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5 Website Design Mistakes That Hurt Conversion Rates in 2018

It’s the year 2018. Online presence is more important than ever with everyone owning smartphones and can check out your business within seconds. It takes approximately 10 seconds for a website to leave an impression on the user, so it is crucial that your site makes the right first impression or your visitors will vamoose before you can say “stay”. If your website constantly scares users off, it’s bad for your company’s conversion rates (i.e. the rate at which your company acquires customers).

So how would you know if your site is optimised to convert your visitors into customers? Whether you’re thinking of giving your website a makeover or deciding to invest in your very first website, it is important to know what website design mistakes to avoid in 2018.

Here are the top 5 mistakes that many companies are guilty of and should aspire to leave behind.

 

1… 2… 3… and your website is still loading

Time is money, and with every second that goes by while waiting for your website to load, both you and your visitors are losing precious time. Worse, you also lose money. In a survey by Adobe, 80% of participants polled revealed that they will click the “Back” button on their browser if a page takes too long to load. Moreover, slow loading time is an important factor affecting Search Engine Optimisation. Work with your web developer to create a site that loads quickly and efficiently for your users on all platforms.

Some ways to increase the loading time for your website include “optimising” the images used on your site; placing Javascript codes below your website content code, just before closing the “<body>” tag so that your site loads BEFORE your Javascript does; and enabling browser caching on users’ browsers so that each time they visit your page, they would only need to access pre-loaded information rather than load content all over again.

 

So… what exactly do you do?

What your company does and the services/products you provide should be clearly visible immediately after visitors land on your website. Why should they engage you, and what benefits can you offer them? All these information should be placed ‘above-the-fold’, so visitors need not scroll down to view your company’s other details. An example of a website with a clear header is Amber Creative‘s website, where the first thing the user sees is a powerful message stating how we helped our clients and a call-to-action guiding users to read more about how we achieved good results (see image below). Other examples include the PayPal website and Tripadvisor, both of which state their call of action very clearly on their landing pages.

 

Amber Creative’s home page with a clear header showing what we do for our customers and a call-to-action button to guide user action.

 

Love your work, so how can I contact you?

Visitors to your site have gone through all the content, like what they see, and are now ready to approach you to discuss further on how you can work together. Try as they might, however, they are unable to find contact details and decide to leave the website altogether. Include contact details in like telephone numbers, email, or even a contact form either on the landing page or in the header of your website. This provides convenience to the users on your website.

 

A ‘contact us’ section within the home page.

 

You’ve got the fluff, but do you have the stuff?

You may have a fantastic company mission and purpose, but do your visitors trust you enough to become customers? There are many ways to build trust with your potential customers. Has your company won any awards and certifications? Show them off on your home page so that people immediately know that you are a legitimate and respectable business. Testimonials are great trust factors as people usually would trust recommendations from others. To go a step further, create case studies around your clients’ testimonials providing details about the problem and steps you took to solve it. If your business does not have any awards, certifications or testimonials yet, place business information like office address, phone number, email, and even your team’s profile to build trust. Moreover, having a beautiful website design itself is a strong trust factor. Would you purchase from a site that looks like it was created in 5 minutes?

 

Are you smart enough for Smartphones?

It is common knowledge that everyone spends more time on their smartphones than on their desktops now. It’s 2018, your website must be accessible wherever your customers are, with whatever devices they have on hand. A website that is compatible across all platforms loads quickly on any device. It does not require the user to manually zoom in or out to view the content on the page. This image below shows the mobile version of our home page. If it is not mobile optimised, it would reflect the desktop version, which is not easily readable on a smartphone!

 

Left: Mobile Optimised home page. Right: Desktop version of the home page (not mobile optimised).

 

Is this too much to take in?

Creating a website today is extremely different from what it was a decade ago. This new age poses new challenges, but also offers lucrative opportunities that your business can leverage on. So if you find that you are not getting many customers from your online efforts, or if you do not have a website at all, it would be best to engage professional web designers to create beautiful websites targeted at getting customers. Make your presence on the internet count!

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