A company’s website is a vital tool in establishing your brand. It is readily accessible to anyone, whether they are specifically searching for it or they happen to stumble across it in the hunt for a particular product or service. Either way, it is essential to create a good impression by ensuring that your website is effective, clear and visually attractive.
1) HAVING A MEANINGLESS HOMEPAGE
Studies have shown that 90% of surfers only ever look at the homepage on their first visit to a website. To keep users on your site, the homepage should specifically link to the content of your site, have clear navigation, and not take long to load (too many graphics and audio-visual content will slow download times that negatively affects your SEO).
2) IGNORING YOUR AUDIENCE
You must always be clear about who exactly your target audience is. Otherwise, you will not be able to build your site to accommodate their needs.
3) NOT OPTIMISING FOR CONVERSION
This is a big one. Artists and designers are especially guilty of this mistake. It is natural that we want our websites to look as clean and beautiful as possible - especially if we have a portfolio we are showing off. However, clean and minimalistic homepages may leave users without a sense of direction. Lost users lead to high bounce rates.
We must always have a clear conversion path in mind when designing websites. When a user lands on your homepage ask yourself what path they are taking to get to conversion and what are you doing to lead them down this path?
4) INCLUDING COMPLICATED, OUT-OF-DATE OR IRRELEVANT INFORMATION
Obscure terminology can often confuse, especially as many visitors to your site will be from all walks of life. Complicated jargon, unless directed at specific users, will discourage people from coming back to your site.
As well as frustrating and boring your site users, out-of-date information will, by association, cause your users to assume the quality of services are not reliable, and that the site is obsolete. Irrelevant information will likewise frustrate and bore your readers.
5) DIFFICULTIES USING THE SITE
Poor web design will lead to long page load times and complicated navigation. This will cause site users to get lost, confused, and irritated.
6) IGNORING YOUR NORMAL BUSINESS MODEL WHEN BUILDING YOUR WEBSITE
Design your website to display your company’s ethos and strengths. Remember it must consistently present your brand image and the key messages must be in line with your brand positioning. Your website should be a digital home for your business. Stick to your roots and don't be tempted to try something completely different just because you are online.
Websites convey a lot about your brand. Like every other aspect of your business, they must reflect the essence of the brand image you wish to display. In order to make the most out of your company website, you must avoid:
Having a meaningless homepage
Ignoring your audience
Not optimising for conversion
Including complicated, out-of-date or irrelevant information
Difficulties using the site
Ignoring your normal business model
About the author: Vincent Bissette is a freelance Brand Strategy and Design Consultant with over 30 years experience of branding and rebranding businesses and organisations, systematically, thoroughly and objectively. He has worked in major Design Consultancies as well as having run his own agency for 25 years, working with SMEs all over the UK to help them modernise their brand, grow their business, attract new customers, penetrate new markets and increase their sales, market share and profit. Throughout that time, there’s not much he hasn't done or many industries he hasn't worked in. He’s a creative, strategic thinker and problem solver with a wealth of experience in diagnosing trouble spots in brands and discovering their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Now based in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, he works throughout the entire UK.
Get in touch with him on Linkedin here