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Kiss Your Users Goodbye: The Biggest Website Design Blunders

Originally posted on May 16, 2016; Updated on July 15, 2022

Kiss Your Users Goodbye: The Biggest Website Design Blunders

We’re spoiled with the internet these days. We use it to find literally everything, and we expect it to be instantaneous. You have just a few seconds to impress a visitor enough to stop and read the information you have assembled for them, then a minute or two to satisfy them enough to make a purchase or hit the contact button. Unfortunately, there are many common website design mistakes that chase off potential customers for your Edmonton business. Smart WSI Marketing can help you make sure that you’re not committing these website sins. Call us today for a consultation.

Content Above All Else

You may be tired of us telling you how important content is, but it's a point that really has to be driven home for your local business to have success with digital marketing. So, again… CONTENT! From the website design aspect however, it's more about the layout and organization of your content. Users scan your pages rather than read every single word, especially those accessing your site from mobile devices. If their eyes don't catch what is important to them in a couple of seconds, they will go to another site. Some tips for great organization include:

  • Update often so your information is never outdated
  • Use specific page titles so your visitors know what's important on the page they’re visiting
  • Break up the content with subheadings and bullet points

To see how effective these tips are, think of how you just accessed them. Did your eyes quickly scan through the text to get to the subheading then read the bullets more closely?

Website Navigation: Think GPS

Did we get your attention? Navigation through your site is very important to keep visitors engaged and working towards your business goals. If they feel lost or that they need a GPS, they’ll ditch you without so much as a kiss goodbye. Make sure your website design doesn't alienate visitors with the following:

  • Broken or outdated links that send your visitors into oblivion (or the dreaded 404 error page)
  • Contact information that is difficult to find (go the extra mile and add clickable phone numbers or mapping services)
  • No way to email you directly from the browser- if they have to leave the browser to contact you, you will lose them!
  • No navigation bars so clients can’t touch or click their way to the section they need

Again, think of how you browse and look for information. Would you stay and struggle through a site that needs a GPS to help you find your way, or would you jump ship to the next site that is easy to navigate?

Wait a Second... or Three: Page Loading Times

If visitors have to wait more than three seconds for your pages to load, you can kiss them goodbye. Slow loading times are a huge traffic killer and one of the biggest blunders made in website design. It's great to have all the bells and whistles, gadgets, and impressive media, but if it doesn't load at break-neck speed your efforts will be wasted. Just a couple of tips:

  • Avoid the use of excessive add-ons
  • Don't use large image sizes or video files that take a long time to load

Your real-life application here is to picture yourself on the fly with mobile in hand, trying to find a business that offers something you need. How long will you wait for a site to load before clicking on the next one in the search results?

Let’s Take a Look

Worried you may be chasing off valuable visitors to your Edmonton business because of your web design? For a review of your overall digital marketing strategy, including your website design, contact Smart WSI Marketing today!

Lynne team member
Lynne Motkoski, Digital Marketing Strategist
Specialty: Digital Marketing Strategies
Education: MA Communications & Technology, BComm [U Alberta]
Author: The Online Marketing Handbook for Busy Entrepreneurs (coming soon)

Lynne is known for her strategic approach to marketing communications, technologies, and lead generation. She has a passion for education, keeping up with current marketing trends and practices, and helping clients keep ahead of their competition.


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