Lately, we’ve been improving some websites for companies and have noticed some bad patterns.
Wrong amount of content. There’s a healthy balance between a slogan and listing in great (too much) detail: every product, service and process on the landing page. People want to read a brief overview of your company on your home page and quickly determine if they have found the company that can help them. It’s surprising how many websites don’t give a basic description of what they do on the first page.
Confusing navigation that forces visitors to scroll or click in multiple places. Search engines (and customers for that matter) reward companies that make it easy to find information. Keep your homepage as a nice intro and add information to subpages that are clearly labeled to help people understand your product or service and how your company is uniquely qualified in that area.
Low quality photos. It’s unfortunate that first impressions are formed mostly by our appearances and not our substance. The same is true for websites. Trust, credibility and even readability, decrease with low-quality photos. Image to shoot for: clean, smart, attractive and when possible, original instead of stock photos.
Not looking at analytics. How do you know what to improve if you don’t look at how people are using your site? What are your most popular pages? Do people return? What terms do they search to find your site? It is surprising how many organizations (even big ones) don’t have Google Analytics or some other type of web analytics on their site. Those who do have it don’t review their analytics often enough. It’s free and easy to add. The challenge is to make reviewing analytics a priority.
This is not a complete list of website blunders, but hits the top barriers. People have a lot of angst about websites, but these fixes can be easy, quick and take your website from “meh” to “yeah!”