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Common Website Design Mistakes

Your website can be the most effective web marketing sales tool possible, attracting customers and bringing them back again and again. Or it can be a one-stop-and-then-drop turnoff for customers who have a bad experience by encountering inaccurate or out-of-date information, sloppy design or other avoidable problems.

Here is a quick look at some of the most important website don'ts to avoid when creating a website and deciding among design and content options:

Don't overload web pages - Too many pictures, too much text, and just too much can overload the visitor, make it difficult to find the specific information wanted and discourage both immediate purchase and repeat visits. Additionally, over-busy pages can load slowly for customers with sluggish web connections, adding to their frustration. Effective Web marketing means keeping your design options simple and straightforward when creating a website for your business.

Don't hide action buttons and links - Purchase, contact and navigation tools should be prominently positioned and clearly marked for effective use and ongoing site promotion.

Don't go overboard with extras - The variety of sophisticated tools available in custom website packages makes it tempting to use all of them, sometimes all of them on a single page. Don't. As you (or your website designer) are creating a website, be judicious about the site enhancements you add. Make sure the additions are special and are actually website enhancements that work for your business.

Don't be inconsistent - Inconsistent appearance of your web pages can distract and discourage your customers. Use the same typeface throughout the site (with exceptions for special announcements and so on.) Employ the same color scheme and basic page layout across all web pages.

Don't be sloppy - Misspelled words, old information ("Page last updated in 1999!") and so on send an unprofessional signal. Proofread, update regularly, and remove dated material promptly.

Don't promise what you won't deliver - Effective web marketing and site promotion means effective web follow-through. If you announce 24-hour free delivery in a site promotion piece, you'd better deliver within 24 hours! 

  • If you do make promises online, think about adding a disclaimer to your website. Unforeseen issues come up that may make you unable to fulfill your promise - even with the best intentions. For example, what if an unexpected snowstorm causes you not to meet your 24-hour free delivery claim? Protect your business by adding a disclaimer that would cover you if the unexpected happens.
  • Follow-through is also important when customers request removal from mailing lists and so on. The most successful web marketing firms respond immediately to all customer requests and inquiries, the negative as well as the positive.

If you avoid the most common website don'ts, visiting your website can be a positive experience for your customers.