The Covid pandemic rewrote how people work and how they shop for goods and services. Virtually overnight, almost everyone became online shoppers out of necessity. That new reality is just one of the reasons why your business must have a website.
Of course, all of that exposure to well-run, well-managed websites means that people bring higher expectations to their online experience. You can just slap together a website and expect it will do well. If you’re worried about business website design for your company, keep reading.
Here are seven key business site design mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Your Site Doesn’t Clearly Express What Your Business Does
Unless your business brand is profoundly well-established, your website must tell visitors what your business does with one glance at the home page. For example, a lot of businesses will put their company name at the top of the page and call it good.
That’s fine if your company is Bob’s Plumbing Services. It’s not fine if your company Future Corp, LLC. It’s not at all clear what your business based on that name alone.
If your company name can’t tell visitors what you do, make sure you include something obvious at the top of the homepage that clarifies the matter. You can use taglines or images to keep things simpler.
2. You Don’t Make a Mobile-Friendly Website
Around half of all US web traffic comes from mobile devices these days. It’s even higher if you cater to a global market. Yet, some businesses don’t create a mobile-friendly website or only do it as an afterthought.
That means you leave a lot of visitors out in the cold or with a sub-par website experience. Consider the mobile experience from the outset when designing business websites. You can use approaches like responsive design to build grids into the site that translate well onto mobile devices.
3. Not Testing Your Navigation
One of the fastest, easiest ways you can annoy visitors and make them look elsewhere is by making it hard to find things. The problem is that it’s easy to forget that not everyone brings the same level of experience to navigating websites. What might look obvious to a designer might not look obvious to a visitor.
Before you take your site live, you should ask three to five people who haven’t seen the site before to test it out. Ask them to find a few things on the site, such as:
- Contact information
- Settings to change the display
- Product/Service pages
If you see the same complaints about finding things, it means your navigation has a serious flaw that you must fix before launching it.
4. Not Mapping Out the Customer Journey
The goal of any business website is one thing: more business. That means your website must take customers on a journey that makes that process simple. Yet, many businesses put together their website without much thought about getting someone from a casual visit to paying customer.
There are several models you can try, but consider the basic AIDA model of buying:
You achieve awareness when someone comes to your site. You can pique interest with dynamic content. You can elicit desire by addressing their specific needs in your content and the services you offer.
You can prompt action with liberally sprinkled calls-to-action across your site.
5. Not Accounting for SEO
If you want a successful site, you must consider SEO for web design. Think of search engine optimization as a set of best practices that search engines weigh in ranking pages. Fall short in too many areas of concern and your site drops off the first or second page of results.
SEO affects a lot of your site. A big red flag for SEO is poor page loading speeds, especially on mobile versions of your site. If your site takes more than a couple of seconds to load, search engines will ding you.
Other areas of concern include internal/external linking, content quality, and information architecture.
6. Not Building with Sales in Mind
Even if you don’t sell products or services directly on your website now, there is a good chance you’ll want that option down the road. The problem is that integrating eCommerce options after the fact proves much more difficult than doing it from the start.
If you get a custom site made, talk with your designer about eCommerce website design ideas in the beginning. If you work with the WordPress content management system, you can use WooCommerce for web design around eCommerce. WooCommerce integrates seamlessly with the WordPress CMS.
Other content management systems also offer native support for dedicated eCommerce systems.
Even if you don’t start selling right away, integrating the support system from day one makes going the direction much simpler down the road.
7. Not Getting Outside Help
The can-do attitude of many business owners can make them think they can or should design their website themselves. Unless you also run a web design side hustle, this isn’t a good choice. Like technology itself, web design evolves very fast.
You need constant exposure to keep up with all of the current best practices. Otherwise, you can unintentionally build a site that Google will hate.
Fortunately, you can use a web design agency or an independent web designer to avoid this problem. Either will stay up-to-date on current trends and expectations. That means you get a modern, highly functional site when it finally goes live.
Business Website Designing and Your Business
Business website designing can’t prove an afterthought for your business. You must take it seriously from the outset.
That means considering factors like navigation, customer journey, and search engine optimization. It also requires that your site clearly communicates what your business actually does for customers.
You can’t ignore mobile devices when considering site design. All of that means you will probably need outside help when building the site in the first place.
Looking for more insights into site design or business technology in general. Check out the articles in our Tech section.