As you may have guessed from our other articles, web design is not easy. There is a lot of thought that goes into the process, not to mention time and money. With all the important elements that must be considered when building and maintaining a website, it can be quite easy for mistakes to be made. A lot of mistakes can go unidentified if the site isn’t regularly checked and, while they may not be mistakes that will render your website unusable, if left untreated, they will certainly hinder your website from reaching its full potential. Here are 4 web design mistakes that could be hindering your website.
1. Large Files
You’re likely to upload a lot of files to your website. If you want lots of images on your site, for example, you will be adding a lot of images. However, large images or videos are likely to have an impact on your site’s speed. Now, I’m not saying that your site shouldn’t have any images. After all, the best websites normally have a range of beautiful imagery. What I am saying is that if your media files are large, they must be resized.
Smaller file sizes will have less of an impact on your website’s speed. This on its own seems like a good enough reason to resize your media files, right? Well, what if I told you that the size of your media files could have an impact on your search engine rankings? That right, Google rewards websites that load quickly. Why? They want they want to provide the best possible user experience which means favouring websites that won’t keep the user waiting too long while the pages load. While you may not think about it when uploading files to your website, if you’re using large files, you are hindering your website.
2. Not Using Alt Text
While we’re on the subject of images, one huge mistake you can make when adding images to your website is leaving out the alt tags. Alt attributes are crucial when adding images to your website for a number of reasons. Firstly, screen readers (‘a software application that enables people with severe visual impairments to use a computer’ - Nomensa) to tell people with visual impairments what is on an image. If there are no alt tags, they can’t tell the user what the image is of, which makes your website less accessible. As you may have guessed, this will not help your website SEO efforts.
Furthermore, Google doesn’t see images like we do. When Google crawls your site, it doesn’t see what is in an image. If you put an image of a dog on your website, search engines don’t know it’s an image of a dog. Alt text gives you the chance to put your focus keywords in more places. This is very important for optimising your website for SEO, as long as the alt text actually relates to the content around it. Your images can do a lot for your website if you utilise them correctly.
3. An Overcrowded Website
You want your website to have as much information as possible, right? You want your website to show all the amazing things you do, right? Well, you might have a lot of content to add to your website. You don’t want users to have to scroll so far down the page to see all the information so the logical thing to do is cram all the information where the users can see it. This, however, is actually hindering your website.
White space is so important on a website. If your website is too crowded, the users may be more likely to miss important information. Having so much content so close together is distracting to a visitor on the website and they’re not likely to read through all the content on the website. What will most likely happen is that a visitor will go onto your site, think it looks too messy and leave. The placement of your content is very important to give the user the ease of use and, therefore, the best possible experience.
4. Not Adding Tracking Codes
How do you measure the success of your website? You must look at the site’s analytics. It is so important to do this as it gives you so much information. Different analytics tools can show you information such as:
- How many visitors you’ve had to your site
- How long they stay on your site for
- How they arrive at your site
- Which pages they visit
- The bounce rate
If you don’t add tracking codes to your site, you can’t see the analytics. If you can’t see the analytics, you can’t see what’s going well and what isn’t. If you can’t see what’s going well and what isn’t, you can’t make improvements to your site. If you don’t make improvements to your site, your site isn’t as effective as it could be. It would be like buying a car and not having it serviced. You may start to notice that something isn’t right, but without having anything in place to tell you what it is, you have no idea what the problem is or how to make it better. A great place to start is adding Google Analytics to your site. Check out this article to find out how you can install Google Analytics on your website - How To Install Google Analytics On Your Website.
Is Your Website As Effective As It Could Be?
Having looked at the above points, would you say any of them apply to your website? We understand that you may not even think about these things. After all, you have a business to run so it’s easy to miss some of the mistakes that may be on your website. However, we can’t stress this enough: these mistakes are having more of an impact on your website than you may think.
If you’re unsure about whether your website is making these mistakes or not, please feel free to get in touch with a member of our team. Also, if you think your website may be outdated, check out this article for some of the signs you should be watching out for - 4 Signs Your Website Is Outdated.