5th February 2020

10 of the most common website design issues and how to solve them

Posted in Design
website issues
Is your website getting you the results you want? If not, read through my top 10 website issues that I come across with client websites, to see if you can help yourself

Here is a list of the most common website issues that I come across with new clients. These issues are particularly common with small businesses who have used a DIY website builder with pre built templates If you run through this list and make sure that you resolve the issues, you’ll be streets ahead of the majority of your competition.

Your website should have a clear purpose and a defined target user before you start writing content or working on the design of the website.

Make sure that you at the very least run some basic research on your target user. I like to use Google trends to get an understanding of the typical behaviour of a set of target users, then you can use your website purpose and target user profile to inform all aspects of your content creation and design.

SEO can be complicated, but there’s a few simple onpage SEO actions you can take to ensure that your pages are optimised.  

I like to perform a keyword audit which includes writing out your keywords, URL structures, page titles and meta descriptions for each page in a spreadsheet. You can then use this as a reference point to help write your content for each specific page.

Remember to properly name all your images and add descriptive “alt attributes” which include your target keyword. And make sure you add links to other pages on tour website throughout your copy and a liberal and considered use of keywords throughout the body of your content. 

If your website is run on wordpress, you can download a lightweight SEO plugin such as  https://rankmath.com/ to help you with your onsite SEO optimisation. 

In order to write an effective page copy for your website you need to write for both users and the search engines.

Search engines want to know the context and relevance of your page, and users are looking for the best solution for their specific problem, so you need to strike a balance with your content to cater for both. 

A few quick tips, 

  • Put time into writing effective headlines to engage users that are scanning your page
  • Keep paragraphs brief, concise and to the point. 
  • Use a variety of media to help communicate your message where appropriate, including videos, icons and bullet pointed lists

If you are struggling to write your own content, consider hiring a copywriter to help you. It’ll probably cost you a few hundred pounds per page, but is well worth the investment, as it will provide a higher standard of content than you could achieve by yourself and boost you up the search engine rankings.

In order to persuade and engage your users, you’ll need to demonstrate your credibility through prominent use of trust indicators. You need to show your potential clients and customers that you are already trusted by peers and third party companies

This could include accreditations, social media feeds, testimonials, publication and media mentions as well as reviews.

Here’s a link to a post on how to build trust with people who visit your website, which goes further into depth 

There’s lots of stats demonstrating how important page load speed is to the success of your website. Not only will it result in a better user experience and higher conversions, but you’ll get a better search engine ranking.

There are countless ways to optimise your website for speed, but the two main ways that the average business owner can speed up their page load, is by using a high quality host such as siteground and by optimising the size and quality of your images before you upload them to your website.

If you take these two measures, you’ll be well on the way to speeding up your website. I’ve attached a link to another blog post I’ve done on a free and easy way to optimise your images for your website.

Another website issue I often come across is dated and unprofessional looking designs, which not only look bad but will hurt your sales and conversion rates

You should be ensuring that your website is easy to navigate, has consistent font, icons and imagery and is designed to showcase the best of what you offer.

Check out my post on seven ways to make your website look more professional, to get some tips on how to improve the visual appearance of your website

How effective is your website at converting users to customers? Have you outlined a series of funnels designed to move prospects through your pipelines to an enquiry or sale.

A poor user journey will confuse your user and lead to potential customers bouncing from your website. Each aspect of your website should be thoroughly considered in order to move your user closer to a specific action.

Are you clearly displaying points of contact on your website? 

Adding contact points such as emails, phone numbers and contact forms in prominent positions on your website will not only improve your website’s usability but will also help you build trust with your user. Depending on the purpose and design of your website, consider adding your contact details above your top menu, to help build a feeling of trust.

Unfortunately the web is full of shady figures looking to hack your website, so it’s important that you take some basic measures to protect your website. 

If you run a wordpress website, you can install a security plugin, but just bare in mind that it might affect the performance of your website.

I recommend using a series of more performance efficient approaches to security, before you default to a plugin, which I’ll run through below.

  • Choose a solid hosting company which provides a firewall and a free SSL certificate such as https://www.siteground.co.uk/
  • Consider running your website through an intermediary CDN firewall such as cloudflare to add an extra layer of security. 
  • When it comes to passwords most people use the same password for every app and website, but I recommend using a proper password for your login and store it offline.
  • Finally consider using Googles free reCaptcha AI technology to help counter any spam bots or malicious software tryin to hack your site.

10. Your not producing regular content

If you are not producing content for your website, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

Yes it’s time consuming, but a regular and consistent content strategy can be the difference between your potential customer choosing you or the competition. Not only will it show your expertise commitment and dedication to your field, but it’s proven that you’ll be ranked higher in the search engines if you produce high quality content on a regular basis. Make it a habit to publish content on your website, and watch your website visitors and conversions increase.

Now we’ve been through the top website issues, it’s over to you

I hope this list of website issues has motivated you to take a look at your own website and see if there’s any areas for improvement. As long as your incrementally improving your website, you’ll be moving the bar forwards towards a better website and converting more of your users to customers.

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