Your business’s website is one of the most important marketing tools at your disposal. Your website will be many customers’ first impression of your company, so it is crucial for it to be well-designed and capable of acting as a reliable representative for your brand. There are a number of traps to which amateur website creators commonly fall prey. However, if you want your website to appear legitimate and your company reliable, steer clear of the following pitfalls:
1. Having a full picture background
While the picture may be beautiful, this type of design is a dead giveaway that you don’t really know what you’re doing. Professionally designed websites do not simply lay text on top of a background comprised of a picture of a mountain, seascape, or flower, so this is to be avoided. This is not to say that pictures in general are a mistake, because pictures are actually a great way to add color to your pages and to make them more interesting and visually appealing. The pictures that you choose need to be relevant to your business, though, and they need to be organized in such a way that they do not detract from your text.
It may seem unimportant to have a website that appears professional in its design, but having a business website that was obviously designed by an amateur doesn’t exactly promote trust among customers. Your website could be the only impression the customer has of your business thus far; if your website appears amateurish to your prospective customer, so will your business. Here’s an example of a possible impression: “If their website is this shabby, how well do they really run their business?”
2. Embedding a song
Embedded music may be one of the most annoying website design features of all time, and it’s also unprofessional. If you embed a song on your website, then there’s a very good chance that the particular song is irrelevant to your business. This means that it really has no place on your business’s website. Moreover, because musical tastes vary greatly, it is quite likely that at least one potential customer visiting your website will hear the song and hate it. As a result of the psychology of association, that customer now hates you, too. Maybe they don’t actually hate you, but something nearly as bad has happened: The potential customer has now made a connection between your business and something that they find unpleasant, and that’s not a connection you want them to make. For the sake of your business, keep the songs off of your website.
3. Including automatically-playing recorded messages
Spoken word messages – even ones that are relevant to your business – are almost equally as bad as embedded songs. Here are a few reasons why:
- The reader’s voice could be irritating to the website viewer.
- The viewer could have their volume turned up high, causing them to be startled by the message’s surprise beginning.
- The message could be completely unrelated to the reason the viewer visited your website.
- The viewer could be a returning customer who already heard the message the first dozen times they visited your site.
- The viewer could be searching your site in a public place and could be embarrassed by the sound, or they could be viewing it at work and could be penalized for viewing websites unrelated to their assignments while on the clock.
As you can see, there are endless reasons why an automatically loading spoken message is a terrible idea for your business website. These messages are unexpected, begin unannounced, are nearly impossible to shut off, and usually induce minor panic and major annoyance in potential customers.
In the age of instant information, well-designed websites are a necessity. Many times, you won’t be able to convince a customer of your business’s worth in person, so your website needs to be capable of doing that for you. In order to prevent customers from becoming annoyed with your website and simply navigating away to a competitor’s page, you need to take great care to avoid the aforementioned rookie mistakes. Your website may be many customers’ first impression of your business, but, if you design it properly, it doesn’t have to be their last.
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