6 Website Myths Your Business Can't Afford to Believe

Scott Lambert

website-mythsRelatively 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 Better

Conventional 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 Ugly

Some 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 Doubt

One 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 Design

You'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 Friendly

Back 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 Often

While 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 Bank

These 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.

Scott Lambert

Written by Scott Lambert

For 35 years, Scott has been at the forefront of digital transformation and how it is effectively applied in businesses and organizations to market, sell, and support customers and members more successfully and cost effectively. Scott is President and Co-Founder of Xcellimark, an award-winning digital marketing agency serving clients throughout the U.S., Canada, Central America, and Germany. Xcellimark helps businesses succeed through the implementation of its unique digital marketing and sales approach specifically designed to meet their specific goals and objectives. Scott’s marketing, sales, and operations experience have included key management positions at industry leaders including AT&T, iXL (now SapientRazorfish), eSchool Solutions (now TalentED), and BellSouth, where he led the product development, marketing efforts, and market launch of BellSouth.net, the second public ISP developed in the U.S. Scott is the author of articles highlighted on leading online publishers such as LinkedIn, Business 2 Community, and he was recently featured by LinkedIn in the Entrepreneur magazine article on “No Time for Marketing? Hire a Freelancer.” His engaging personality and wealth of real-world and business experience make Scott a frequently requested speaker. Some of his engagements include being the featured speaker in a series of Orlando Business Journal seminars on Digital Marketing, speaking at the WSI London conference, and at international conferences in Belize. Scott has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Mississippi and a Master’s of Science in the Management of Technology from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Scott has been active in global mission efforts and is a board member of Global Teams, a Christian outreach organization. He lives in Winter Springs, FL with his wife Nancy and dog Sadie.

Topics: Website Development

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