In the early days of the internet, merely having a website was impressive. But now, buying a domain and establishing a web presence isn’t nearly enough. Since the world wide web changes so rapidly, it makes sense that the realm of web design has to, as well. What might have worked just fine five years ago is now seen as outdated and irrelevant. And if you’re seen as irrelevant, your business is going to suffer as a result.
If you want to rank well in search and capture those conversions, you need to prioritize the web design process and make sure that your website is up to par. In order to that, you’ll need to be able to recognize the signs of bad website design and whether your site is exhibiting them. If it is, you’ll need to work with a web design agency to make some significant changes. Keep reading to learn about a few common signs of bad web design and some ways to address them.
Common Signs of Bad Web Design
While there are numerous examples of poor site design, these are some of the most common culprits that web designers hate to see.
- Slow Site or Page Speed: Approximately 47% of internet users believe a website should take no more than two seconds to load. Most users will abandon a web page if it takes longer than that. But according to Google, the average load time is anywhere from eight seconds to a whopping 22 seconds. This can result in a higher bounce rate, which may indicate to Google that your site isn’t helpful or relevant. Not surprisingly, Neil Patel ranks slow-loading web pages as the number one sign of bad design. Fortunately, it’s also one of the easier elements for your web design agency to test and fix. Eliminating unnecessary ads, simplifying your design, or using a content delivery network can help to speed up notoriously slow sites.
- Lack of Quality Content: You may have heard that “content is king” before. That philosophy is still true today, even with all of the updates that have occurred in the realm of search engine optimization and website design. If your homepage and other landing pages are virtually devoid of content, both Google and web visitors won’t think too highly of your business. And if you don’t have a blog, you’re essentially ignoring the needs of potential clients. Although content creation falls under the digital marketing umbrella, it’s actually an important part of web design, too. So-called “skeleton content” (e.g., having very little information on very few pages) won’t attract users or improve your rankings. You need to be much more generous with your content if you want to improve your design.
- Poor Website Navigation: If users are unable to navigate around your website, they probably aren’t going to stick around for very long. There are a few generally accepted ways to help users navigate your site, like drop-down menus and horizontal page links. But if you deviate from these methods (or your mobile site’s navigation is vastly different), you’re going to confuse people. And unfortunately, web users aren’t willing to put up with that confusion.
- Non-responsive Websites: Now that Google has announced they will be rolling out mobile first indexing, you literally cannot afford to have a website that isn’t mobile friendly. Not only will your rankings drop, but you’ll also alienate mobile users. Mobile users comprise a large portion of potential customers — in fact, four out of five consumers use their mobile phones to shop online — so ignoring their needs can really hurt you. Having a separate mobile version of your site isn’t enough, either. Your website needs to be responsive, meaning it provides the same experience regardless of the device being used to view it.
- Missing Elements: Your website doesn’t need to contain every possible feature in the universe, but there are certain elements you should highlight. You need a contact page, as well as prominent contact info on every page. You should have your social media accounts featured prominently, as well. Your business should have an about page on their website, an easy-to-use search function, and blog posts with displayed dates. Put your content on display and make it easy for users to assess your trustworthiness. In other words, don’t prioritize aesthetic over function.
What Are the Risks of Bad Website Design?
Whether you’ve invested in a brand new site or are relying on a site from five years ago, you take several risks when your site doesn’t look and function the way it should. Web users make an instantaneous judgment about your integrity when they see your site. Ultimately, a negative judgment will result in bad rankings and huge revenue losses. You won’t be able to convert leads or obtain the web visibility you need to survive in the digital age. In other words, not working with a reputable web design agency could result in a complete business failure.
How to Improve Your Existing Web Design
One mistake many businesses make is thinking of their website like a business card. It should actually be considered part of your sales team — and a hardworking part, at that. Because it’s available 24/7 and often serves as the first introduction to your company, it’s imperative that your website sets you up for success in every way.
You can assess certain website features yourself, like a lack of content or certain outdated elements. If you think your website seems a little cluttered, it probably is. If your navigation seems confusing even to those who work at your company, it likely needs to be changed. And if you’ve gotten feedback about your site being overwhelming to look at, you need to take it seriously. Even if you aren’t qualified to make these changes yourself, having this knowledge can help considerably.
Of course, the surest way to improve your site is to work with a reputable web design agency. When you hire your web design agency, make sure they’ve had experience handling other sites in your industry and that they fully understand the challenges you need to overcome. Make sure your web design agency communicates well, has an established portfolio, writes up a proposal and contract, and that their prices seem fairly comparable to the standard.
You might assume that your current website is doing its job. But if business is slow and your rankings are down, that may not be the case. Hiring a web design agency will allow you to make necessary improvements and truly impress web visitors with the caliber of your site. For more info about how we can help, contact our web design agency today.