The culture these days is for all companies to have websites, large, small, complex or basic having a website has become an essential part of running a business (if anything for reference sake). However many businesses have websites that do fall short of the expected results for some very basic reasons, errors that are on the website that can quickly be sorted out making the website successful.
Many website owners are at the top of the search results for their chosen keywords, but are not seeing the success that comes with having a high ranking website due to the issues that drag their website down.
Some classic errors on websites would be:
- Audio / voice over / music – Many website owners feel that having a salesman talking about their products / services is helpful to visitors, or calming music in the background will make their website unique. Whilst sometimes having audio on a website is good (not media files, but audio that starts when a visitor enters the page) having the ability to mute or close the audio is important so as to not annoy visitors that just want to read without distraction.
- Bad page linking – Some visitors may want to scroll through your website in a certain way (everyone is different) and the 'route map' may not be to their liking, meaning that the visitor gets frustrated and leaves. Ensuring that all pages link to each other in a logical manor (and there is a menu to allow a 'short cut' will cover all bases.
- Broken links – some link addresses change (specifically to external websites, or if a page title on the home website has been updated) so checking for broken links (or using a web software) is advised to ensure that all links work.
- Adverts – Some websites have flashing adverts or 'Google AdSense' on them (for extra revenue or sponsorship) which may be either distracting or irritating. Having external adverts on a website is never a good thing as it detracts from the value of the main website; so if adverts are there, ensure that they are subtle.
- Pop Up Screens – Some websites still use pop up screens (they did used to be popular in the early internet days) that advertise services or products, or an assistant that acts as a receiverist '; however these can be irritating (since most website owners opting not to use them).
- Poor text or typography – The style of the text is important; how the text looks will make the difference to someone thinking that the site is quality and well designed, or very basic.
- Too much text – Information is a good thing, but too much information can be overwhelming and distracting. Search engines do like pages kept to around 1,000 words or so. Long pages take time to load and can be too much waffle.
- Use of color and design – The design of the page and the use of color is important, it is what makes visitors feel comfortable and wants to engage with the content. If a website uses garish colors, then people will be put off, pastel colors are good, but keeping the 'brand' of the website is as important as engaging with the visitors.
By chatting to a few website designers about layout and page structure, many common mistakes can be avoided (such as too much text or adverts); but having the designer 'review' the website every 6 months or so is also good (pick up on any minor errors).
Another idea is to get a friend to spend some time critiquing the website; looking at something with a fresh pair of eyes can often highlight things that the website owner or designer could miss.