Bad web design can hurt your online reputation – here’s what to avoid

Good web design can do wonders for your online business, as well as your sales, conversions and reputation among visitors and potential customers. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that bad web design can do the exact opposite, and can actually hurt your online business.

But how do you recognise bad web design, especially if you think your site looks great and is working well? Here are some key warning signs to look out for:

  • Confusing landing pages. If you create a landing, entrance or ‘splash’ page for users clicking through from email and social media links, you must make sure the page is relevant to the original content the user clicked through from. So, they clicked through on the basis of something like ‘click here to see our latest special offers’, the content they see should include some details about special offers. If it doesn’t, they will immediately click away because you haven’t met their expectations. This can push your bounce rate up, which is very bad for SEO.
  • It’s hard to get back to the home page. From anywhere on your website, whether it’s the blog section or the very last step of e-commerce checkout, users should be able to click through immediately back to your home page. It’s simple to do this – just make your logo a link to your home page. So many brands don’t do this, and it leads to frustrated users who soon click away.
  • Using giant images. Amazing images are fantastic for engaging new visitors to your site, but do you know what else they can do? They can slow your site right down. If images are enormous, it causes page loading speeds to slow right down. Visitors won’t stick around for the page to load – an Adobe study found that 39% of people will stop engaging with a site if images take a long time to load.
  • Using too many images containing text. Google and other search engines need to be able to crawl your site, read your content and easily classify it. Search engine crawlers can’t read text if it’s contained in a graphic, so you should either limit your use of these images or include text alongside them.
  • Not being mobile-friendly. If your site isn’t at least responsive – meaning it will automatically adjust itself to display on different sized screens – you’re missing out on a huge swathe of potential customers. Even better than responsive is a site that has been optimised for mobile, which means streamlined navigation, clutter-free design and an interface that is easy to use on the move.

As well as knowing what to avoid, brands also need to know what to do in order to boost their sales, reputation and presence online. Luckily, tech and business blog CIO has some very handy tips.

Have you just seen your site in a new light?  Let us know what changes you’re making to boost your online reputation and eliminate costly design mistakes.