12 Critical Ways Bad Web Design Impacts Your Business
Updated February 2023
Bad Web Design Can Ruin Your Business!
Some say there is no such thing as bad publicity. However, when it comes to the digital world, where snap judgments are the norm, a bad website can ruin everything. Therefore, avoiding bad web design must be your priority if you want to succeed online!
In today’s world, which is synonymous with technology, a robust web design is far more than a status symbol. Usability, experiences, and content – or the lack thereof – can seriously affect a business’s bottom line. There are real-world consequences for neglecting your website – but companies may not fully realize the extent of the damage.
Whatever niche you are in, ensuring your website excels in form and function is vital. There are just two requirements to meet. However, it can be challenging.
The Causes of Bad Web Design
Not being experts, entrepreneurs often fall victim to inexperienced designers and developers who make big promises they can’t keep. As a result, there are thousands of bad websites on the web.
Businesses may already realize the value of website design, yet they still fail to invest time and capital. Why is this? Here are a few reasons:
- That pesky entrepreneurial spirit: For small business owners, particularly ones who built their companies from the ground up, the business is their brainchild. These owners poured hours into cultivating the product, sweet-talking investors, and creating an empire. They have handled everything from human resources to production. They are their business. Which means they think they can take running a website on their own.
- Budget limitations: For small businesses, saving a few extra dollars on a website builder is an attractive option.
- Lack of awareness: Some business owners still do not understand the inherent value of a high-quality site. A professional-looking web presence is critical to maintaining a competitive edge in the marketplace.
What Makes for Bad Web Design?
Badweb design does not follow any particular formula. Some business websites might have outstanding elements mixed with inferior parts, while others suffer from the “good ideas, bad execution” problem. Still, others experience both bad ideas and bad execution. Are these red flags killing your search engine optimization?
How to avoid joining the rank of terrible websites? Easy. Follow these five steps.
- Choose a reliable web design agency with an impressive web design portfolio.
- Always ask for a web design RFP.
- Use only high-quality visual materials.
- Prepare interview questions.
- Avoid bad practices at all costs, even if they help to save funds.
While the first points are self-explanatory, the last one requires special attention. So let’s consider it more closely.
Bad Web Design Practices
Many things we consider bad practices for websites are hard to quantify. However, we will give it a try. We will start with frequent shortcomings that can turn any website into a terrible one. They are:
- Not meeting user expectations
- Not following trends
- Being unresponsive
- Confusing mobile-friendliness
- Cluttered layout and design
- Too much (or too little) animation
- Ignoring usability
- Not focusing on accessibility
- Content issues
- Not optimizing for SEO
- Slow page speed
- Neglecting security
Let’s examine each of them in more detail.
Not Meeting User Expectations
Your website’s users have pretty high hopes when it comes to usability. They expect it to adapt seamlessly to every screen and contain relevant information that is easy to access and scan. 79% of users who don’t find what they are looking for on one website will search on other websites.
Usable websites have a competitive advantage and stand to make more money. Conversely, less functional websites can lose you customers and cost you money. To see if your site is meeting user expectations, elicit feedback from your established and potential customers.
Not Following Trends
Staying indifferent to web design trends may earn you a rebel title, but it will not provide quality leads. Companies that live in a vacuum and don’t follow modern trends look stale, tasteless, and boring.
Aesthetical judgments heavily influence the decision-making process. Therefore, if your design does not meet your customer’s expectations, you have an ineffective website.
Mobile-first design is no longer a trend; it is a must-have. Your web UI should look and work flawlessly across all devices. Otherwise, you distort your brand and marketing message.
Responsive web design is getting more challenging since you must handle the ever-growing device market. But you have to do it, no questions asked.
Having a responsive website does not make it mobile-friendly. Even though both have similarities, they are not interchangeable. Being mobile-friendly means optimizing the interface for mobile users.
Some things should get more prominent, like buttons and font, whereas traditional elements, like the hero area, should become smaller. Mobile-friendliness requires some sacrifices. However, they are essential for meeting mobile user expectations.
Cluttered Layout and Design
What does your homepage look like at first glance? A professional-looking website has a concise value statement, an arresting photo, and a compelling call to action – and that is about it. Homepages present users with the businesses’ most valuable information in a visually attractive way. Overcrowded sites are not only displeasing to the eye but also look less credible.
Crowded sites often violate the golden rule of white space, essential for maintaining user attention. In addition, our brains crave order and simplicity; too much content on one page will increase the likelihood that a user will navigate away from your page.
Too Much (or Too Little) Animation
When done well, animations serve a professional purpose on your website. But, on the other hand, they can come off as little more than a gimmick and even make it harder to navigate.
According to a study by Adobe, nearly 40% of people will navigate away from a site if its images take too long to load.
The same applies to “splash pages,” which do little more than raise your page’s bounce rate. When people cannot find what they want right away, they are more likely to leave.
On the other hand, functional animation and pictures can make your website more productive.
For example, a KoMarketing survey found that over a third of people click your company’s logo, thinking it will link to your homepage. They might believe it is because the link is broken if yours does not.
A good website is not only about how it looks but also about how it feels. Much like people confuse responsiveness and mobile-friendliness, many website owners believe they ensure good usability by creating good design.
Everything is much more complicated. Usability involves understanding how people interact with your website. It helps create a comfortable environment where visitors get information right now.
Not Focusing on Accessibility
Accessibility, much like responsiveness, is must-have. By making your website accessible, you can ensure that all users can access and use it regardless of their abilities.
Website owners and designers should not create barriers on the web. The more inclusive your website, the wider audience you can serve. It means more traffic and more revenue.
Making your website accessible can also increase traffic and sales, allowing more people to access and use your website. Accessibility is essential for e-commerce websites, as it can lead to more sales and revenue. By making your website accessible, you can tap into this market and increase your customer base.
A company blog that creates actionable content is a must to solidify your reputation and secure your place on the coveted first page of search engine results pages (SERPs).
Content that is both high quality and provides value to the reader is one of the most critical driving factors for SEO and boosting conversion rates. But, unfortunately, there are ways businesses may be doing themselves a content disservice:
- The company blog is nonexistent or not frequently updated. If you only update a blog every few months, it looks like you are not trying hard enough. Instead, aim to post content a couple of times a week, as this drives SEO and lets your users know you are actively involved in the industry.
- The content is irrelevant. There is no point in blogging just for the sake of content. If you are going to have a company blog, fill it with valuable tips about your industry. How-to posts, lists, and tutorials give your readers something useful. A breakdown of your last family vacation does not.
- You do not format the content correctly. Businesses still fall into the trap of keyword stuffing, thinking it will improve their SEO when it does the opposite. You may also fail to backlink to the sources that could enhance your website’s reputation. Over time, these little mistakes add up.
Not Optimizing for SEO
SEO is rapidly becoming the key to unlocking a connection between businesses and customers. Organizations can get ahead of their prospects’ needs by understanding what they are looking for, why it matters to them, and how optimized content can best meet those requirements when needed.
Yet SEO quite often is overlooked since not many website owners perceive the benefits of SEO. However, SEO is crucial for attracting your target audience. Good SEO makes a website crawlable, improves search rankings and visibility, and generates traffic.
Slow Page Speed
Site speed has a direct correlation with the bounce rate. A fast website delivers a better experience and can increase conversion rates and improve your search engine rankings: website speed and performance form essential aspects of user experience.
Slow-loading websites are costly, partially because they drive potential customers away. Believe it or not, after only three seconds of load time, website conversion rates will drop 4.42% with each additional second.
Over the last few years, Google has increased the impact that page load time has on how high your website ranks in Google. With these updates, your website speed, performance, and overall user experience will become more critical.
These factors will now also influence your search engine rankings & visibility and thereby also determine your organic traffic, engagement, and conversions. You can think of site speed as a sliding scale, where the faster sites reap the most benefits, and every second makes a difference.
According to a study by Pingdom, pages that load within two seconds have an average bounce rate of 9%, while pages that load in five seconds see their bounce rates skyrocket to 38%.
Neglecting security is a quick path to an untrustworthy website. If your website smells fishy, it will fail to support your business objectives. Unfortunately, trustworthiness is a deal-breaker these days.
It requires you to have an SSL certificate, provide a secure connection, protect your website from DDoS attacks, and much more. Without security measures, you will have a bad website and reputation.
The Devil is in the (Tiny) Details
We have outlined some common issues. Each one on its own can destroy any website. However, that’s not all. Tiny details are what sometimes make the difference. Yet they are often overlooked.
A website with a modern design, responsive behavior, excellent performance, and good SEO may be inadequate due to additional tiny flaws. Here are a few more things you should avoid:
- Creating a website without a specific goal.
- Not knowing your target market and its needs.
- Not satisfying user intent.
- Choosing company-centered instead of user-centered content.
- Not investing in creating a thoughtful organizational structure.
- Not validating code.
- Not focusing on website performance.
How Does Bad Web Design Impact Your Business?
We have discussed potential issues that affect your website, but what is the actual impact on your bottom line? It can be difficult to measure just how much money you are losing from disgruntled visitors, but, in general, a bad website:
- Damages your credibility: If you are a serious business but fill your website with animation, stock photography, and other virtual clutter, you are not sending a professional message.
- Make you look out of touch: A website you do not update frequently does more than hurt your SEO. A dated website tells your customers you are behind the technological times, or worse, that you do not care enough to keep updated.
- Costs you customers: Every time a customer navigates away in frustration – because of broken links, complex forms, or too much navigation – it is unlikely you will see them again. If your competitor offers the same services in an intuitive website design, your loss is their gain.
Is Good Web Design Dead?
In case you are still wondering, is good web design dying? The answer is no. No company or product brand could stay afloat without good web design and all other integral elements such as website performance, user interface, user experience, SEO, website accessibility, etc.
Yet businesses often do not connect their websites to their outcomes of activities. As a result, many companies still struggle to justify the expense of professional website services.
Look at it this way: You have spent countless hours dedicated to your business’s success. So is it not your company’s first impression – your website – worth a little extra time and effort? But, if you struggle to convert new leads, your virtual presence may be a problem.
What Makes for a Good Website?
A good website will improve your business outcomes, help retain customers, and keep your business at the top of the coveted search engine result pages (SERPs). Reach your website potential by observing the following:
- Update your content often. Throughout your content, link to credible sources relevant to your industry.
- Have a straightforward, user-friendly design. Your page should be easy to navigate, require little backtracking, and incorporate intuitive forms. Your calls to action must also be clear, concise, and easy to follow.
- Be compatible with every device. Of course, mobile optimization is essential, but so is checking to ensure your website is compatible with every browser.
- It is quick and convenient. Users should be able to find what they need quickly, and your page’s load time should be consistently fast.
- Your user experience must be simple. Simplicity and order create visual appeal. Use white space where appropriate, leverage compelling photography, and use a pleasant color scheme.
- Emphasize your important points (CTA, value proposition) by drawing them to the eye. Simple, attractive contrasts will lead your visitors where they want to go.
Whether you need to create a B2B website, a startup website, an online presence for your restaurant, or an e-commerce store, it is crucial to avoid bad web design.
So, what should you do instead? Avoid bad practices. Invest in professional web design and hire a web designer or professional web design agency. Prepare interview questions in advance and update your website to meet current requirements.
Addressing the problems with your website’s design can help improve your business outcomes and bring in new customers.
Of course, you can save time and trouble and have our team design an effective mobile-first website. So, if you are looking for a reliable web design agency, we are here to help.
Do You Need Help with Your Website?
Are you looking to redesign or update your website or online store for your business or product brand? Are you unsure how to overcome common website design challenges? Our team of WordPress experts will be happy to help you with this. But first, look at our portfolio and read our case studies.
Then, if you believe we are a good fit for your business web design needs, let’s talk! We offer a full range of consulting and design solutions for businesses and product brands.
And if you are still unsure how bad web design impacts your business, let’s talk. We will listen to you, answer your questions, and help you build, maintain, and grow your online presence to meet your business objectives!
How did You Avoid Bad Web Design?
Did you have any of these elements of bad web design on your website? How did that affect your business? And how did you improve your website?
Do you have anything to add to avoid bad web design? Feel free to add your comments below so our audience can benefit and grab our feed so you don’t miss our next post! And feel free to share our tips with your audience!
For more content relevant to your business or product brand – check out the range of articles on our web design blog. (Our post explaining web design costs is an excellent place to start!)
Thank you! We appreciate your help ending bad business websites, one pixel at a time!
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