Web design

Web Design Elements to Avoid for a Successful Website

web-design-colorsRand Fishkin, the founder of SEOmoz, advises that, "There is no black magic to successfully attracting customers via the web." However making great choices about what you have on your website can help.

Some people assume that when designing a website, all you have to choose is a WordPress theme and some carefully selected plugins. Depending on the purpose of your website, like if you are using it for SEO purposes, then there are many other choices to make.

Avoid Annoying Your Web Traffic

Customers are the lifeblood of websites used for SEO purposes. And while great SEO techniques will attract people to your website, if you make some of the mistakes listed below then very few of those people will choose to stay there.

In fact, if your website makes enough mistakes, it could be detrimental to your bottom line. Here are some of the biggest mistakes people make when designing a website. If you are taking notes, then you should title this list What Not to Do.

  • Complicated Design - There are so many great plugins to use for WordPress! But if you use too many of them, and they have a visual effect on the front end, your site comes off looking complicated and clunky. Choose plugins that enhance your theme rather than leave customers with a negative experience.

  • Cluttered Homepage - The average web user spends less than 5 seconds on a website before clicking away. Your homepage should have only the most vital information, like company logo and current promotion or featured product. Everything else should go on pages with headings like About Us or Products & Services.

  • Obscure Contact Information - Have you ever tried to find a company's contact information only to find yourself directed to an email template? Don't do that. Do you know what I do to those websites? I close them out and instead use a business that has the full contact information listed on its website.

  • Copycat Design - If you look just like your competitors, then you will have a difficult time standing out from the competition. Create unique content, from the logo and images you use, to how you phrase your promotional slogans and blog posts.

  • Fail to Drive Traffic to Your Site - Unless Kevin Costner built you a website about a baseball field where dreams come true, the "if you build it they will come" mentality does not work on the internet. Link with social media networks like Facebook and Twitter and use the latest SEO techniques to bring people to your site.

  • No Call to Action - The call to action is the push visitors need to invest in your website - and this does not mean spending hard-earned cash. A call to action could be something like signing up of a free newsletter or buying a series of informational white papers.

  • Go Live Without Testing - Going live could lead to some real embarrassment if your site is riddled with spelling and grammar errors, or if you are a diehard PC user and most of your clients and customers own Mac products. Take time to test now to avoid losing profits later.

Here is a video featuring some of the ideas discussed in this article and that I found useful to share.

Low Quality Content - The Bane of Websites Everywhere

Having content that is poor quality is another way to get visitors to your site to keep clicking past you and on to the competition. And the biggest offender is careless spelling and glaring grammatical errors.

When adding content, make sure you have proper paragraph breaks so that it does not look like one long paragraph of text on the page. The trick to successful content is to keep the paragraphs 4 lines or less in length. Ideally the shorter they are - the better.

Believe it or not, careless mistakes in regard to content can cost you big when it comes to your bottom line. A few minutes proofreading now to fix correct simple spelling and grammar mistakes can add up to more sales later.

Advertising and Images

On a final note, stay away from flashy ad banners that detract from the content of your site. Strobe lights and annoying animations can cause visitors to click on to the next site, which is the last thing you want to happen.

When using images, make sure they fit within the borders of your website. Any image you use on your site should complement the tone and topic of the written content. A good rule of thumb is that if it seems awkward to you, most other visitors to your site are going to agree.

Successful freelancer Benjamin Baker lives in Denver with his wife and their teenage children. When writing about websites he uses reliable blogs like the one at ownasite.com as research. He spends all of his spare time with his first love, which is his family. They enjoy checking out junk yards for manly relics, camping, and fishing.

Do you have any questions? Please ask.