From poor design to slow loading times, there are things that make a website, and your business look and feel unprofessional.
We found 7 common things that make your website look unprofessional and are costing you business. Fixing these issues is easy. Solving them will be a sure-fire way to look professional and show that you mean business so that you get more customers.
[The following are not placed in any order]
1) The design
It’s a no-brainer that the overall design of your website matters. There’s a fine line between good quality design and bad design. It’s important to know what design elements are vital for the professional feel. Bad design signals unprofessional – hurting your reputation and resulting in less business coming your way. Good design sends out a message to your visitors (and potential customers) that you are serious and competent in what your do or offer.
For some, design is not their strong point and doesn’t come naturally, but essentially, it’s everything from the colour scheme, on page features, position of elements and to the flow of the website and the type of front used. Colour, shapes, font and positioning are important aspects of design that need to be considered during the initial design process.
The basics of web design include:
· Never use too much colour Colours should blend and not clash
· Choose the correct font and uses consistently
· Create consistency through – each page should have the same main layout
· No unnecessary images
· Easy and obvious navigations with meaningful buttons and links
Following the basics is sure way of avoiding a bad looking website that puts visitors off in an instant.
Luckily, web designers have a lot of experience in knowing what works when it comes to design – it almost second nature.
2) Too much information
Too much information can be off outing to a potential customer for several reasons. It can dilute the message – especially the core message that is specific to your key target market. In doing so your message does not activate the potential customer with a specific all to action or satisfy their hunt for information relevant to them.
Another reason is the short attention span – most people are scanning when the read and only looking for the vital information that’s serves their immediate needs and wants.
Finally, too much information on a web page (by having lots of text) goes against a simplistic design and hurts the athletic feel of the whole website.
Think of Google.
They weren’t the first search engine, but their growth was rapid thanks to a simplistic design and no information overload – a search input and two buttons surrounded by lots and lots of white space. The white space gave meaning and significance and although it sounds counter-intuitive that space filled with nothing gave the design more meaning.
Just look at Google’s one-time competitor below to see how unnecessary information blocks the main intended function of the search engine business.
3) Typos and bad grammar
Bad grammar can easily disrupt the readers flow and make information difficult to understand. Quick easy fixes are possible yet many businesses, especially when starting out, fail to go over their existing written content and change the grammar to ease reader understanding.
For instance, changing sentences from passive to active grammar makes the information easier to understand because the human mind can process it quicker.
As for typos – well they speak for themselves. Your potential customers won’t take you seriously when your site is littered with spelling mistakes.
4) Poor copywriting
Copywriting is the art and science of writing to persuade. By Persuasion, a business can sell its products / services and while good design persuades by looking professional the right words can result in people becoming customers.
Sounding professional is only the beginning.
Just sounding professional with big fancy words is not going to work. Copywriting, when done well gets the message across and moves (or converts in marketing speak) the reader to buyer. The art is finding information, understanding your ideal customer and ways to grab attention, but the science is the part of knowing what words trigger emotional value in your target customer and testing various copy to optimise customer conversion.
Good copywriting can also inform, engage, and instil trust in people about your business, brand, or products. Different aspects of your business will need these different types of copy – a sales page will need different copy than a blog article or product description.
Business owners are often tempted write the copy themselves or have someone already on their team do it. That’s good but don’t expect great results if they don’t have a background in copywriting.
Professional copywriters have experience in writing for different purposes, for different business niches and have depth of understanding on how to persuade. They can write professional copy to increase sales and at a faster rate than a non-pro copywriter – which in turn means they pay for themselves. Lots of digital marketing tests have been done showing how small tweaking in copy sometimes even just changing a single word, can boost sales. Knowing what single word or phrase to choose is the job of a copywriter with their vast experience of knowing what works best.
5) Poor quality images and image choice
Blurry images are one of the first things a visitor to your website will notice, it will also convey that you don’t care and you’re not serious about your business. Fixing image issues by giving them appropriate height and widths is an option. There are lots of free online tools that can improve the quality.
Poor quality image choice by using an image out of context from the surrounding information is another one to avoid. The image can be clear and sharp but if it doesn’t match the message and information on the surround page then this mismatch can reflect badly. When they do match it solidifies the metal image people create about the information and helps them to process it faster – after all a picture is worth a thousand words.
6) Outdated content
Outdated content, like the other issues mentioned in this article, means that you don’t care enough to put in the effort to provide a quality service / product.
Listing discontinued items and blog posts from 6 years ago* are just some of the outdated content that effects a professional image and can add to website user frustration – especially if they are using your site for information and decisions making before purchasing.
While this might not be a problem when you first launch your business and website, its one thing that you need to be aware of an take the time to audit your site for content freshness.
*A blog article from 6 years ago may not be out of date and the information still relevant since some information is timeless, hence the reason to have a complete and periodic audit on ALL content.
7) Bad User experience
The best products/services, best copy and best design means nothing if a visitor lands on your site and cannot navigate around the site or things don’t work.
User experience is the interplay between design and function from the user’s perspective and it is a deep understanding of how users interact with a website. User experience design is something that puts the customer at the forefront – after all they are the ones using the website.
Examples of bad user experience on websites include:
· Vital information hard to discover – hidden navigation
· Performance – slow loading pages
· Auto play on videos
Providing a good user experience is vital for business who use their website for ecommerce. A bad user experience reduces visitors, and it reduces them turning into customers even if they do stick around. Although proving a good user experience is something that can be built in as your website is design the level of user experience needed and time committed to optimising it will depend on your type of business and the needs of the website users/customers.
At the very basic level a website should perform well, and this involves optimising a site so that increased download speeds do not frustrate visitors. A site that takes longer then 2 seconds to load increases the rate at which visitors leave. Get this right and that’s the start of the journey to a better user experience.
A professional look is everything in business, The first impression matters but this is only one half of the solution. The other half is to deliver on that first impression.
Attending to all 7 elements mentioned in this article is not hard but does require consistent effort. A professional looking website is easier than you think.