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Four Web Design Mistakes to Avoid

Good web design is about creating a website that is effective for both the visitor and the company that built the website. A good web design agency is well aware of that and will work with you to develop a website that is an online tool that will be both appealing to the visitors and also compels them to convert into a customer.

In this post we will look at the flip side. We are going to look at what causes a poor user experience on a website. A poor user experience can cause high page abandonment rates, low conversion rates and poor organic search rankings, so we are going to examine what causes visitors to leave a website.  Here are four causes of the problem.

1. The website takes excessive time to load.

Studies have shown that mobile access to the internet has shortened the average attention span to just over eight seconds. This makes potential visitors to your site very impatient when waiting for your website to load. A common cause of slow loading time is videos or background music that automatically plays when the visitor lands on the page.  Slow loading time frustrates your site visitors which can lead to poor brand perception. Worse, it also impacts your search engine ranking because visitors who leave a website after viewing only one page increases the “bounce rate” of your site. Google monitors your website’s bounce rate. If it increases, Google can demote your search engine rankings.

2. The website is not optimized for mobile visitors.

According to, 75% of internet users were online via a mobile device in 2015. If you have not upgraded your website to be mobile-responsive, you are practically asking for people to leave your site.  Think about your own experience; when browsing the internet on a mobile device, have you ever encountered a site where you have been forced to scroll from side-to-side to read the copy? Or have you had to pinch-to-zoom because the words or buttons on a page were too small?  Your customers and prospects demand a quality mobile experience. They expect to find the information they want based on the context on their mobile device. So adapting your content for mobile devices is critical to long-term success with your website.

3. The website has poor navigation.

When a visitor arrives on your site, they are there to either find information or perform a task.  Creating an effective website navigation system is a crucial part of ensuring usability and the success of a web design. Good navigation should be intuitive, easy to use and most importantly help your visitors find the content they are looking for quickly, without fuss. If your website analytics show that your visitors are leaving the site after one or two pages, or if their click-path appears to be random rather than focused, you may want to test the navigation schema of your site to determine its usability.

4. The website is hard to read.

According to a study by Nielsen, website visitors read only between 20 and 28 percent of the words on your website. In addition, reading online is 25 percent slower than reading from printed material.  Most web visitors skim the content that is presented, jumping from one point to the next. Here are some guidelines that will help you improve the readability of your content.

  • Keep paragraphs short
    Short paragraphs allow readers to quickly go through your content by scanning one paragraph at a time. If they do not see relevant information, they simply continue with the next one.
  • Keep lines short
    The optimal line length on websites is between 50-60 characters. Long lines of text make it difficult for the reader to focus and to move from one line to the next.
  • Get straight to the point
    Your readers want to quickly find what they are looking for. Therefore, do not waste words; make your content brief and to the point and eliminate redundant text that only points out what you already said. 

The design of your website is of utmost importance to whether or not it keeps the attention of your visitors.  Before you select a web design agency, review a couple of their websites and assess how they address the problems that are listed above. A little effort now will prevent problems and ensure you have a steady flow of converting customers.

If you would like to learn more, download KEO Marketing’s free Marketer’s Guide “5 Strategic Approaches to Website Design and Development for Increased Conversions.”

Sheila Kloefkorn

With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.