As small business owners, we’re often immersed in the details and facets of our own businesses — so immersed, that it’s easy, natural, and understandable when mistakes happen and go overlooked. As far as website mistakes go, small mistakes can actually have a big impact — an impact on how your website is perceived, how likely a visitor is to continue exploring and browsing, and even how likely a prospective client is to book your services or purchase your products. Today, we’re sharing 10 high-impact website mistakes — seemingly small website mistakes that can be majorly detrimental to your business — and exactly how to fix them!

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10 High-Impact Website Mistakes

Welcome to Episode 216 of The Brand It, Build It Podcast: 10 High-Impact Website Mistakes. I’m your host, Kelly Zugay. In business, there are so many details to manage — not only the products and services you offer and the client experience you create, but also your online presence… social media marketing, your web design, and so much more. So, it’s natural when mistakes fall through the cracks or go unnoticed. We hope today’s episode equips you to effectively review your web design, and ensure your design isn’t hindering your visitors!

  1. Slow Loading Speed: Slow loading times can frustrate your visitors and lead to high bounce rates — or increase the frequency at which your visitors leave after viewing only one page of your website. This not only negatively impacts your visitors’ experience, but it can also negatively impact your search engine optimization. To know exactly what can fix your website’s loading speed, use Google’s Page Speed Insights.
  2. Poor Navigation: A confusing or cluttered navigation menu can make it challenging for your visitors to find the information they’re seeking, leading to a poor user experience overall. The purpose of your website is to seamlessly lead and guide your visitors toward your services or products, and equip them to confidently book your services or purchase your products. So, the revenue-generating facets of your business should be easy to locate and browse. To fix your navigation menu, use clear, concise labels and logically organize your navigation menu. Consider using a sticky menu, which keeps the navigation menu stuck to the top of the window even as a visitor scrolls down. (This keeps your menu items visible and accessible at all times.) Consider housing your secondary navigation menu in a hamburger menu, so it is hidden from view and unclutters your primary navigation area. Lastly, use a resource like HotJar to see how visitors are engaging with your website and navigation menu, and discover where there may be potential roadblocks.
  3. Broken Links or Errors: Broken links are links that do not lead to the intended page, and can instead lead to a 404 Error page, or the wrong page altogether. To fix this error, first and foremost, create a custom 404 page that provides helpful information and navigational options to redirect and guide your visitors toward the pages you’d like them to explore. In addition, use Google Search Console or Broken Link Checker to identify and fix broken links within your website. Regularly ensuring all links are current and functional will not only better ensure a positive user experience, but it will also help your search engine rankings.
  4. Too Many Design Elements: Though creativity and artistry in web design are wonderful, overloading a website with too many design elements can overwhelm visitors and detract from your website’s core purpose and message. Instead, start by prioritizing and focusing on the essential elements that communicate your message and your offerings. Embrace white space to create breathing room around content areas to improve readability and create focus. Maintain a consistent style for fonts, colors, and layouts across your website. We always say, your brand and website should complement and not compete with your content and work — so less can truly be more in web design.
  5. Excessive Movement: Too many animations or too much movement within a web design can distract, and even irritate, users. So, pare down on animations, and use animations solely to draw attention to important elements.
  6. Poor Readability: Difficult to read text can cause users to leave your website quickly, because they’re unable to find the information they’re seeking. To fix this mistake, use clear, easily readable fonts, and avoid overly decorate typefaces. This isn’t too say fun, script fonts can’t be used — but they should be used sparingly, or in accented ways, rather than as primary fonts to convey important information. Ensure a high contrast between text colors and background colors to improve readability. Use an adequate font size — at least 16 pixels — for paragraph text, and provide sufficient line spacing, too.
  7. Lack of a Clear Heading or Business Summary: Visitors should immediately know who you are, what you do, who you serve, and if your business is location-bound, where you serve them, when they land on your Home page. A clear, concise headline should describe your business’s main value proposition. A brief subheading can provide additional context for clarity. Visuals should also reinforce your message and capture your visitors’ attention.
  8. Lack of a Clear Call-to-Action: When browsing your website — especially as a visitor shops around from one business to another, and is viewing website after website — a visitor needs to be told exactly what to do next. Unclear or missing calls-to-action can reduce conversions, so, to fix this error: Place calls-to-action in visible, logical locations, like near or in your website’s footer, at the end of blog posts, and near the conclusion of each page. Use clear, action-oriented language like Sign Up, Get Started, Book Now, or Contact Us. Use contrasting colors and ample white space to help calls-to-action stand out.
  9. Aggressive Pop-Ups: While pop-ups are a very effective means of converting visitors to newsletter subscribers, excessive or intrusive pop-ups can irritate users and lead to high bounce rates. So, limit the number of pop-ups displayed, and display pop-ups at appropriate times, like after a user has spent ample time on your page, or has scrolled a certain distance down the page. Ensure pop-ups can be easily closed or exited, too.
  10. Difficulty Contacting Your Business: If visitors are unable to find contact information, they may become frustrated and leave your website. So, place contact information in prominent locations, like your header and footer. Create a simple, easy-to-use contact form. Additioanlly, offer more than one way to contact your business — in a way that is appropriate for your business and aligned with your unique goals, such as a phone number, email address, or social media links.

Today, we explored 10 high-impact website mistakes — seemingly small website mistakes that can be majorly detrimental to your business — and exactly how to fix them! For help creating a website you love, feel proud of, and have confidence in, visit!

Brand It, Build It Podcast, Hosted by Kelly Zugay

Hosted by Kelly Zugay, co-founder of With Grace and Gold, The Brand It, Build It Podcast is the best small business marketing podcast for small business owners, creatives, and founders. Weekly, brief, actionable episodes will equip you to build a successful, sustainable small business. Since 2014, With Grace and Gold has provided award-winning custom brand and Showit web design and completely customizable Showit website templates for small businesses worldwide.

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