important to make sure that you don’t overload viewers. Any site visitor needs to be able to answer the questions they have, but oversaturation of a page can make this overwhelming and off-putting. Take advantage of whitespace to keep your website clear and calm. Whitespace can ensure that your site is clear, easily comprehensible, easy to navigate, and attention grabbing.

Intent and site purpose are the key. Balance is important. You need to be able to offer a site that exhibits what you can offer, and this can mean details and specifics, but you also need to keep things clear and focused. Deciding what your most important goals are for a visitor’s engagement with your website is where your design should be focused. Don’t overstimulate the viewer or you will quickly see diminishing traffic. Use empty space to help control people’s attention and focus it where it is most important to your business goals.

There are many more mistakes than offered for consideration here, but this can be a great start. Getting the most out of your website can mean a large investment in time. The impact on your business from even just a few mistakes can be quite astronomical, and these can really be surprising. Sometimes something that could seem minor or insignificant could really impact the performance of your website. Website engagement often snowballs. Disengagement can too. Once you tip the domino with mistakes in creating and managing a web presence you may be shocked at how quickly this can negatively impact the success of your business.

About the Author

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Mirko Humbert

Mirko Humbert is the editor-in-chief and main author of Designer Daily and Typography Daily. He is also a graphic designer and the founder of WP Expert.