This Is How You Design A Bad Website
We, as web designers, understand better than most people that there are a lot of things business owners can do to build incredibly successful websites – but that there are just as many (if not more) things that they can do to destroy their chances of success as well.
This is why it is so valuable to let the professionals handle all of the design and development of your business website, especially if you’re in a competitive industry and you need to make sure that you’re able to stand out from the rest of the pack and compete on the global basis.
But if you are dead set on building your own website, and really want to be able to create one that gives you the chance of success, you’re going to want to make sure that you aren’t making these common web design and development mistakes today! It will also help in your search engine optimization, SEO, greatly too.
Whatever you do, don’t overstuff your keywords
For a bunch of different reasons, people have been misled to believe that the only way to drive traffic to their website is to get to the top of the major search engines with a variety of different keywords, also known as SEO – and that the only way to get to the top of those search engine rankings is to stuff your content with as many keywords as you reasonably can.
While getting to the top of Google and the rest of the major search engines are critically important for organic traffic, the very last thing that you’re ever going to want to do is overstuff your keywords. It’s going to have the exact opposite result that you are trying to create, as all of the major search engines out there are actively looking for this deceptive practice and are punishing websites with stuff keywords – sometimes pretty dramatically.
If you’ve ever heard of the Google Panda and Hummingbird update, you will know that businesses that used to enjoy top spots in Google have been banished to the background because of keyword stuffing, which is why you’re going to want to stay as far away from this practice as you can.
By all means make sure that you create relevant content with keywords so that the search engine spiders know exactly what they’re looking at, but don’t go overboard.
Not updating your content on a regular basis
It used to be that you could create a website to throw up a bunch of content in a hurry, and then leave that site alone and still have it pop up on all of the major search engine networks without any real extra effort whatsoever.
Any web design firms today will tell you that nothing could be further from the truth.
Not only is it hard to organically rank static pages (sites and pages with web content that is never refreshed), it’s also bad for business. People online have ridiculously short attention spans and are going to be looking for updates and fresh content as often as possible, and if you sit back on your laurels and rest easy after a big content push you’re really going to be in a bit of trouble.
Create a publishing calendar that you stick to and try to release new content every other week or so at the bare minimum. Otherwise you run the risk of running right off the rails and creating a dead website that never really gets up off the ground.
Ignoring navigation or putting it on the back burner
For whatever reason, the actual navigation of your website is usually shuttled to the back burner and not really given critical consideration in the design or development phase.
This has to change.
We have long understood the value that efficient navigation has on a web design and its ability to transform visitors from prospects to paying customers, but amateur web designers and business owners diving headfirst into the world of design and development never really give navigation a consideration.
Streamline your navigation as much as possible, but also make sure that it is laid out in as logical a way as can be. You really want to make it effortless for your visitors to find everything that they’re looking for, or you run the risk of confusing them. Visitors that are confused will exit your page ASAP and click two or three times to get to your competitors.
You can also consider doing up a site map so that your visitors can refer to.
Littering broken links all over the place
You also need to make sure that your links (internal as well as external) are in perfect working order or that the dead links have been removed and rerouted.
This is usually tedious work, though you’ll be able to really streamline things significantly when you use automated tools to do the bulk of the heavy lifting for you. Regardless, you need to make sure that you aren’t littering broken links all over the place, but are instead actively making sure that everything redirects your visitors exactly where they need to go no matter what.