7 costly mistakes to avoid when designing a new website

Web development

Every week thousands of new websites are uploaded on the internet, but only a few of them become successful.  The main reason is that many entrepreneurs are focused on the look of the website and do not take into consideration what their visitors would like to see and what the search engines need.

By planning ahead, you can avoid these costly mistakes that so many new website owners make.

Mistake No 1: Poor Design and Navigation

When visitors arrive at your website, they usually have an idea on what they want to find.  If your website is poorly designed or the navigation structure is not very clear, they will leave your website, rather than waste their time searching.

Recent trends in website design have been shown that simple is the new black.  Choose two or three colors that complement your logo and keep them throughout your website.  Ensure you have a great navigation system that not only your visitors can follow, but search engines as well.

Ensure that your website looks and works well, not only on computers, laptops, but also mobile devices such as iPads and tablets as well as smart phones.

Mistake No 2: No Call To Action

Don’t assume your visitors will know what to do when they arrive at your website - you need to tell  them.   If you want them to download a report, tell them where and how. If you want them to phone you, ensure you provide your phone number in large bold letters.  If you want them to join your social networks, don’t hide them at the bottom of the page.

Mistake No 3:  Pages that load too slowly

Even though internet connections have become much faster, some websites still take too long to load.  People have higher expectations and are willing to wait less time for a website to load, so make sure all your pages load quickly.

Mistake No 4: Poor website copy and spelling mistakes

This, more than anything, screams “unprofessional”.   Even if you are a great plumber or a hairdresser, having poor grammar and spelling mistakes on your website makes people lose trust in your workmanship.

If spelling or writing compelling website copy is not your strength, then get someone else to do it for you.  A professional copywriter will ensure the content is engaging and relevant and will help to convert visitors into paying customers.

Mistake No 5: Lack of Credibility

Remember you are competing with thousands and possibly millions of other websites and if you don’t show visitors that you are trustworthy, no-one will buy from you.  Proving your credibility can be done by including testimonials from happy customers, before and after photos of a problem resolution, details of awards you have won, information about industry associations you belong to, media articles that have been published about your business and more.

Mistake No 6: Not taking Search Engines into Consideration

If you want Search Engines to index your website properly make sure you include relevant keywords and keyphrases on all your pages.  Keywords should be included in the URL of your pages, in the titles, within the headings and copy of your website as well as in image alt tags, meta description and keyword areas.  Having an up-to-date sitemap also helps.

Mistake No 7: Assuming People Will Buy From You Straight Away

Ninety-eight percent of visitors won’t buy from you on their first visit, so it is important you find a way to keep in touch with them regularly. Make sure you collect their contact details by offering them something for free in exchange for their email address – a useful report or a page full of helpful tips works well.  You can also ask them to subscribe to your blog, ‘like’ your Facebook page, add you to their Google+ profile or follow you on Twitter or another social network.


Ivana Katz

Owner at Websites 4 Small Business

Ivana is a website designer, specialising in small business websites. She understands getting a business online can be a daunting task and makes it easy to get your website created as quickly and smoothly as possible. But she doesn't stop at design. She is committed to providing you with the most up-to-date information about website marketing. She writes for a number of high profile publications including SiteProNews. Follow her at http://www.facebook.com/Websites4SmallBusiness

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Jacquie Baker

Jacquie Baker , Co-founder at Sureshot

Great article thanks Ivana.

Ivana Katz

Ivana Katz , Owner at Websites 4 Small Business

Thank you Jacquie.