Are these five common web design mistakes driving people AWAY from your website?

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. And that’s true for your website, too.

Here are five common web design mistakes and user experience issues that can lead to high bounce rates, low conversions, and bad search rankings.

The site takes too long to load.

Sometimes it’s that simple. The site just doesn’t load fast enough.

And fast means fast. According to KISSmetrics data, 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% will abandon the page if it takes more than 3 seconds.

Optimizing your site for speed is one of the most important things you can do to reduce bounce rates and boost search engine rankings.

People can’t find your contact information.

Burying contact information on your website does the opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish. Make sure to include a clear Contact button in the main navigation to avoid user experience issues.

Avoid using a contact form as the only way people can get in touch. Using a contact form as the sole way visitors can reach you might generate an email list, but let’s face it: no one really knows whether someone is monitoring the “Contact Us” form.

Many questions can be handled with a quick email or phone call, so be sure to include your phone number and an email address on your website.

People can’t figure out how to find stuff.

If a customer wants to find a specific thing on your website and you’ve made it difficult for them to do that, you’re going to lose visitors.

Include a clear Call to Action on your homepage, above the fold. And for the rest of the site, use easily navigable menus.

Don’t overcrowd your nav bar with dozens of dropdowns and subcategories. Don’t use clever or cutesy menu item names.

They can’t tell what you do.

When a customer visits your site, they often want to know, “Can this company solve my problem?”

Your website should answer that question early and often – in the hero section above the fold, on the About page, and on all landing pages.

Be direct. Not clever or cute. Direct.

For example, a dog-grooming company could say something like: Pamper your pup with our first-class mobile dog-grooming service. Simple. Direct.

When it comes to everything on your website – but especially when you’re talking about your services – the three rules are: be direct, be direct, be direct.

You have a distracting hero image, video, or carousel.

It was once trendy to have elaborate hero videos and sliders. Things are simpler these days. Now, as with everything else on your site, it’s best to be simple, fast, and easy for the visitor to process. A common web design mistake is to create hero images that remove the user’s attention from the services you provide.

If you have a complex hero image that you’ve laid text over, make sure there’s a layer in between that makes the text pop for readability. This is especially important for videos. But in most cases, we advise against video in the header. Video can be helpful elsewhere in the site.

As for sliders, some companies still use them, but people don’t click on them and conversion experts agree they don’t work.  If you feel the slider is right for you, put it below the fold.

Avoid the distraction of a complex hero image. Make your hero image a static, easy-to-read message that drives action.

Your website is often your first impression. If you’d like a professional audit of your website, along with recommendations for making sure your site delivers that great first impression and user experience, contact us.

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