Dangerous Website Development Mistakes That Can Harm Your Online Reputation
Imagine this: you’ve just started your company, and you’re excited to launch your website. You work for weeks on the website development process, tweaking everything from your copy to your images. When the day finally comes, you launch your site and wait for the visits and conversions to roll in. Days pass and still you see nothing. In fact, your online ratings begin to fall! What could be happening?
While this situation sounds frightening, it’s a reality for many small businesses around the country. Website development is a critical component of establishing yourself as an online authority. Unfortunately, simple website development mistakes can harm your online reputation rather than enhancing it. Read on to learn more.
The Connection Between Your Website and Your Reputation
If you’re running an online business, your website is a critical piece of marketing material. Today, 81% of consumers conduct online research about a company and its products, goods, or services before making purchasing decisions. Because of this, it’s crucial that your website reflects the professionalism and capability of your company accurately.
In today’s marketing environment, it’s not enough to have a reputable physical operation. Since so many consumers will encounter your business online before they find you in-person, even simple website development mistakes like overly-crowded pages or too-dense information can easily harm your online reputation and drive customers away from your company before they ever have the chance to walk through your doors. In light of this, it’s clear that avoiding simple website development mistakes is one of the best ways to build and nurture your online reputation.
Five Big Website Development Mistakes that Wreak Havoc on Your Reputation
To keep your company in good standing online, avoid these common website development mistakes:
- Cluttered pages
Some people approach website development with a “more is more” mentality. Unfortunately, this just doesn’t hold true for online web pages. While it may seem like a good idea to cram a web page with all of the design elements, visuals, and information you can think of, this creates an overwhelming and confusing user experience that’s liable to drive people away from your site. In light of this, it’s wise to avoid adding too many flashy elements, visuals, or chunks of information to your pages. Instead, enhance each page of your site with a high-quality, relevant visual and break information into digestible and easily navigable chunks. Use different pages to organize different types of information and ensure that you’re breaking up large bodies of text and using bulleted or numbered lists to make your body content more readable. Finally, be sure that you’re leaving a border of blank space around every design element on your site, including visuals and body text. This prevents your site from feeling cluttered or overwhelming and makes it easier for readers to navigate your information.
- Slow load times
While it may seem like a small factor, page load time is one of the most important aspects of your online reputation. Today, 40% of consumers abandon websites that take more than three seconds to load and even a 1-second increase in page load time can result in a 7% loss of conversions. In light of this, it’s critical to ensure that your online web pages load quickly, completely, and effortlessly across all platforms, including mobile devices. Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to test your page’s load time and make adjustments as needed.
- Poor cross-browser compatibility
To provide value for your would-be customers, your website needs to function flawlessly on all browsers. To ensure that your site isn’t falling flat on Firefox or slowing down on Safari, test it from all possible browsers during the development process. This allows you to fix problems as they crop up rather than scrambling to fix them when customers start to complain.
- Unreadable colors
In today’s marketing environment, customer experience is everything. If the information on your website is jumbled, confusing, or unreadable because you’ve placed white text on a gray background or over a complex, jarring background, you can bet that readers are going to get frustrated and walk away. In light of this, the best option is to keep your site simple, clean, and streamlined. Black text on a white background is always the most readable and it’s easy to dress your site up with a colorful logo or well-placed visual or two. By choosing your color combinations carefully and ensuring that user experience is always your foremost priority, you can create a high-quality, usable site that enhances your online reputation rather than damaging it.
- Obnoxious ads
If you’re running advertisements on your site, be sure that they’re not impeding your user experience. Center-of-the-page advertisements or ads that can’t easily be closed or avoided spell certain death for your conversion rates. To avoid damaging your online reputation or being perceived as a spammy business, ensure that any ads on your site don’t interrupt the visitor experience. Instead, place ads on the sidebars of the pages or below the fold, where they don’t intrude on users or make it difficult to access your content. This enhances your page’s user experience and makes users more likely to visit your page again.
The Case for Great Website Development
When it comes to your site, it’s critical to make sure that you’re getting it right. While they may seem innocuous, these five website development mistakes can do irreversible damage to your online reputation. To keep your good name intact and ensure that your site is helping rather than harming your online reputation, avoid these five simple website development mistakes and focus on providing a simple, streamlined, and positive user experience.
For more helpful information about managing your online reputation, contact Ruby Moon Consulting today.