Creating a Website

 

A website’s design has a lot to do with how successful it is. A poorly designed website can be an absolute nightmare for visitors, leading to low conversion rates and unhappy customers.

 

The numbers make it even more evident. Website users take 0.05 seconds to form an opinion about a website, and 94% of those decisions are design-related. At the same time, 38% of people leave an unattractive website, reveals a study by Social Media Today.

 

photography with graphics

 

In other words, people will judge your site based on the quality and the user experience you are providing for them. Additionally, Google is boosting the importance of user experience as a ranking factor year after year.

 

These and several other factors contribute to making web design a vital ingredient to include in your SEO techniques and overall user experience strategies to improve rankings effectively.

 

How Important Is a Website’s Design For Conversions?


When it comes to design, there are principles of design to keep in mind, impacting conversion rates.

 

A well-designed website will help visitors find what they’re looking for with minimal effort, and it also makes the site easy to navigate. As you can imagine, this leads to increased customer satisfaction and higher conversions.

 

For example, if your design is made using readable fonts and scannable text, it can improve your site usability by 47%, and 54% prefer a personalized design and experience.

 

On the other hand, some design flaws that look tiny might have a considerable impact on the website’s success.

 

This post will discuss seven design flaws that you should avoid when designing your site or sites for your clients.

 

Let’s get started!

 

1.  Too Much Text on the Homepage


Avoid having too much text on the homepage of a website. This can be problematic for some users trying to figure out what exactly they need from your website and cause them to exit the site.

 

You should place pertinent information on your homepage, which is clear and well-written.

 

If you want a quick way to design a beautiful website with the right amount of text and images on the homepage, you could use a website builder. Most popular website builders like Wix or Weebly have tons of templates designed with user experience conversion in mind.

 

Visitors should understand what your website is about within a few seconds of arriving on it. Most site owners try to do this by placing too much information initially, ending up confusing their visitors.

 

2.  Not Enough White Space


Another design flaw to avoid is not providing enough white space on a web page. This can make the website feel overcrowded and overwhelming, which might cause people to exit before they explore it anymore.

 

Here is an example of not enough white space used on a site. For sure, you don’t want any of your sites looking like this.

 

too much text

Source

 

On the other hand, too much white space can also be a problem because it might make your site feel outdated. You need to make this decision based on the niche of your website.

 

Minimalism is a design trend that is becoming more and more used by bloggers and website owners, but it is only working and creating the desired effect if done correctly. Too much white space with no directions or instructions, looking too cryptic, will leave visitors with too many questions.

 

Here is an example on how famous brands use white space to create an impact on the main elements.

 

watch

Source

 

Another thing you can do is make use of negative space, which is when a design doesn’t include any content on certain parts of the page and leaves it blank or just with background color such as black. This helps draw in readers’ eyes because they know that more sections are coming.

 

1.  Poorly Designed Navigation


A navigation menu is a must for any website, but you have to make sure that it’s easy to use and well-designed. You can’t just put links in a long list; they need to be organized so that users know where they are at all times.

 

The most common ways of doing this are by using drop-down menus or limiting the number of links in a row to four.

 

You also need to make sure that the navigation menu is mobile-friendly, so it doesn’t take up too much space on smaller screens, and users can easily reach all of the links no matter how small their screen size is.

 

A good idea is to use animated navigation bars, such as elements that flash, roll, and move while users are exploring different elements of your website. Use animation with user experience in mind if you have to; some of the best website builders have custom templates, and they are typically designed not to be invasive.

 

Another thing you should consider when designing your website navigation, especially when using online store builders, is the location of your shopping cart. Part of creating a perfect shopping cart checkout means that it should be easily accessible from anywhere on the site, not just on a single page (like “checkout”).

 

Your navigation menu hugely impacts the user experience and, subsequently, the SEO of your website. It’s essential to take the time when designing your website and do it right.

 

2.  Lack of Contrast Between Background and Foreground colors


You want to make sure that there is a high enough contrast between text, background color, and any other design elements to enhance readability for all audiences. Readability affects how well people can find and understand information on the page.

 

The contrast should be high enough to provide ample visibility for people with low visual acuity (vision impairment) or those using devices like screen readers that rely on color contrast and captioning as the only way to convey textual content.

 

To make sure you are providing ample room for contrast, consider the following:

 

  • Text color should be at least twice as bright as its background.
  • The difference in brightness between text and background colors shouldn’t exceed three times (e.g., black on white is okay; gray on light blue is not).
  • Avoid using colors that are very similar to each other from a distance.

 

3.  Unclear Call-to-Action Buttons


Getting lots of traffic on your website is of no use if you can’t convert them. One of the most conversion-focused elements of web design is the call-to-action buttons.

 

Some of the most common mistakes people make with call to action buttons are:

 

  • The button is unclear or vague, making it difficult for visitors to know what they will be signing up for.
  • The call-to-action buttons don’t stand out from other elements on the page and get lost in all the clutter.
  • Using too many buttons on a page can be confusing.
  • Too long text and not persuasive.
  • Not testing the button is a common mistake. The button may not work, wasting traffic.
  • Not using attractive designs.

 

Here is an example of a too confusing button that doesn’t stand out from the rest of the page:

 

call to action

Source

 

A button should look clickable, so users don’t have to try to figure out which part of the page is the one with the link. But, how do you make a button looking clickable?

 

A button is a visual presentation, and it may look more clickable when there are effects or bright colors added. For example, buttons with shadows effects or a slight color gradient trigger visitors to click on them. Another example could be to design the button edges with a round form and use a different color for the button’s borders.

 

Button and background colors should look contrasting so that the call-to-action stands out from the rest of the page. Finally, when it comes to design, you have to test your CTA buttons constantly.

 

1.  No Clear Hierarchy of Information


In a website, hierarchy is just as important as it would be on the ground. You need to help your visitors find their way around and not get lost in all the information you provide.

 

Your site should have clearly defined sections of how the site is structured, and where to find information inside the pages.

 

A site hierarchy is how the pages are arranged from the menu and how they go deeper into the site following a series of menus organized based on easy-to-understand and follow logic.

 

A confusing site will turn people away as fast as they come in. Users must be able to find what they are looking for very fast. A navigation menu that is hard to find is a common web design mistake. A bit site without a site map is another example of an error.

 

Fill space with content that can help organize the information and make your site more user-friendly for navigation purposes.

 

When you use photos and graphics, they need to communicate your thoughts and contribute to the overall message of the page or post and help the visitor navigate the site. Using low-quality and irrelevant images can be very confusing and make your site look cheap.

 

The wrong image format may be confusing and give a bad look to your site when it is seen through a mobile or other devices. Visitors may be wondering what you are trying to communicate and leave the site. A menu should be:

 

  • Clear
  • Usable
  • Easy to find

 

Visitors don’t want to search all over the page just to find what they are looking for, so you must take care of this issue before it becomes a problem. Some elements like the table of contents, internal links, and drop-down menus can help with this.

 

2.  Poorly Placed Logos


Modern-day web designs come with multiple creative logo placements for maximum impact. But if you’re not careful, your logo can become a visual distraction.

 

The best way to prevent this is by paying attention to the location of your company’s name and brand on the page. You want it placed in an area with high visibility but minimal interference for site visitors scrolling through content or scanning pages.

 

Ensure that your logo is in a place that doesn’t interfere with the navigation menu and is nicely designed. If you want to build a creative website, keep the navigation simple, making the website more user-friendly. Based on research, it’s way more difficult for website users to find the homepage when the logo is centered.

 

logo placement

Source

 

Place the logo to the left as an ideal spot for brand recognition and user experience. However, even if you put it on the left, you still have to make sure it is ideal. If your logo is too large, it can create a lot of extra space above the navigation bar and make the home page look messy.

 

When possible, the logo should have a transparent background to blend better with your website colors. Ideally, you would use a horizontal format. In this way, it looks better on the navigation bar and will take up less space.

 

If you are not sure about the design and how your headers and logos should look like, you could use website development tools to test different looks and designs or use pre-made templates if you need.

 

Poorly placed logos do more harm than good and might irritate your visitors to the point where they leave your site without clicking on anything.

 

Takeaway


When building a website, these are some design flaws you should avoid at all costs. Be mindful of how logos and branding will look when placed on the page because they can irritate visitors scrolling through content or scanning pages.

 

You want to build brand awareness without annoying your visitors. Other elements such as stock photos and advertisements should also be avoided.

 

Several other elements, such as improving your website’s lighthouse performance, also contribute to making a user-friendly website. The best way to avoid these flaws is by testing your site for overall user experience with a UX audit before it goes live.

 

Author Bio: Martin Luenendonk is a 3x serial entrepreneur with a deep passion in digital business models and marketing innovations. He is the Founder at cleverism.com and founderjar.com

Startup Website Design

 

It seems that the most frequently asked questions of the digital business age is: “does my small business really need a website?”

The ease of the internet has seen fewer people seek for products and service through the yellow pages or phone book. In fact these days have long gone and have been replaced with the search and click days. More than 20 million shoppers are now online, purchasing everything from books to animals and food to property.

A large proportion of business revenue is derived from online transactions and offline through online marketing efforts. Even if your business is small and sells products or services that you don’t believe would benefit from being online, without a doubt you should have an online presence. Never dismiss products to be sold over the internet, as the utmost unique and specific products are the ones sought over the internet.

Having a website doesn’t mean that you focus all your budget and time onto selling online.  You can still actively trade from your store-front, while having a website which allows for potential customers, employees or business partners to find out the information they seek.

However, it’s simply not enough to have just a website. Your business website needs to be professional otherwise you won’t be taken seriously. Customers usually search online prior to making a purchase, so it’s essential that your website gives a credible impression. A website should be an important part of your business and you should treat it as one.

 

So, what’s stopping you creating a website for your startup business?


 

Here are four popular excuses disproved:

 

“I cannot afford to spend money on a swanky, professional website”

 

Many people believe that it costs big money to create a credible website, but there are plenty of excellent websites that have been produced at a reasonable price (without knowing somebody who knows someone). You can do some digging around online to find an affordable design agency, or try your hand at building a website by customizing an online blogging platform with a paid domain. Nonetheless, it’s true that the more pages your website has and the more you update with unique content, the greater the investment.

 

“I don’t have the staff to update the website regularly”

 

A website which boasts boring, bland and outdated content with a blog that doesn’t get updated is almost as worse than having no website at all. With blogging platforms such as Tumblr, Blogspot and WordPress, updating your website with a new blog post has never been as easy. And, you certainly don’t need an extra pair of hands as you can simply update your website when you have a spare hour. Share content on your latest works, industry changes and other related issues.

 

“My competition don’t have one, so I don’t need one either”

 

If this is your attitude to your business, then you’re heading into an early retirement.

 

“SEO is too hard to learn and I don’t have the money to outsource”

 

SEO is basically the practice of optimizing your website content with words and phrases for search engine purposes. Basically, what will your customers be searching on Google or Yahoo! to find your website? If you optimize your website efficiently, you will be higher on the search engine results. Basic SEO can be learnt and put into practice by the least technical of people.

 

About Author

Dawn writes for alldayPA, a telephone answering service offering businesses a bespoke call handling service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Conversions are Important

Just having a website is no longer the end of the road. Frankly, there is no end of the road when it comes to properly built websites because building a well converting website is a journey not a process. Increasing your flow of leads on your website is a process that requires constant testing and tweaking. Folks, it is a craft to build a website that converts well. Just having an “awesome” product or solution is not enough anymore. Your website should always be leading your traffic down a particular path. Whether it is a phone call, a lead submission or a purchase you must make it as easy as possible for that action to occur.

Here is a great infographic from the folks at Help Scout showcasing a variety of elements you can be integrating in order to increase lead flow.

10 Ways to Convert More Website Traffic

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Does It Work?

There is no doubt about it, website marketing is absolutely crucial when it comes to any sort of success online these days. Facebook type growth only comes around once every generation or so. These days, strategic marketing for a website is just as important as having a professionally designed website. With that marketing comes the need to measure how your marketing works which is going to be important if you want to understand just how well your efforts are being executed. I have seen people spin their wheels until they were blue in the face and still not a single positive result occurred from their actions. It is always important to understand what is working and what should be kicked to the curb.

Keep in mind that success online must align with your business goals. For some companies it is just branding, for others it might be rankings and for some they just want the phone to ring a bit more. Everyone has different goals and your website marketing efforts should always align with those goals.

Here are some ways you can measure your website marketing effectiveness:

Website Traffic

There is this great little program (sarcastic voice) called Google Analytics that can show you all your website traffic for free! If your website marketing effectiveness is heading in the right direction Google Analytics will show you. It identifies all your traffic, where it is coming from, what type of browser people are using and what geographic location most of your traffic is coming from. A wonderful tool that can give you an enormous amount of insight.

Google Analytics Screenshot

Google Analytics Screenshot

Rankings Increase

If your marketing efforts are directly executed with a rankings goal in mind there are ways to measure those rankings properly. Keep in mind that Google hates rankings driven marketing efforts because they take it as a direct manipulation of the search results. With that said there are numerous ways to still take a quality approach to increase your rankings utilizing good, solid marketing & branding efforts. There are even different software solutions that can help you identify where your rankings sit and how they move each month.

Here are a few:

Industry Influence

Industry influence is something that is very important when it comes to website marketing effectiveness. How do people perceive your voice? Do they listen when you speak? These are important questions to ask yourself when marketing your website online. When you are marketing a website your voice is all you have. That voice either has weight or it doesn’t. One way to build up that weight is through content marketing, social media and having an active blog. Online influence is not something that occurs overnight but there are ways to measure that voice.

Here are a few ways to measure your online influence:

Klout Video

Writing press releases is very important to marketing and branding your business, writing optimized press releases is even better. Personally we really enjoy using PRWeb for PR distribution. PRWeb recently put together this infographic showcasing why it is important to have an optimized press release. I think the numbers speak for themselves.

 

Optimized Press Release

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Google Custom Search

When it comes to website performance user experience is extremely valuable. Google Custom Search gives the ability for website visitors to conduct search queries directly through your website.

Google offers two different options:

  • Free
  • Premium — $100 pre/year

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Safe SEO

You heard it folks, now you can get a penalty for over SEO optimization which can be a big problem. Google has been trying for years to get website owners to take the right approach when it comes to search engine optimization. They recently announced that over optimization could generate a penalty so you have to really make sure you are conducting the safest SEO tactics possible.

Here is a nice infographic from the folks at SEO Peace that go over the right tactics to help you keep your SEO in the safe zone.

Over Optimization

 

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Should I Use Google Webmaster Tools?

Yes! Well, you should at least get it onto your website at the very minimum. Google Webmaster Tools gives website owners valuable insight as to how their website is interacting with the web and overall health of a website.

Google wants the community to really understand the technical behavior of their websites so they can properly market them and drive valuable targeted traffic. Not that long ago Google launched Webmaster Academy where website owners can learn even more about the interaction of their website and the technology of Google.

Here are some important reasons why you might want to use Google Webmaster Tools:

  • Helps you understand search queries
  • Crawl errors
  • Overall health of your website
  • Website optimization
  • Site performance

Google Webmaster Tools Video

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Your website or blog does not serve any purpose if the major search engines are not able to find it. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a method by which you can make your blog as well as your website search engine-friendly. You can learn SEO techniques easily by doing a research on the internet.

Listed below are 5 effective online resources that will teach you various SEO techniques:

1. Online Tutorials

Online tutorials that teach SEO techniques are a great way to start. Most of these tutorials are available free of cost and are written in a lucid manner. For a beginner, these tutorials are very helpful because some of these tutorials provide detailed steps on how you should apply SEO techniques to your website or blog. You can even download the tutorials on your PC or your e-reader and read them at your convenience.

2. E-books or paper books

SEO is a very common topic in the virtual world. Hence, you will get a host of e-books written on this subject. You will find both free and paid e-books dedicated on SEO techniques. If you wish to spend some money on real books on the topic of SEO then you can buy many of them from any of the online shopping portals.

3. Blogs

Look for blogs, which have content on SEO techniques. Type in the keyword like seo techniques tutorials in the search engine and you will get a list of blogs. In fact, it is very useful to choose the blogs that have appeared on the first page of the search list generated by the search engine. It shows that the writer of the blog does have proficiency in the SEO techniques and that is why, his or her blog has received a higher ranking.

4. Articles

The internet has many article directories that offer a pool of knowledge pertaining to any topic under the sun. These directories are accessible free of cost and provide a number of articles on SEO techniques. Hence, a good place to start learning SEO techniques is these article directories and you will get important tips on how you can optimize your website or blog in an effective way and get huge traffic.

5. Forums

Forums are live discussion portals, which come very handy when you are learning anything new. These forums are visited by experts and they use their knowledge to help the members of the forums.

You can start threads when you want questions or doubts regarding SEO techniques answered. In forums, whenever a person has a question, he or she starts a thread by asking the question. You too can join a forum and can start a thread. Soon, you will get responses for your query.

The web offers a huge reservoir of knowledge, which you can access and utilize for optimizing your website or blog. Use the above-mentioned resources to get started on learning SEO techniques. Soon, you will gain expertise in optimizing your blog or site and make these a favorite of the major search engines.

About the author: Claudia is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on luxury and technology. She recently read an article blog posts on that attracted her attention. These days she is busy in writing an article on social media devices.

10 Little Ways

Many times SEO is not to blame when it comes to a website not running at 100% efficiency. You have to understand that search engine optimization is a process that requires many other areas to be finely tuned in order to work properly. If those areas I am referring to are not running at 100% than your SEO will never work how it is supposed to. Remember that SEO is about delivering inbound traffic to your site, once that traffic is there it is up to your brand, website layout and product to convert that visitor into some sort of action the aims at generating revenue for your company.

Here are 10 reasons why it could be everything but your SEO which is prohibiting your website to convert traffic how it should:

Poor Website Layout

If your website is built a bit sloppy with no little to no flow you will have a difficult time converting anything. Your web audience has to be able to flow properly through your website otherwise they are going to bounce and move on to your competitor.

Poor Page Content

Your content is your virtual sales man, if it is written poorly with no flow people are going to split. Your copy has to be able to communicate exactly what your sales person would if they were speaking with a potential client.

Out Dated Design

Design is very subjective but up to date web design is crucial for branding and trust building. In the digital space people do judge a book by its cover so make sure your design up to par with what it going on in the industry.

Website Errors

Broken links, pages not found and forms that don’t work will not help you grow. Make sure your site isn’t all botched up. When your web traffic clicks on links that lead to nowhere it certainly does not build up trust and confidence in your brand.

Lack of Updates

You have to keep things fresh on your site. Try changing and adding items once in a while so things are not stagnant. A blog is a nice way to keep new fresh content making its way in front of your audience consistently.

Lack of Proper SEO

What you think is SEO and what we think is SEO could be vastly different. Make sure what you are doing is actually what needs to be done in order to get the job done. SEO/SEM is not once it once was years ago so don’t think your efforts from 2001 are going to work today.

Complete Denial

Everything around you online is competition. That random web page sitting near you, the PPC ads above and to the right, everything you see is an obstacle and all obstacles should be viewed as competition. The reality is that the search engines are inundated with massive amounts of material every single day and you have to be willing to admit that to yourself.

No Social Media Efforts

Social media is not going anywhere. Social media has changed the way everyone does almost everything on a daily basis. If you can’t include this into your marketing strategy you will fail over time.

Poor Conversion Metrics

If you can’t properly lead your visitor down the right path you can’t expect to see the right conversions. Website conversion metrics are probably the most important part of building a new site for your company.

No Trust

Building trust is one of the most important things in today’s digital landscape. People do not just submit their information to any old web page they bump into any longer. If you want their info or the credit card information you have to instill confidence in your audience.

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