It's no secret that the vast majority of consumers are turning to the internet to research products and services before making purchase decisions, and this trend will only continue to grow as more consumers have access to mobile devices.
For the first time ever, more consumers are choosing to make purchases online than visit brick-and-mortar store locations. The 2017 holiday shopping season was a perfect example of this as Cyber Monday sales $1 billion, setting the record for the biggest online shopping day in the history of the internet. While Black Friday has historically been an in-store shopping event, retailers saw a 16 percent increase in consumers taking advantage of Black Friday deals online in 2017, resulting in $648 million in spending.
With all of this being said, having a user-friendly website that functions for your business will be critical to your success in 2018. Are you planning to invest in website design this year? If so, you'll want to be sure to avoid making these common website design mistakes:
1. Your website design is not mobile-friendly.
There's a very good chance that you're reading this blog post on a mobile device. As of 2017, 80 percent of internet users have a smartphone. For many consumers, their mobile devices have become an extension of themselves with more than half of smartphone users grabbing their devices to browse the internet as soon as they roll out of bed in the morning.
Having a mobile-friendly website is especially crucial to the success of your local search strategy as the majority of local searches are performed using mobile devices. Search engines such as Google also give preference to mobile-friendly websites in search rankings.
When was the last time that you checked to see if your website design is mobile friendly? Take Google's mobile-friendly website test to ensure that you're offering your website visitors a positive user experience regardless of the device being used to access your website.
2. Your website doesn't immediately communicate what your company does.
Once your website loads, consumers will form an opinion of your business within half a second. The homepage of your website needs to clearly communicate what your business entails. Website visitors should be able to quickly glance at your products and services to gain a basic understanding of what your business offers. Sharing testimonials and awards can help to give your business some validity.
3. Your website takes too long to load.
If your website takes longer than three seconds to load, you can kiss your visitors goodbye. Nearly half of consumers expect a webpage to load within two seconds.
There are several ways to speed up your website to improve the user experience. You need to be aware of how quickly the pages on your website are loading, and we recommend that you give Website Speed Test a try to improve your website speed.
4. Your contact information is not prominently displayed on your website.
Most consumers expect your contact information to be visible on your homepage. Ultimately, the goal of your website is to get prospective customers to contact you to learn more. Most people aren't willing to jump through hoops to find your phone number or address and will move on if this contact information is not prominently displayed on your homepage.
5. You don't have an HTTPS website.
Cyberattacks are on the rise, and consumers are more concerned than ever that their confidential information is going to become compromised when making online purchases. Research shows that 84 percent of consumers would abandon a purchase if they learned that the transaction would take place over an insecure connection.
HTTPS websites use encryption to keep the data that passes between your browser and your website secure. Google now gives preference to HTTPS websites in search rankings. In addition, HTTPS websites tend to load much faster, which improves the user experience.
As you make preparations to update your website design for 2018, steer clear of these common mistakes. Outsourcing website design to a professional agency will help you to avoid these rookie mistakes and ensure that you have a website that makes a positive contribution to your business.