A part of my job here at Unidad22 is to look through websites for small and medium size businesses and diagnose any common web design mistakes that I might find. In the digital age, it has become increasingly important to utilize the internet as much as possible. Nowadays, more and more businesses will have a website – sometimes it’s an essential part of the company and other times a website is merely there for support and information. Regardless, for those that want to make proper use of the world wide web, then it is best to fix these common mistakes that many small businesses make when designing a new website.
1. Slow websites
I come across this problem nearly everyday, and funnily enough, it is one of the more easier problems to fix. Often, slow websites are due to those that add content after content on their site thinking that it’ll have no negative effect. Multimedia are a frequent culprit for slow websites. Many people like to add these big impressive images or videos on their home screen or in galleries, not realizing that some of these images are simply too large in size to allow your site to run smoothly. Image optimization, that is reducing the size of your images without affecting the overall quality and visual impact to the user, is often the number one thing you can do to increase speed. Of course, that is not to say that this is the only reason for a slow site, it is just one of the more common mistakes. Be sure to check your website speed with GTmetrix – they’ll give you a free report and suggestions on how to optimize your site.
2. Search Engine Optimization Errors
Everyone wants to have their website on the first page of google. What I often see though are websites that completely lack important things like h1 tags and meaningful descriptions for search engines to pick up on. (I wrote a blog about this a few weeks back for those who are curious as to what these are). My number one suggestion for increasing your search engine ranking would be to add the Yoast SEO plugin to your site and follow their instructions on EVERY webpage you have. Otherwise, contact some search engine optimization professionals for some advice on boosting your ranking.
3. Broken Links
It may sound a bit silly, but this happens more often than you think – especially for websites that have a lot of external links or is poorly designed. Incredibly, many of these broken links go undetected by the company and its some poor website user that stumbles upon a “404 error”. You might think that one or two broken links aren’t too bad, but the problem is that site visitors are more likely to leave immediately if they come across broken links. It’s bad for business when that happens. My advice is to use Broken Link Check to find any broken links and deal with them immediately.
4. Messy Websites
I’ll keep this one simple – less is more! Messy websites are difficult to navigate and often confusing. Do not get me wrong, having a lot of content can be really helpful to your site, but when content is all over the place it is a major turn off. Fortunately, there is an simple solution to this: organization! Like a tidy filing cabinet, make sure everything is easy to find and in its right place. Also, never underestimate the minimalist approach. I understand that this is often difficult to do for many websites, but keeping things to the essentials can be really beneficial to a company. So my advice is this – take a look through your website and check to see if there is anything you can get rid of or tidy up.
5. Mobile Friendly Websites
This has been discussed before, but in 2017, having your site mobile friendly is really important for both usability and SEO. With over 50% of users now coming from mobile devices, it is important to get this fixed. Google won’t serve non-mobile friendly sites as frequently, and mobile visitors that do get to the site are likely to leave immediately. This fix is, unfortunately, not something you will be able to do by yourself and will require a web developer. To check to see if your site is mobile friendly, then use Google’s mobile friendly test free of charge.
If you need some assistance or professional help on fixing any of the items discussed, then be sure to get in contact.