Earning money through a website or using a website as a marketing tool has tremendous potential, but only if done right. I’ve seen tons of people get into the online market only to back out with their tail between their legs, claiming that the web environment isn’t as fruitful for business as people claim – a classic case of The Fox and the Grapes. The thing most people don’t understand is that you can’t just create a website based on your whims and expect it to bring in revenue. A website has a certain purpose and the whole idea needs to be built around that purpose.
Rookie web designers tend to get drawn in by the same mistakes and, through this, they reduce the potential their website has. I have compiled a list of the most common mistakes they make so you can keep them in mind when you are working on your own website.
Sacrificing utility for looks
Even art and design-oriented websites need to be usable, and should never sacrifice functionality for looks. If your website prioritizes aesthetics over its overarching goals, you are most likely going to end up with a chaotic design that doesn’t serve its primary purpose.
The case of the mistaken target audience
It is very important to research the demographic that is most likely to visit your website. When you function from this kind of position of knowledge, you can adapt the design to fit the needs of your target audience and raise your conversion rate. If you miss your target audience, it is kind of like missing the topic when writing an essay – no matter how well you wrote your assignment, you are still getting an F.
This may be one of the most obvious mistakes on the web, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not an epidemic. You know what I’m talking about: those eyesores that hurt your eyes when you try to read due to the poor contrast between the text and the background. Make sure that your content is readable and that your website visitors don’t go blind trying to read it.
Inconsistency and deviation from standards
Being creative with your website is welcome, but if you deviate too far from the standards that are used by the majority of websites, you are going to lose users due to the fact that they will find your website too hard to figure out. On the web, even the most patient individuals start toe-tapping: Nobody wants to waste 10 minutes trying to figure out what is where and how they can get what they came for in the first place. They will simply move on to one of your competitor’s websites.
If you have a website made up of more than 10 pages, then you need proper navigation. Users need to know which pages they visited and which ones they need to visit. Good navigation also enables them to find things they didn’t come to see but they may find interesting, prolonging the time they spend on your website, which is always a good thing.
Overdoing it and bad style
Content is good but don’t put in text, pop-ups (actually don’t put in pop-ups at all) and pointing arrows everywhere you can. Try to keep your website tasteful, clear and straightforward. Decide on a style and stick to it, but make sure it is appropriate for the niche you are in.
I hope this helps you get your mind going into the right direction. If you are still not sure if you have the right vision in mind, you can always check out how other people are doing it and check out web design websites to get inspired. Good luck and much success!