A great website can be the difference between make and break for your company, because people are more inclined to let their fingers do the walking these days. You may have a great product or service, but they are rather pointless if nobody ever sees it. Your website needs to make an instant impression and it has 4 seconds (to be exact) to do that. After this miniscule window, the potential customer will either hang around, or will disappear in a puff of webbed smoke. You really have to ensure your homepage has the right stuff, or otherwise the rest of your website is superfluous. This article looks at some classic mistakes to avoid when designing a website.
Your website may look terrific on a nice widescreen monitor, with all the smart text and well laid out graphics, but have you tested it on all types of media? Many potential customers will spend their lunchtimes looking at various websites on their smartphones. Has your site been tested for this format? If not, you could be waving goodbye to a lot of frustrated people. You can set up the site to be responsive, this means it will automatically resize to whatever screen the user is operating. All of these factors need to be sorted out before you publish the website.
It would be great if every first time visitor decided to buy a service or product from your website, but this just does not happen in real life. What happens after they leave your site? They may well decide to return, but cannot remember the exact website name or URL details. You need to ensure that they have some encouragement to retain contact with your site. Include an offer that allows them to become a part of your website mailing list, but do not be too pushy. They will remain a part of the business loop and may always return with their wallet in their hands. You can offer an incentive in return for their loyalty, think of something that will appeal to them.
Nobody gets off on a bland looking front page, but you should steer away from trying to get too much information across straight away. You risk looking desperate and people will often become wary of your real intentions. Even if you believe that your website has one million great reasons for your customer to join, one good reason is more than enough. Let the customers know that you will deliver and tell them how you can back up this claim. Try to establish credibility of your business.
Teenagers may enjoy a website with some cool effects and distracting graphics, but unless they are your target audience, you are going to be losing business. Your product or service need to be the thing that sticks in their minds, not the ‘angry birds’ video game.
John Miller, the author of this post, is an employee with Webfirm which is a mobile website design and SEO company. In his free time, he likes to write about technology and all its interesting aspects.