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5 Website Design Blunders – And How to Fix Them

If you're seeing high bounce rates and low traffic on your website, it may be your design that's driving customers away. Let us help you retain them.

Alison Martin
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Is your website really user friendly? (Photo: Serge Kij)
Is your website really user friendly? (Photo: Serge Kij)

A poorly functioning website reflects badly on your company.  It makes it harder for customers to shop or browse your selection, and it frustrates them when they can’t find basic information. Even if you’re not selling online, having a fully functional website matters to customers because if your website isn’t working right, what else is?

Is your website up to speed? Here are 5 website blunders — and how to fix them.

No Links to Social Media (Or No Social Media At All)

What’s Wrong: You don’t have social media buttons or links highly visible on your website, which means customers cannot easily connect with you after they’ve left your page. 

How to Fix It: If you aren’t already on social media, go set up an account now (we’ll wait). Manufacturers, showrooms and designers need to be on social media. If you already have your accounts, add buttons to the header and footer of your pages. These buttons should be on every page, just like your logo. 

Dead Links/404 Errors

What’s Wrong: A 404 error tells a visitor that a page is not available on the site. You might have removed the page or changed its name or it may be temporarily unavailable. Let’s say on your home page, you have a link to an About Us page. Later, you change the name of that page to Our History, but you don’t change the link on your home page. If a visitor goes to click on that old About Us link, he or she will get a 404 error. Users get frustrated with 404 errors, and they might just write off your website if you have too many of them.

How to Fix It: Constant vigilance is key. Use a free broken link checker regularly to make sure your links have working pages.

No Search Function

What’s Wrong: Your search function either doesn’t work well or is completely absent from your website. You can test this by searching for an item you know is on your website with unique keywords (like this Atlantic are rug from Nourison). If the search results don’t give you the product you want, there’s something wrong.

How to Fix It: If you don’t have a search bar, add one. If you do have one that’s not working, contact your web developer as soon as possible.

Not Responsively Designed

What’s Wrong: Your website is not designed to fit more than one screen size. If someone opens your site on their phone, they may have trouble reading the small print or moving around your site.

A website design to automatically adjust to screen size is called a responsively designed website. In the early days of smartphones and tablets, web designers used to create multiple versions of the same website for different screen sizes – one for desktop browsers, one for tablets and one for smart phones. This meant that Google’s indexing spiders had to crawl three versions of the same website. A responsively designed site is just one version of the site that adjusts to the screen size. Google’s spiders only have to crawl it once, which is why Google prefers these sites and pushes them up farther in search results.

How to Fix It: Unfortunately, there’s no easy fix. A responsively designed website takes a skilled website developer, and you may need a whole new site. But the benefits of a responsively designed website are numerous, especially as the desktop browser becomes less and less important to smart-device Millennials. 

Music/Videos that Play Automatically

What’s Wrong: When a customer logs onto your site, a video or background music begins playing automatically. This candrive customers away faster than slow-loading website. 

How to Fix It: Take down the background music, and adjust videos so that visitors must click on them to play them.

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