You’ve given your tired, outdated website a shiny new look, bringing in a crack team of designers to breathe new life into your online presence. The new site looks fantastic, but your analytics data is showing poor results in terms of visitors, time spent on site and crucially – clicks and conversions.
So, what’s going wrong? Let’s take a look at a few of the possible explanations…
- Your site doesn’t meet expectations. Take a look at the different pathways that visitors are using to arrive at your website, from social media content to marketing emails. Do they set up an expectation of the content or look of your site that the site itself doesn’t deliver? Web users want to find exactly what they’re looking for right away or they’ll click away immediately. Recent research by Nielsen Norman Group revealed that one of the biggest site design mistakes is the arrangement of content. The report states:
“When the site structure doesn’t match the users’ mental models of how information should be organized, people are unable to locate what they need.”
- Navigation pathways are too complicated. How many clicks does it take to find an important piece of information on your website? There’s no ideal number, but navigation pathways should be as fast, simple and logical as possible. Just like the previous point, it’s all about arranging content in a logical and user-friendly way.
- Too much information. A user clicking onto your site shouldn’t be faced with a wall of information or massive chunks of text accompanying each product. Again, it’s all about the presentation of information and about making it easy for the visitor to find what they want.
- Page loading speed. Flash elements and huge high definition images can both cause page loading speeds to drop right down, and impatient web users simply won’t hang around.
- Browser and device compatibility. Are you sure your website is displaying properly on different platforms, and is it responsive to different screen sizes? These are mistakes that can put large segments of your target audience off. Can you really afford to neglect smartphone owners or customers who use Google Chrome as their preferred browser?
- Too much selling, not enough content. This is one of the web design mistakes that made it into the Tech.co list of design bugbears, and it’s all about above the fold content. In the eagerness to catch users’ attention immediately and push them towards a sale with a strong call to action, context can get a little lost. Users arrive at a page and have to scroll down just to find out what the page is about. A good website offers context, appealing content and a strong sales message.
Have you recently undergone a website redesign? What are your top tips for success, both in style and the usability of your new site? Please feel free to share your thoughts.