Building your own website may seem like a good idea if you’re strapped for cash, but a good website comes down to more than just its design. Here, we look at five common website mistakes to avoid in 2018.

1. Improper Use of a Template

While web design templates can be efficient and an easy cost solution, they can be restrictive, with common problems including fonts and colours that don’t match the company’s logo or brand.Pre-designed templates are also highly dependant on the kind of business you own. For example: if you’re using a website builder, it’s highly likely that you’re only seeing example templates for specific kinds of businesses, such ase-commerce and restaurants. However, if you do end up using a template, it’s a good idea to ask a designer to customise it to your branding. This will add personality to your website and it won’t look as generic.

2. Poor Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

SEO refers to the process of improving search engine results for your business and it’s the secret of getting your website to the top of Google. Here are a few tips that can help improve your search engine rankings:

Reduce your bounce rate

A website’s ‘bounce rate’ is the percentage of visitors who visit your website and leave without interacting further. More often than not, high bounce rates result from poor usability and therefore, poor user experience. However, other ways of improving your website’s bounce rate include:

  • Targeting keywords with high-value traffic: Keywords can make or break a content marketing campaign and without high-value keywords, your search engine performance is unlikely to improve. These kind of words are dependant on the industry, so if you’re unsure of what keywords to include, conduct some research.Ask yourself: Is this keyword relevant to your website’s content? Will searchers find the kind of content they’re looking for on my website if they use these keywords? If the answer is no, it’s time to reconsider your SEO.
  • Use a call-to-action: According to Go-Globe, 47% of websites have a clear call-to-action button that takes three seconds or less to see. Humans have short attention spans and are unlikely to stay on a website for long, if there is nothing to immediately grab their attention. A call-to-action button can improve your website’s readability and make your website easier to use, by instantly pointing attention towards a key part of the website.

Provide useful content

Content means more than just your blog or a few lines of copy. Content covers everything from video, articles, imagery, live-chat and so much more. The content you provide on your website should be easily readable and should tell your consumers straightaway what your company does and why they should choose you. There are many ways to do this, so feel free to be as creative as you like. However, if you want our recommendation, using video or a ‘call-to-action’ are great ways of drawing instant attention by enabling easy access to more information, without the need for copy.

Speed up your page load time

According to recent studies, consumers expect your website to load in two seconds or less. After three seconds, people become impatient and consider moving to another competitor’s website. The slower your page loads, the higher your bounce rate will be.

3. No analytics to measure performance

This is one that not many businesses think about, but it’s important to think of your website as an investment. Therefore, it’s vital to analyse your website’s progress and measure success — or, at least, get someone to measure the website for you. By doing this, you can easily track what you’re doing well as a company and where you need to improve. To track your website’s performance, you can use a metrics tool— the most widely used being Google Analytics.

4. Inconsistency

Your branding should be very consistent and so should your website. If your website is inconsistent with your branding, people may not associate it with your company. This means that your website should feature the same colours and fonts you’re using already. Layout is another key element to consider. By this, we don’t mean feature the exact same layout on each page. Instead, each page should use the same grid, with the same navigation at the top and the same footer at the bottom.

5. Lacks mobile gestures and interaction

According to 2018 statistics, around 52.5% of online traffic is viewed on mobile. As a result, websites need to be designed with mobile first in mind, but the introduction of the iPhoneX presents new challenges. With many smartphones now adopting the ‘borderless’ experience and lacking a home button, even the most basic interactions with a device are gesture-based. Interactions, such as swiping, tapping and scrolling all need to be considered when viewing a website on a mobile device.While you’re here, we have a question to ask. Are you need in need of a new website? BranchOut is for businesses of all shapes and sizes and it’s where brand success is made, covering strategy, websites, social and animations.

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