Your website is supposed to be an inviting, easy-to-navigate place that makes a visitor feel welcome. It’s essentially just like a high street store, except it’s online. And just like a high street store has neatly organized shelves, orientation points for the customer, clearly labeled products, and good customer service, your website needs it all too.
Bad website design, however, can scupper all of this, turning your website into a train wreck which everyone runs away from as quickly as possible.
If your bounce and conversion rates are both down at the moment, you might be wondering why. The answer could be your web design, which is notoriously tricky to get right.
If you’re not sure which part of your web design might be letting you down, I’m going to highlight a few web design fails that may be driving your customers away, so that you can clear things up and give your visitors the website that they will trust.
A major turn-off for site visitors is poor site navigation. You’ll have experienced this yourself. No doubt you’ve opened a website, only to wonder where the heck you’re supposed to click next. You know what you’re looking for, but you just can’t find it. Frustrated and disappointed, you leave.
It isn’t that there is nowhere for you to go. Instead, it’s that you just can’t find where you want to go. This is because the web design is so cluttered that the site visitor cannot find the links they want. They’re hidden! It’s like a game – an awful game that no one wants to play.
A good website design is one that is so seamless that it is super obvious where a visitor needs to click.
Did you see a retro template and decided to use it because it looked funky? Maybe it does look funky. But maybe it’s also not relevant.
When you design your website, you have to always keep in mind the customer and their expectations.
Question: What are they used to seeing at the moment?
Answer: Websites that are using the latest trends.
Question: What do they want to see from your website?
Answer: The latest trends!
If your website looks like it’s stuck in a time warp, it’s going to lose credibility instantly with its user. Take a look at website design trends for 2017.
Keep up with the times. Be fashionable. Otherwise, you’ll look like you don’t know what you’re doing and they will find a website that does.
Unresponsive design can deal your conversion rates a hammer blow. Why? Because in 2017, people aren’t just viewing websites from their computers anymore – they’re also viewing them from their phones, tablets and anything else you can think of. In fact, last year was the first time mobile web browsing overtook desktop.
If your web design isn’t responsive, it means that your website doesn’t conform to different devices. Ergo, it looks a mess. Your text could be jumbled, your images will be the wrong size, and there will be bits missing. As you can imagine, this really drives customers away.
After driving them insane first!
This fail is easily remedied – all you need to do is make your web design responsive so that it automatically conforms to different devices with different screen sizes. There are plenty of ready-made themes that will do this for you. All you have to do is install them.
I remember the first time I wrote a blog for someone and attached an image. It was rejected because the image was of poor quality. Looking back, it was definitely not something I or anyone else would want to see on an eCommerce website!
Not everyone thinks about the impact a good or a poor quality image has on our customers. But as this post points out, image size and quality is a really important factor when it comes to keeping customers on your page. The bigger and better an image is, the more it will keep customers coming back for more.
Remember, you’re selling stuff. Your images need to be clear, attractive and large enough so that a prospective customer can get a fair idea of what the product is all about.
Related Read: Tips And Tricks To Build Trust On Your eCommerce Site
Too Many Elements
You don’t want your design to be so simple that it bores the life out of people, but you also don’t want to include too many elements that will confuse them. The trouble some of us have is that we get a bit giddy when we first start designing a website. We want to include so many of your great ideas on the page that we overdo it.
Be creative, but also wear your best-disinclined hat. Don’t go overboard with your elements.
A) It will look messy.
B) It can slow download time, which can harm your conversions.
Keeping Your Value Proposition Hidden
When it comes to web design, you shouldn’t abide by the maxim that good things come to those who wait. Instead, you need to hit your customers straight away with an awesome call-to-action.
In other words, you need to present your value proposition at the top of your page. Why are they here? What are you going to do for them? What can they expect to get out of doing business with you?
If all of this is tucked away at the bottom, there is a good chance they won’t get that far. Remember, you only have a few seconds (if that) to keep a customer on your page. Grab their attention immediately by showing them what you’ve got at the top of your page.
These are a few web design fails that could be driving your customers away. They’re all really easy to clear up. If you’re making any of them, put some time aside this weekend to fix things. And then enjoy more sales!
This is a guest post by Michelle Deery, a team member of Heroic Search in Tulsa. She specializes in writing about eCommerce and web design.