Website Design Mistakes You Need To Avoid
If you own a business and are serious about growing revenues, then you need to have a website. Even if your primary strategy is to sell in a bricks-and-mortar environment, the truth is that the vast majority of people search on Google to find suppliers before they ever pick up the phone or walk in your door. This still applies if you have a sales force on the road actively selling your products or services. Prospective customers are still going to look at your website, and if you donít have one Ė or if it is poorly designed Ė then you just wonít look credible.
Letís focus on that last statement again. If your website is poorly designed, you wonít look credible. If you donít look credible, youíll lose revenue. Even worse, if you are relying on your website for e-commerce transactions, you can actually drive away customers who would otherwise would be one click away from buying.
To start with, you need to think about your target audience. Itís easy to get caught up in just how clever your website design looks, or to rush going live because of some artificial deadline. However, unless you are clear about who you are targeting, your site isnít going to be effective and all that investment will be wasted. For example, if you are targeting a young audience, you may want to use bright colors and energetic imagery, and make sure the site looks good on mobile devices. On the other hand, if you are targeting seniors, you want to focus on readability and simplifying the user experience. Keep in mind that a single website cannot cater for every target audience Ė so you either need to make a choice or develop multiple brands.
Avoid anything that makes your site look amateurish or Ė crucially Ė insincere. For example, when you are selecting stock photography, avoid images that are overly posed Ė everyone else will have exactly the same thing and your site will look cheap, as will your business. For example, a picture of someone giving your visitors a great big thumbs up can make you look like a snake-oil salesman.
Next, keep it simple. While it may be really interesting to see how far you can stretch the envelope with your website, the truth is that it is there to do something very basic. It needs to give your audience information about your product, explain to them in emotional or logical terms why they should buy, and then make it easy for them to make a purchase. Anything that gets in the way of this, including over-elaborate design or difficult navigation, needs to go.
Finally, donít forget to ask for the sale. You need to make sure that your site has a number of appropriately placed calls to action, accompanied by big, obvious buttons visitors can press to make a purchase.
And, while it may be attempting to give them many purchase choices, research has shown that this actually reduces the likelihood that they will choose anything at all.
*Image source: http://en.minghui.org/emh/article_images/2008-12-31-la-audience-01.jpg
*Image source: http://predisc.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/thumbs-up.jpg