Web design is incredibly important and something that no business should ever cut corners on. Of course a good website is a crucial part of most marketing campaigns and a good way for any business to gain exposure for themselves and drive more people to buy their products or use their services. But more than that a website is also an ambassador for your business. People will judge your site, and they will judge your business accordingly. If your web design is shoddy, then why should they buy a hat from you?
This is something you will have done yourself even if you weren’t aware of it. You will have seen a company’s website and within minutes you’ll have decided whether or not that business is a good place to spend your money. Read on to discover some of the top things that might put a potential customer off and some of the top things that you need to avoid yourself as a result.
An Out of Date Copyright Notice
Most websites have a copyright notice at the bottom that will say something like ‘Super Productions® 2013′. This is a good idea, not only because it reminds people that your brand is indeed registered, but also because it looks professional and makes you look like a ‘real’ business. That’s the idea anyway, but if your site says ’2011′ instead of the current year, then you’re shooting yourself in the foot and you’re going to have quite the opposite effect.
It takes all of two minutes (if that) to change the date at the bottom of your site, and if you haven’t bothered to do that then you’re hardly going to look very conscientious.
Something that can really damage your credibility is having low resolution images on your site. These look outdated of course, but also very cheap. This is particularly bad because many of us will have come to associate these fuzzy images with spam sites that can’t be trusted.
Advertising on its own can make a site look more professional believe it or not as it shows that you are actually making money from your site (the definition of professional) and because it shows that other companies are willing to work with you. However if that advertising is overly abundant then you will look like you’re trying to spam your readers, and if it’s for dodgy things like suspect ‘dating’ sites then it will make you look dodgy by extension.
Spelling and Grammar
A single bad spelling or ill-constructed website can seriously damage your credibility if you are trying to sell from your site. In the worst case scenario this can make you look almost like a kid or a small foreign business pretending to be a ‘real’ company. At best it once again suggests carelessness and a lack of editing.
More important though is writing with the correct tone and the right ‘voice’. When you write it should be engaging but also have an authoritative and professional air. If you manage that, then you will quickly lose readers and they won’t take anything you say seriously.
The way you align and arrange images is incredibly important and more so than most people realise. It’s not sufficient to have well designed, high res images – you also need to ensure that they all line up well and that they look good on the page.
Of course a typo or a poor image are only going to cause so much damage compared to a much worse crime: having a part of your site actually not work because it has a broken link or another similar problem. This not only makes your business appear less professional, but also makes your site appear less stable – which is a particularly serious issue if you hope to receive payments via the site. The same also goes for dead images and any other aspect of your site that is ‘broken’. Make sure that everything works as it should.
All of these things should be setting off alarm bells if you see them on any other sites, and they will certainly do the same if ever people notice them on your site. Make sure you are vigilant and that you don’t let any of them slip through the net.
John Miller is an employee at WebFirm, which is a marketing agency offering various services such as mobile web designing and search engine optimization. He is very passionate about extreme sports.