People like to say that content is king on the Web and that anyone with a great product or information should always be able to rise to the top. This is not true. The ugly fact is that no matter how helpful a website is, it will be consistently overlooked if it lacks a coherent and attractive design. These are the five biggest web design mistakes a webmaster can make when creating a blog or business site.
1. A Lack of Customer Outreach
Internet users have hundreds of opinions, and they expect the opportunity to air them. On blogs, that is usually applied as a commenting system, which boosts SEO and keeps readers coming back for more. Allowing user reviews or testimonials is excellent for businesses, and even a simple email submission form can mean all the difference to a client.
2. Poor Color Choices
Basic color theory is relatively easy to master: If it looks pleasant, it is probably alright. Avoid loud, obnoxious colors in favor of muted, complementary tones. A white or light background with dark text is easy on the eyes and looks more professional. Be careful about using reds and greens together; they may be indistinguishable for those with color blindness. If you’re unsure about your decision, look around at other websites to get an idea of popular color schemes.
3. An Overly Aggressive Sales Pitch
Most people starting up a website are in it to make at least a small profit. There is nothing wrong with that, but it should not look like the primary goal of the site. People want to feel like they are being helped, not pushed toward a sale. With the right content and a gentle prod, the income will flow in naturally.
4. A Cluttered Layout
Similarly, don’t divide readers’ attention with a thousand screaming links, banners and sidebars. Advertisements, if any, should be kept tastefully to the side. Limit images to essential illustrations, have a single navigational system and place each new topic on its own separate page. Savvy users will still be able to find everything and appreciate the restraint.
5. No Call to Action
Keeping the sales pitch at a subtle level doesn’t mean it shouldn’t exist at all. Too many businesses present a superb case and then leave the reader hanging. Every piece of sales copy must have a link to a checkout page, e-mail address or other applicable next step to turn traffic into successful conversions.
Designing a website is as easy or as difficult as you choose to make it. If you feel that your current layout is not as effective as it could be, consider hiring a professional to optimize both its on-site SEO and its appeal to readers.