Design is one of the most critical components of your website. It determines where your most important information will reside, where the links will go, and whether the site has an inviting and user-friendly appearance that encourages frequent visits.
Unfortunately, as with a lot of things in life, if you do ten things right and one thing wrong, it’s the wrong one that has the most profound impact. Here are five design flaws that are all too common in B2B websites. Don’t let any of these be the wrong one that hurts your web traffic.
Thankfully this trend has started to recede; but for a few years a “more is more” philosophy resulted in websites with 37 different colors and 14 fonts, all competing with each other for the visitor’s attention. Such bold visuals make a strong first impression, but also make it more difficult to find the content visitors seek. They are also a nightmare to bring into compliance with ADA regulations.
Solution: Less is more: 1-2 fonts and a consistent, limited color pallet
2. Pop Goes the Windows
Some pop-ups can be effective, as ways to promote new content or special offers. But when every click opens a frame, the result is new windows stacked up like planes over LaGuardia. It also slows down page loading.
Solution: Tabbed browsing is now standard – open links that way
3. Where Did That ‘Contact Us’ Page Go?
There should be natural flow to the pages on your website – from an introduction to your company and its products/services to pages that provide more details on them, with links to purchases or contact forms always prominent. If visitors can’t find what they need quickly, they will move on to your competition.
Solution: a prominent navigation bar on every page, and additional links that help visitors access what they need
4. Back…Back I Say!
Have you ever seen those signs in parking garages that read “Do not back up! Severe tire damage!” Some web designers took those to heart and disabled the ‘back’ button so visitors can’t quickly return to the previous page. We’ve never understood the thinking behind this, as most visitors who find themselves stuck where they don’t want to be will just leave.
Solution: Let visitors go where they want to go
5. Adopt an Orphan
This is a similar issue to #3, but it’s important enough to merit specific attention. There’s nothing better than putting a blog or video or case study on your website that gets shared by your visitors. If other people open the link to that content and like what they see, they’ll want to find out more about your company. Have you made it easy for them to do so? If not, what you have is an “orphan page,” one that doesn’t connect to the rest of your website. Yes, some will still be intrigued enough to access your site via search engine. But why take that chance?
Solution: A link to your home page on every page of your site – no exceptions