Website design practices have come a long way in the past few years. While significant improvements have been made in most cases, there are still websites out there that are not aware of how to leverage conversion optimization to their advantage. In fact, there are a few web design mistakes that should be avoided at all costs.
1. Poor Search Options
In most cases, people who arrive at your site will not see what they are looking for immediately. This prompts them to use your on-site search function. However, if this has not been set up correctly or returns poor and inappropriate results, you can usually kiss your chances of conversion optimization goodbye. Ensure that your search option can handle typos, hyphens and variants of the search term that are being entered into it.
2. Not Changing Colors of Links Already Visited
This is another example of poor website design because many site visitors rely on this feature to help them sift through the pages or links that they have already browsed. If a site visitor cannot determine which parts of your site have already been scanned, he or she will most likely head elsewhere.
3. Walls of Text
Site visitors do not want to be bombarded by solid walls of text when browsing. When creating content, ensure that is easily read and separated by means of short paragraphs, numerical lists and/or bullet points. This enables people to quickly arrive at the information that they are looking for.
4. Flash or Pop-up Adverts
This website design trend died a painful death more than a decade ago. Nowadays, if people arrive at your site and find themselves being assaulted with pop-ups or annoying flash advertising before they can even access the content on your site, you will most likely have put them off from visiting again.
5. Having to Open Multiple Browser Windows
In most cases, your site visitors will become distracted and head elsewhere if they have to open multiple browser windows to view the content or products they are looking for. If they have to click on additional links to view content, it is important to ensure that they do not have to search through multiple open browser tabs to find it. Try to make everything happen in a single window if possible.
6. Poor Color Selections
While bright and gaudy colors may be an ideal selection in the beach towel and flip flop department, they will definitely have a negative effect on your conversion optimization efforts. With most websites, keeping the design clean and simple with no more than four to five color choices usually works best. Slightly more muted color tones will not only be easier on the eyes; research has shown that these have a calming effect on people as well, which could result in them spending more time browsing your site.
7. No Call to Action
This is normally the most overlooked aspect of web design. If you site visitors do not know what to do in order to purchase your product or service or where they should go if they are looking for more information, chances are that you will not succeed in converting them to paid customers. Always include a call to action in your site content as well as on sales pages.
Here is a great eBook from HubSpot regarding call to action.
If you lack website design experience, it is best to hire the services of an expert individual or company to assist you. This will provide you with a great site while ensuring that your conversion optimization efforts are successful as well.