It’s almost always better, from our point of view, to focus on the positive rather than the negative. That’s why our blog features lots of articles about helpful tips and best practices, and very few that dwell on blunders and mistakes that marketers make. It’s just more helpful to show people what they should do than to harp on the things they shouldn’t.
With that being said, though, we have learned a lot over the years about seeing web design projects that didn’t work out. Often, when new clients come to us it’s because their existing online strategy isn’t yielding the right kinds of results. Usually, things can be traced back to a predictable set of problems.
Let’s look at a few lessons we can pick up from the worst business websites without picking on anyone in particular…
UX and Navigation are Really Important
When a website is hard to use and navigate, customers don’t want to hang around. That doesn’t exactly represent groundbreaking insight, but it is something business owners and web developers tend to overlook. Your pages have to make a strong first impression, of course, but your website structure also needs to make it easy to find key pieces of information and get from one topic to another. Fail in this important area and you’ll see traffic bleeding from your site week after week.
Clean Lines Make Content Easier to Digest
The most obvious sign of a “bad website” is clutter. Anything that makes it hard to tell what your business is about, or is associated with high-pressure sales, is a bad look for your company. Customers are checking out more websites than ever before, and they give a lot less time to a link or search result than they have in the past. For that reason, you need to feature clean lines, white space, and easily digestible blocks of content in your layout.
Poor Organization Can Kill Your Website
Although many website visitors will consider the design to be a poor one if it fails aesthetically (see the point above), business owners should evaluate designs based on profitability. In other words, if your pages don’t produce leads, sales, or other measurable results, then they aren’t doing you any favors. This is where good organization—usually in the form of a well-defined sales funnel—comes into play. When you leave conversions to chance, you’re almost always going to be disappointed with the outcomes that are achieved.
Your Web Pages Have to Be Maintained
Some bad websites don’t start out that way. Instead, they are simply neglected for a long time until they feature outdated content, plug-ins that don’t load correctly, or refer to issues that are no longer relevant. Maintaining your website doesn’t have to be a huge job, but it is something you should schedule at regular intervals. At the very least, you’ll want to review your current content and strategy with your web design team to ensure you’re keeping up with the times.
Looking for a Smarter Web Development and Online Marketing Strategy?
Usually, when a business ends up with a bad website, it’s a sign that their design and development team wasn’t giving them good advice. That’s why we take the time to get to know our clients, and their goals, so we can be sure we are steering them towards the bottom-line results that matter to them. In other words, we treat every project as if our own profitability depended on it… because in the end, it does.
If you’re ready to follow a smarter approach to web design and online marketing, contact us today to schedule a free consultation and see how we do things differently!