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Stop Paying For The Real Costs of Bad Web Design!

by Gregor Schmidt, August 12, 2019

ESPRESSO.digital - The Real Costs of Bad Web Design

Stop Paying for The Real Costs of Bad Web Design!

How Good Intentions Lead to Bad Web Design

For most business owners their business is their baby! They do everything they can to build and promote their business, make their retail storefront or restaurant location as appealing as possible, and tell everyone how awesome their business is. Unfortunately, many times their efforts do not extend to their online presence! And that leaves them exposed to the real costs of bad web design.

The problem here is that many business owners still do not understand the real value of a business website. Instead of optimizing their online presence they opt for cheap DIY website builders and try to build their own website. Others go for the cheapest alternatives, which usually means hiring an inexperienced web designer. They save a few bucks up front and get to pay the real costs of bad web design later.

ESPRESSO.digital - Actual Business Investment

An Actual Business Investment

Web designers will mention the importance of a mobile-first, user-friendly business website. But many businesses still struggle to justify the expense of a web redesign and optimization. In 2019 this really should be a no-brainer! Your business website is a critical investment into the success of your business. If you fail to make that investment you are doomed to pay the real costs of bad web design!

What exactly happens if you have a crappy website? In today’s technology focused world avoiding bad web design is far more than a status symbol. From website usability, user experience, and content – or the lack thereof – lots of elements affect your bottom line. There are real-world consequences for neglecting your website. Unfortunately, many companies do not fully realize the extent of the real costs of bad web design.

ESPRESSO.digital - Why are Businesses Not Getting the Real Costs of Bad Web Design

Why Are Businesses Not Getting This?

Most businesses may already realize the value of website design; yet they still fail to make the investment of time and capital. Why is this? Here are the main reasons why many business owners still put up with the real costs of bad web design:

DIY Attitude

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 building an empire. They have handled everything from human resources to production. They are the business. And they are positive they can handle building and running a business website on their own.

98% of all DIY small business websites fail to launch at all. Small Business Administration

Limited Budgets

For small businesses, saving a few extra dollars on a website builder is an attractive option. Unfortunately, they forget to account for the actual time spent trying to figure out how to actually use the builder.

Lack of Awareness

Some business owners still do not understand the inherent value of a high-quality site. A mobile-first business website is key to maintaining a competitive edge in the marketplace.

What Is Bad Web Design?

There is no simple definition, and bad web design does not follow any particular formula. Some business websites may include great elements mixed with inferior parts. Others suffer from the “good ideas, bad execution” syndrome. Still others experience both bad ideas and bad execution. We have even seen live websites that were never finished, including the “Lorem Ipsum” text!

It does not matter what kind of bad web design you are experiencing; they all negatively impact everything from user experience and user satisfaction to search ranking and ultimately your bottom line. And that is where the real costs of bad web design start adding up!

In order to avoid bad web design, you first need to understand what exactly is going on, and how that negatively impacts your online presence, and ultimately your business. Let’s look at some common bad web design examples.

ESPRESSO.digital - Bad Web Design is Too Cluttered

Bad Web Design is Too Cluttered

Have you ever come to a website that was totally overwhelming at first glance? You know the type, too many colors and images, too many buttons to click on, all wrapped into a design that resembles an explosion at the clipart factory. And this is by no means an isolated example of bad web design. Unfortunately, we see this on an almost daily basis!

If you want to stop paying the costs of bad web design, you need a website that establishes you as a professional. A professional looking website should include the following:

  1. An introduction of who you are and what you do
  2. Your unique value proposition (what makes you better than your competitors)
  3. A brief explanation of your products or services
  4. A client testimonial or two (what benefits did they receive by working with you)
  5. A simple call to action inviting site visitors to take the next step

Feel free to include additional relevant info, such as product or location images, a list of some of your clients, any rewards or recognitions you earned, recent blog or social media posts, and a way to contact you. But try to keep it concise with an easy flow. Make your site visitors want to learn more about you by exploring your site. That works a lot better than overwhelming them with too many options.

The main problem with too much content is that it often violates the golden rule of white space. Especially mobile consumers don’t read content; they scan it. By providing visual clues you break your website content up into bite-sized chunks that are easy to consume on any device. Overcrowded or text-heavy web pages have the exact opposite effect.

The most effective homepages are designed to present users with the businesses’ most valuable information, in a visually attractive way. An appealing design with plenty of white space is the most effective way of doing that. Overcrowded sites are not only displeasing to the eye, but they also look less credible.

ESPRESSO.digital - Bad Web Design Has Content Problems

Bad Web Design Has Content Problems

One very clear indication of bad web design is low quality content. You know the type; it looks thrown together, full of errors, and generally neither engaging nor informative. Frequently there is not enough content to meet Google guidelines, or the content is outdated. When visitors arrive and see only low-quality content they will simply go on to your competitor.

High quality content that is engaging and informative is one of the most important driving factors for both SEO and user satisfaction. Usability Geek

Here are ways businesses may be doing themselves a content disservice:

The content is irrelevant

There is no point in adding content for the sake of content creation. If you are going to have a relevant business website, fill it with useful tips about your industry. Update your product and service descriptions to show you are on top of your industry. Add recent case studies showing the benefits you provide. How-to posts, lists, and tutorials give your readers something valuable they can use. Endless sales pitches do not.

The content is formatted incorrectly

Many businesses still fall into the bad web design trap of Black Hat SEO. You may still believe in keyword stuffing, thinking it will improve their SEO when in fact it does the opposite. You fail to backlink to the right sources that could improve your website’s reputation. Over time, these little mistakes add up to a big, fat, bad web design!

Not having an active blog

Another example of bad web design is not having an active company blog. A company blog that creates actionable content is a must, both for establishing your professional reputation and hopefully reaching the first page of search engine results pages (SERPs).

Your company blog must be active and frequently updated. If you only post every few months, it looks as if you are potentially out of business. At the very least it looks like you don’t care all that much about your audience. Plan to post fresh content a couple of times a week. This lets your users know you are actively involved in your industry and makes your site more attractive to search engines.

ESPRESSO.digital - Bad Web Design Does Not Meet User Expectations

Bad Web Design Does Not Meet User Expectations

Failing user expectations is another example of bad web design. Your website’s users have pretty high hopes when it comes to usability. They expect it to adapt seamlessly to every screen, contain relevant information that is easy to access and be easy to scan. There should be minimum effort required to consume your website content, regardless of the user or device.

75% of respondents said that the most important characteristic of a website was its ease of use. Hubspot Survey

This really shouldn’t be so hard to figure out! Simply put, easy-to-use websites have a competitive advantage and stand to earn the owner more money. Less usable websites will cost you customers and your money. To see if your site is meeting user expectations, elicit feedback from your established and potential customers.

ESPRESSO.digital - Bad Web Design Uses Too Much Animation

Bad Web Design Uses Too Much Animation – or Not Enough

Yes, innovation and pushing the creative envelope are essential to modern web design. But they should not come at the expense of user satisfaction. A classic example of bad web design are pages or sites where everything moves, shifts, or is otherwise animated. The effect can be totally overwhelming. Especially viewers suffering from motion sickness can get physically ill when viewing certain Parallax sites.

On the other hand, having zero animations on your website will make it appear a bit flat and boring. And that approach doesn’t even work for undertakers any longer! A few subtle animations can make your website appear fresh and relevant, meet user expectations, and generally make you stand out from your competitors, but in a good way.

When done well, animations can serve a professional purpose on your website. On the other hand, they can come off as little more than a gimmick and even make it harder to navigate. Large files (videos, animations, and large pictures) can slow the speed of your site.

Nearly 40% of people will navigate away from a site if its images take too long to load. Adobe

The same applies to splash or landing pages, which do little more than increasing your site’s bounce rate. Recent studies have shown that having these pesky interruptions are a complete turnoff for the majority of website visitors. That makes sense; when people cannot find what they want right away, they are more likely to leave.

ESPRESSO.digital - How the Real Costs of Bad Web Design Affect Your Business

How Does Bad Web Design Affect Your Business?

We are glad you asked. Unfortunately, many business owners are not even aware at how bad web design affects their business. Many still believe that simply having a business website is enough. That may have worked twenty years ago, but no longer. Just as much as not having a business website at all; bad web design is costing your business leads, sales, and money.

So far, I have discussed potential issues that affect your website, but what is the actual impact on your bottom line? Where exactly are your hard-earned dollars sneaking out the door? It can be difficult to measure just how much money you are losing from disgruntled visitors but, in general, bad web design costs you in a number of ways.

The Real Costs of Bad Web Design

Bad web design damages your credibility

If you are a serious business, but your website is crowded with animation, stock photography, text-heavy content, and other virtual clutter, you are not sending a professional message.

Bad web design makes 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.

Bad web design 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.

ESPRESSO.digital - What Makes a Good Website?

What Makes for a Good Website?

If you are done paying the real costs of bad web design, you simply need to get a better business website. It doesn’t need to be big; it doesn’t even need to have all the latest bells and whistles. But it better avoids all instances of bad web design if you want it to work for your business, instead of against it.

A well-designed business site with updated relevant and informative content will improve your digital presence, help you attract and retain customers, and keep your business at or near the top of search engine result pages (SERPs). To reach your full website potential you must:

  • Update your content often. Throughout your content, link to credible sources relevant to your industry.
  • Have a clear, 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 mobile-first. Mobile optimization is essential, but so is checking to make sure your website is compatible with all modern browsers.
  • It is quick and convenient. Users should be able to find what they need quickly, and your page’s load time should ideally be less than three seconds.
  • 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 key points (CTA, value proposition), by drawing them to the eye. Simple, attractive contrasts will lead your visitors where they want to go.

ESPRESSO.digital - The Bottom Line

The Bottom Line of Bad Web Design

The majority of buying decisions start with an online search. The majority of searchers will visit a local business within 24 hours. Even if they know your business, consumers will want to check for updated info, verify your address or store hours, or simply send your website URL to a friend. And guess what; many business owners themselves do that as well!

Yet many businesses still do not connect their websites to the user expectations of their target audience. Especially smaller companies struggle to justify the expense of professional web design and support. This is extremely short sighted. Instead of paying a professional up front they end up paying the real costs of bad web design ongoing over time.

Are You Risking Your Business?

Look at it this way: You have spent countless hours of your life dedicated to the success of your business. Is your company’s first impression – your website – not worth a little extra time and effort? If you are struggling to convert new leads, the problem may lie with your online presence, not with your products or services.

Stop paying the real costs of bad web design. No matter how much you hope so, bad web design simply does not fix itself. Your business needs and deserves a functioning website. Once you look into it you may very well find that it will cost less money and take less time than you feared. But if you are not ready to make that investment you should consider going out of business. If you keep paying the real costs of bad web design that will happen sooner or later anyway. We are here to help.

ESPRESSO.digital - Innovative Web Design Blog - CTA BG Image

Need Help Avoiding Bad Web Design?

And if you are still not sure how you can improve your website design and usability, or why you should, don’t worry! Simply reach out and contact us. Our expert team will listen to you, answer your questions, and determine the best way to avoid the real costs of bad web design. That is one of our specialties, after all!

Are You Satisfied with Your Website Design?

Did you avoid the real costs of bad web design? Is that helping you attract your target audience, engage it, and ultimately convert it? Or are you experiencing website design issues or shortcomings? Please feel free to let us know so our audience can benefit as well and grab our feed so you don’t miss our next post! And feel free to share our post with your audience!

Thank you! We appreciate your help to end bad business websites, one pixel at a time!

By Gregor Schmidt
Co-Founder / CXO
@gregorspeaks

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