What is a bad website design?
What is a bad website design? So today the blog article is about what is a bad website design vs. what is good about a web design? i4 Web Services decided to go this direction because creating a list of the bad stuff in web design is way easier that the opposite. Hopefully, you find this information useful. Here some things that are really, really not good for your website. When you add all these things together, it equals a bad website design – enjoy!
1. Vague Headlines - What is a bad website design?
When a website homepage headlines fail to say what the business does – hey that is bad. You need to communicate what you do and why you do it right away. Then, follow up with adding general statement about quality or value that compliments what you do.
You never want someone to ask you – so what are you selling in a networking event. So, your website needs to be the same way. No confusion – just get to the point.
Further, you never want a potential customer to ask themselves “Am I in the right place?” OR “Am I really working with the right business?” Can you imagine being on a sales call or in a conference room with a customer and they are wondering why they are there or worse yet – how quickly can they leave. Again, your website is to simple, straightforward, and get right to the point.
Remember, your website’s headline should answer the untold questions in your potential customers mind with “YES”. You need to explicitly state the main business category in web design. This should not be a secret at all. Explain exactly what you do business in OR watch your potential customer quickly leave your website to find a competitor website instead.
Here is the irony, the “what we do” information is usually just below the headline in smaller text. That is where the problem begins. Here is a quick example.
First Line Large Text – “Live The Dream”
Second Line Small Text – “Brand Name Realty – Residential Home Sales”
Do You See The Problem?!?
The header (or headline) is too vague (i.e., “Live The Dream”) Yet, the smaller text below it is much more descriptive (i.e. “Brand Name Realty – Residential Home Sales”). By leading with a bold statement people can assume you sell vacations, retirement plans, or even mattresses. Here is what you need to do instead, check out the revised example:
First Line Large Text – “Brand Name Realty – Residential Home Sales”
Second Line Small Text – “Live The Dream of Owning Your Own Home”
By flipping the two headlines (known by web designers as headers and sub headers) you can quickly impress upon the prospective customer who you are and what you do. Also, did you see that i4 Web Services improved the “Live The Dream” headline? Why simply because it was way too vague.
By connecting the messaging between the two and adding in the term “Home” with key phrases that compliments the more specific original second line – you now have a headline that makes sense to a potential customer that can better convert them into an actual customer for you. So, remember to make the headline text descriptive, so every visitor can tell what you do within seconds.
Are you nervous about your website design? Here is a simple and free idea to help calm your nerves. Just show your website to a complete stranger. Give them only a few seconds to look at your home page and then ask them this question – “what do you think my website is about?”
Now, if they do not know what you do – well that is bad. That means your headers (i.e., your headline) is way too vague. But do not worry make some changes and repeat the idea with a different stranger until they can tell you what you do.
1.2. Using Meaningless Header Text - What is a bad website design?
It is important to create useful header text to break up your page into manageable ideas for the reader/visitor. These headers can identify the areas or sections in the page. It also helps to show the importance of each section header by which the number connected to it would be.
So therefore, when parts of your website’s page are broken up into smaller sections, those sections often get their own little headers but not always. Sometimes, a smaller section is so meaningless that creating a header for the section will confuse the reader of your website.
Remember that these headers are often larger than the items in the section but are far less meaningful than the header 1 of the website page. If you have section a lot of headers on the pages on your website, ask yourself this question:
- If I added this section header, would it add value for my website visitor?
- If I removed that same header, would it confuse visitors?
If you answered “no” to the second question, well then, that section header is not really meaningful. This question is a good way to avoid adding unnecessary visual noise to your website page. Remember that a header element on your page should add value.
So, what is a meaningful header or sub header have?
A good section header or sub header has the ability to clearly explain what the section is about and how it ties into the bigger picture of the thought behind the page. Therefore, you want to write descriptive headers for sections. If it fails to do that than just remove that header completely, making the other headers or sub headers on the page become much more prominent.
1.3 Using Jargon or Industry Buzzwords - What is a bad website design?
Our founder used to work for the Boy Scouts, and he noticed how much jargon Scouting used. Here is an example he loves to share, “The camp needs the SPLs to meet at the commissary after taps to have a camp wide PLC about doing KP properly.” Our founder loves to say, ‘If you are in the Boy Scouts, then you probably know exactly what that means.’ The point is simple – keep it simple for anyone visiting your website to understand.
Jargon is a super common crutch that businesses use when writing their content. Hey even in the web industry we have plenty too. So, this can be especially true in more complex industries like healthcare and in industries where your product is more abstract, like legal work, construction, or consulting.
It is a common assumption that many businesses think using jargon or industry buzzwords helps to establish their credibility. Which is true for people entrenched in your industry but not to anyone outside of your industry (i.e., your customer). Jargon does nothing to boost your credibility, and most likely will diminish it.
We recommend trying not to be that ‘awkward know it all’ that your customers do not really feel comfortable around because they have trouble following you. The awkwardness comes from using terms that only industry experts understand. It is common knowledge that some industry terms exist because there is no other word that encompasses the same idea. So, break down the idea behind the word to make it amazingly easy to understand for people. Then people will come running to you because to you make things easy.
So, think about this for a second, when a person comes to your website, they will, at some point, want to know that you are qualified for the job. New small business owners fall into the trap of overselling themselves sometimes by using jargon to show they are qualified. Everyone wants to earn new business but first, a business needs simply answer to any prospective customer questions and/or offer a solution to their problems.
When you use buzzwords and jargon, your potential new customer will have to go out of their way to understand you. But really the best salespeople will tell you that you need to understand them first. Which is harder than it seems when communicating online, keep it simple because you want to earn that appointment so you can show them that you want to understand their wants and needs.
Those people making any sort of purchasing decision may feel a lot more emotional than some business owners think, so your first step is to make a personal connection. Keep in mind that jargon hinders you from making that much needed personal connection. If anything, it can show that you are out of touch with what your potential shoppers are feeling.
Furthermore, it can show that you do not care whether they understand your terms or not, which in most cases is farthest from the truth. So be careful when deciding to jump buzzwords or jargon throughout your website. All too often it achieves the opposite of what you were trying to accomplish.
So okay, now we know what you are thinking, there are sometimes where you must use jargon for legal reasons or something. Well, ask yourself if it really is necessary or not. If it is, okay than use the jargon but quickly define the term or terms in simple to understand sentences. Before moving on with the idea of the page’s theme. Once again, if you really must use that jargon or buzzword, make sure that you explain it, and try to use it sparingly.
Okay so I hope this helps you understand help you should try to avoid using jargon. Sometimes it does not establish credibility you desire and potentially alienate your potential customers. This jargon can send them running to another website to find a company where they can make a real connection.
1.4. Using Poor Grammar - What is a bad website design?
Truth be told, this is a hard one for most bloggers and marketers because we want to speak to people in an authentic way. And grammar does get in the way of that talky style we have. It’s okay to make mistakes with grammar – just hire an editor to go over everything to write. A good editor makes a world of difference in having you look and read professionally.
Now, we all struggle with grammar mistakes from time to time. Really, believe or not most website page visitors are willing to forgive a few minor errors. But grammatical errors really become a problem when it becomes a habit. It erodes your website’s credibility, and it makes a terrible first impression. A bad first impression made cost your business some future sales.
1.5 Keyword Stuffing Your Website - What is a bad website design?
This an incredibly common mistake among business owners and charities. So many influencers are telling people that keywords can help improve their search engine rankings. But to simply create a list of keywords and jamming them into your content is not going to work at all.
So just trying to cram a lot of key terms or keywords into your website is not a good move. First it will hurt your UX (also known as your website’s user experience). A user experience means how the visitor like your website and if they stick around on it or not. Keyword stuffing is a detriment to creating happy visitors. Think about it this way, here is a quick an example of bad keyword stuffing:
“The plumbing expert or plumber in your city has plenty plumbing experience with toilet repair pluming work. Now if you need a good plumber with plenty of plumbing testimonials than call us today.”
So, we can see what keyword stuffing looks like now. Here is the reason why so many businesses keyword stuff. They want to improve the ability to be found online and rank higher on the search engine. Unfortunately, this type of overusing a single term or sometimes terms is not what Google wants to see. Google has made it clear over the past few years that doing so can harm your performance. Numerous of their algorithm updates have addressed this.
Is i4 Web Services saying do not use keywords at all? No. Relevant keywords are still a crucial piece of the search engine optimization, they do help you rank online that is true. But you want to be choosy about how many times you use it and various ways to include them.
Why do you want to be so choosy?
Because you need to understand how Google looks at your website. Google is all about finding and sharing the most relevant content on a given page at the top of their search results. They want to deliver that best answer to the search in question or inquiry.
Okay let us look at this in a more practical way. Back to the plumbers, let us say you own a plumbing company that offer toilet repair services as well as fixing broken pipes and installing kitchen sinks too. Here is what you need to do, setup pages for each keyword. You want to separate each set of keywords that is specific to that service.
Set of keywords? Yes, some services have keywords that align well with the main keyword. Here is an example: repairing toilets, fixing toilets, or installing toilets. Remember that keywords about toilets should not appear on the page about kitchen sinks, and vice versa.
Keep in mind that websites with a ton of keywords crammed in together do not really show that they are the most relevant. No wants to visit a website page that talks about Truck Models, Plumbing, and Potato Chips OR finding a way to say the term Plumbing a dozen times in about 300 words.
This is one of the reasons why Google has shifted away from keywords only as a ranking factor and have moved towards page speed, links, if the content answers a question and what various types of content are on the website. Okay now if you want a website that gets found online stop keyword stuffing and research a question you can answer for a customer and then create that content that will appeal to their specific situation.
2. Social Media Icons on Your Website Header
Social Media Icons on Your Website Header is part of ‘what is a bad website design?’ blog article – enjoy!
Online traffic from social media platforms is great! But just remember that is true if they are only flowing to your website and not away from it. Let us face it, your web traffic will always be flowing in and out. But there are some strategies to limit people jumping off your website and not coming back. i4 Web Services recommends opening a new window for any outbound link, therefore your visitor has one or more pages still open on their browser to go back to your website immediately.
Consider this, when visitors leave your website and go to any social network, that does not help you meet your business sales goals. Research shows that if a website leaves your website for any reason – they are not likely to return. A lot of web professionals have a love / hate relationship with social media, one of my staff members calls the social icon just a ‘fancy colored exit sign’.
Now do not get us wrong, i4 Web Services uses social media links and icons all over our website, but we never use them at the top of it. Just remember, these social media giants (that are billionaires by the way) only care about getting and keeping their users on their social media platforms. And we do love getting ‘likes’ on our social media pages for the business page, but nothing is better than getting potential clients to visit our website and learning about us. We are betting you feel the same way too.
It is important to mention that where there’s traffic, there’s hope for getting new customers. A visitor on your website may subscribe to a newsletter or become a lead. But a website visitor on YouTube is more likely to watch videos of any number of things from pets, music, or educational videos. Believe or not, under 30% of top marketing websites actually put social icons in their headers. The rest of them do not – do not believe us check Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Amazon and check for yourself.
Okay so most of the companies we just named are worth billions and they are only looking out for their best interests. Maybe you need to start doing the same because you need the visitors much more than they do.
So here is what you need to do:
- Link to social networks cautiously.
- Add links in the body and the footer.
- Don’t put links on the top of your page.
- Use social media icons that connect to your business page on that social media platform.
- Try to change the color of the icons to your theme’s color tones.
- Make the social icons not so visually prominent.
- If you really want to show the color, do so on as a rollover feature.
- Only link to social networks where you are genuinely active on.
- Make sure your website visitor can both share content and be a ‘raving fan’ when interacting with social media site followers.
2.1 Do not allow broken links to slip through the cracks.
Do not allow broken links to slip through the cracks. – This idea is part of the ‘what is a bad website design?’ blog article written by i4 Web Services.
Broken backlinks can really hurt your page rank. Plus, it can create an instance of not having a ‘lock’ on your URL. This is really bad for several reasons beyond that. A broken link is a link to another website or page on your existing website that does not lead anywhere. When you click on a broken link, you will be directed to an error page. This can be either 301 error code or various 400 error codes pages where you can either close out the page or hit the “back” button.
But the scary part is a link that is tied to malicious malware or viruses that can negatively affect your visitor’s personal computer. This will kill your online reputation and business’s credibility very quickly. Most times, it is not that bad, but the search engines will possibly put a warning message on your website page telling people not to visit your domain because these links are not trusted by them. We have even seen ‘red screens’ – that is when a search engine has verified your backlinks are bad and have started to effect your website in some capacity.
So, inspect what you expect! Generally, it is not that nightmarish. Usually if you have broken links on your website, it is likely that the URL was typed incorrectly, or the target page was deleted. This is why it is quite easy for broken links to slip through the cracks. Generally, when you do not hire a web professional to maintain your website, these broken links can sit there for weeks, months, or years before anyone notices they are broken.
Did you know that removing broken links from your site is an extremely easy? It is and it is an effective way to improve user experience for first time website visitors. Fixing these broken links will keep users on your site and ensure your website is safe to visit in the first place. Plus, by getting rid of broken links you will even improve your search engine rankings on major search engines like Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo.
Good news, there are plenty of free software programs available to find any broken links on your website. After you find the problem backlink, all you must do is swap out the broken URL for an updated one, or you can remove the hyperlink altogether if there is no suitable alternative. By doing this, you are making sure that every link on your website leads somewhere you intended.
More great content will be added soon - stay tuned!
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