5 Things Your Website Should Not Have
One day I found this lady on Instagram who is a popular hairstylist on the east coast. I mean, this woman was bad (in a good way!) with haircuts and styling short hair. I am not a short hair type of girl but she was so awesome at what she does, that she won me over as a fan! She was going on an instructional tour at the time and offered classes to learn how to do exactly what she does. I was stoked! I went to her website and the site was a pretty hard to navigate on my phone.
Initially, the link I was told to click on to sign up sent me to the home page and not the sales or checkout page. I thought, "No biggie. I'll just find it". I was still so excited that I took my time to move the screen back and forth to read as well as continuously click on the wrong links because the line spacing wasn't mobile friendly. I didn't care because she was that good! Once I finally got to the education page, the link to purchase didn't work. Did I email her? Nope. I just said forget it.
I love visiting a website that has everything I need as far as functionality and convenience. Even if the website doesn’t have everything that I need at the time, I trust it because it has a nice professional layout. I like that I can find different areas of business easily, and there are no dysfunctional links. My experience on this website made me go to my businesses’ websites and audit them thoroughly. This is not to put her down because I am very sure someone else took the time to let her know, plus I LOVE her work! It simply made me check myself! I don't want any of us to miss opportunities or sales over something so simple to fix. I wanted to share a few things that I've noticed on a few websites I’ve visited that stops visitors from returning and conversions from happening. Here are 5 things that your website shouldn't have to avoid missed opportunities:
The number one thing that many people don't bother with on a website is checking it’s functionality on every device. This is extremely important for visitors and your business operation. Many websites have a way to check the friendliness of your website on desktops, tablets, and mobile phones. Squarespace has different views of how your website will look before you publish your website.
Navigation should be clear and straight to the point. Be sure to use words that are standard instead of highly used trend words because many people may not know what some trend words mean. For example, navigation menus should have words like home, start here, portfolio, about/bio, menu, services, etc. Then, you can use content on the page to represent your brand style and voice, especially if you have a unique audience.
Your website should also have fully functional links. It’s important to consistently audit your website and all of the links it has to reassure that your visitors have an amazing experience with your business. Be sure to check all of the links in the navigation menu as well as all the links that have attachments, pictures with links, and buttons with links. Also, it is very important to make sure all of the links and buttons that lead to your cart are successfully working!
Text that is hard to read
Think about the text on your website like this: If a person has a hard time reading anything on your website, you’ve lost a sale. Text is extremely important when it comes to readability. If people can’t read basic information on your website, they won’t bother doing business with you. We all love convenience so be sure that you choose a text that is easy on the eyes! Avoid hairline typefaces or fonts and other super fancy fonts on your website that have heavy text areas. If hairline fonts are your thing, be sure the font size is large enough and extremely easy to read. San Serif fonts are great for readability because they are the easiest to read. If you aren’t sure how a San Serif font looks, it’s like the one you are reading now. San Serif fonts don’t have any edges on the end of the letters. It’s ok to have your favorite font incorporated on your website but use those as headings and titles. Heavy text areas, especially areas that are policies and disclosures [highly important areas], should have the simplest font type.
Too many colors
Colors on a website are important because it affects the perception of your brand and it affects the way your text looks. In the last point I made, I explained how poor font choices will make you lose a sale.
To be frank, poor color choice is a pet peeve of mine. I know I love color, as you can tell from the Cafe’s brand, but too many colors are very distracting. Picture a neon green background with neon pink text or even black text with burgundy hyperlink colors and orange buttons. I hope none of this sounds delightful or rewarding to you! Colors on your website are important! A consistent color pattern or a minimal base color pattern is best. There is a lesson that I teach in my Build a Stellar Brand Identity course that teaches about brand style and how to create your own custom brand pattern. Colors are important because they need to be consistent. They must align with your brand voice and personality (also a lesson I teach in my brand identity course!). To learn more about this course, click here.
Be sure to choose a consistent color pattern that your audience will immediately recognize. Make sure you have a white, black, or very simple, non-distracting background that is attractive and cohesive with the text and other colors on your website.
Poor quality pictures
Pictures will undeniably make or break the perception of your customer and website visitors. The better your pictures are, the more you’ll increase the chances of people taking your business seriously. People make purchase decisions based off of the quality of pictures alone. I do it all the time! If you are a product or highly visual [hairstylist, makeup or tattoo artist, etc] based business, this is definitely a make or break situation for you! Please be sure to publish high-quality photos on your website to increase your sales. The less desirable or durable your products look, the less conversions you will have. If you don’t take the time either purchase, create, or find high-quality photos that represent your brand in a positive way, you’ll have this problem without a doubt!
A great way to reassure that your photos are inviting are to take your own photos or conduct your own photoshoot. Make sure you have good lighting. Natural light is the best! Make sure you have a solid background without any distracting people or items behind your product if you choose not to do flat lays or lifestyle photos. I am a fan of lifestyle photos because they speak to the imagination of the potential customer, but product photos that are simple and clean do the trick too!
Inconsistent branding affects the overall perception of anyone who visits your website. Most website platforms have themes that you can and should stick to if you're not design savvy, but it’s not all about the look of your website. It’s about the voice and personality in your text on your website compared to what you post and react to on your social media accounts. It’s about the customer service that you provide in relation to the perception you give on your website. It’s the experience on your website and the look of your brand in relation to what visitors experience on your website. Consistent branding relates to every point I’ve covered in this post.
Make sure the same tone and voice you use on social media platforms are the same in any videos that you create, any phone calls or meetings that you have, and any content on your website. Also make sure your colors and fonts are complementary to one another. Both of these things should align with every element or area of your website.
Websites have to be nurtured and updated quite often. They are our digital homes for our online businesses. A nice website does not have to be expensive, it just needs to look nice and be functional. We have to make sure that navigation on our website, on any device, is effective. We have to have a cohesive look that allows maximum readability and identity for our visitors. Always take some time to audit your website to give your visitors the experience of their life!
What are some other things that we need to watch out for to have a highly functional website? I’d love to hear your suggestions below.