Relatively small changes to your website design can have a big impact on your business’ ability to generate online leads, conversions and sales. That's why it's so important to understand which Web design and development tactics have been proven to work and which aren't worth it.
Unfortunately, there's a fair bit of misinformation out there. What seems okay to unseasoned entrepreneurs doesn't always fly with digital marketing experts.
If you're not careful, you could fall victim to popular website and user experience myths that weaken your marketing strategy and drive prospects away to your competitors.
Take care to avoid these six website myths.
1. Myth: Minimalist Designs Are Always BetterConventional wisdom states that simpler websites are always better. In the context of Web design, simplicity means fewer navigation tabs, limited scrolling, lower total page counts, few multimedia features and limited use of bright, text-heavy graphics.
According to "experts," website visitors simply don't have the patience or mental bandwidth to engage with these elements.
Solution: While it's certainly prudent not to value complexity for complexity's sake, it's easy to take the simplicity mantra a bit too far.
Instead of harping on simplicity, focus on high-quality design that supports a coherent, attractive brand. Use consistent colors, engaging animations, easy-to-read text and intuitive navigation.
2. Myth: White Space Is UglySome website design consultants view white space as a cop-out or something that inexperienced developers use when they're not sure what else to put on the page.
The myth holds that white space looks amateurish and functions as a big, bright stop sign for once-curious visitors.
Solution: There's a happy medium between the cluttered text and graphics of anti-white space websites and the stark digital landscape of sites that use too much of it.
Bridge the gap with consistent paragraph spacing, ample side margins and clear delineations between multimedia elements.
3. Myth: Visitors Will Give Your Website the Benefit of the DoubtOne of the most pervasive website myths concerns the amount of time the typical visitor is willing to spend on your website. Some outmoded rules of thumb assign an average visitor attention span of 30 or even 60 seconds.
According to the myth, visitors will patiently wait this long for your site to "grab" them.
Solution: In reality, your website visitors aren't likely to spend more than a few seconds on your site before deciding to move on unless you grab them from the get-go.
To ensure that your site does its best to grab visitors, invest in rapid load times, catchy headlines and engaging front-page graphics.
4. Myth: Content Is Less Important Than Good DesignYou've probably heard the old saying that "Content is King." This was true in the past, and it's doubly relevant today.
If your website doesn't have first-rate text, graphic and multimedia content, you're simply not going to draw in and convert your prospects at the rates necessary to stay ahead of the competition.
When it comes to Web content, the general public is increasingly savvy as well as increasingly quick to write off companies that don't appreciate quality.
Solution: Don't view content as an afterthought or a "fill in the blanks" exercise. Instead, sketch out a comprehensive content outline early in the design process and build your website around it.
5. Myth: Websites Don't Need to Be Mobile FriendlyBack in the late 2000s, mobile friendliness was a luxury that cash-strapped companies didn’t worry about.
These days, a mobile-friendly website is a basic requirement of doing business. If your site doesn't load well on tablets and smartphones, you can kiss a huge, growing slice of your target audience goodbye.
In addition, with the recent “Mobilegeddon” algorithm change by Google, if your website is not mobile-friendly, then you will not show up in the mobile search results for Google.
Solution: Brush up on the basic principles of mobile-friendly and mobile-responsive Web design. If you haven't already, schedule a comprehensive website update that implements these principles and adjusts your existing content as necessary.
6. Myth: Websites Don't Need to Be Redesigned OftenWhile on the subject of website redesign, it's important to address another elephant in the room: the recommended frequency of site makeovers.
Conventional wisdom holds that two major overhauls per decade will suffice for most businesses. However, this is too optimistic.
Although each industry has its own cycle, it's not advisable to wait until your competitors have rolled out new websites to tackle a long-delayed project.
Solution: Every time you introduce a major new product line or realign your marketing or branding strategy, re-imagine the relevant pieces of your online ecosystem. One big, bold and fresh start is better than a handful of half steps.
Discover How to Improve Your Website Without Breaking the BankThese aren't the only popular website myths worth debunking.
When you consider the various user experience myths that can lead you down a rabbit hole of poor website performance and low conversion rates, it's easy to believe that the online marketing world is a veritable minefield that only the bravest decision makers dare venture across.
Fortunately, there's hope.
If you can understand and avoid these website myths, your marketing operation will be on sound footing. Coupled with firm guidance from a team of digital marketing experts with years of hands-on experience, you could soon find yourself at the helm of a formidable marketing strategy marked by higher lead generation, conversion and sales rates than you ever thought possible.
To begin exploring the possibilities, start by downloading our free whitepaper “10 Key Steps for a Successful Website Redesign”. It shows you how to implement a website redesign that transforms your business into a traffic-driving and lead-generating machine.