When creating a website you should definitely avoid these 8 common mistakes - it's easier than you think!
We're almost in the year 2022 and still there are plenty of websites out there that aren't mobile friendly - or responsive.
This isn't only a big issue when it comes to your users, because the majority of people browse the web on their phones, but it also affects your websites SEO, as Google started ranking Websites that aren't optimised for mobile devices lower years ago.
The most beautifully designed website with highly optimised SEO content is worthless if it isn't usable. It's not that difficult to provide a decent user experience with following a few simple best practices. For example it is important for mobile users to put the navigation in an easily reachable place. Therefore you could simply use a bottom bar navigation (see image below) instead of a hamburger menu. Or at least put the hamburger menu button on the top right, because the majority of people uses their phone with the right hand.
We're using a bottom bar in our free portfolio template for developers.
An often neglected aspect of web development besides usability is accessibility. A small step in the right direction to more accessibility is providing clear and expressive image descriptions. It's not enough to just put the text below the image, but provide a functional description in the image's alt-attribute.
An alt description for the above image could looks something like this:
<img src="./dog.jpg" alt="A light brown dog running happily through water - probably the sea or a lake - with its tongue out" />
Besides the positive effects on accessibility this also has an impact on your SEO.
A call to action is essentially the one thing you want your user to do. It could be numerous things, like asking the user to make a phone call, sending an email, submitting a contact form or ordering something. It's one of the most important things for lead generation and sales on the internet.
When designing a "Call To Action" you make use of the user's habits like reading from left to right (or right to left, in languages where that's the standard) or purposefully directing the user to the buttons they should click by making use of various design elements.
It's crucial, that the user can reach the desired goal with as little friction as possible.
As the legendary engineer W. Edwards Deming put it
Without data, you're just another person with an opinion.
Who are my users, where do they come from, which devices and browsers do they use and how many of them are actually converting? Getting all of these information about your website visitors is actually pretty simple and extremely insightful.
There are plenty of solutions out there, that can help you to learn more about your users. Obviously there are big players like Google Analytics or Matomo, but there's also enough small indie competition, like for example plausible.io
With all the knowledge you gain through the analytics, you can then create better tailormade experiences for your users.
It's often very easy so find out why your conversion rate isn't as high as you want it to be.
On the one hand it's important to write copy that will cater to the search engines, so your site will actually be found. A good rule of thumb for headings is using questions, that a potential visitor of your site would ask themselves and then proceed to enter the exact phrase into google.
But on the other hand you also should not stuff your website copy with keywords and actually provide value to your users in a clear and concise way.
By following these simple tips you immediately have a positive impact on your website's SEO
Speed is key - When your site is slow or doesn't respond quickly on user interactions, people tend to get frustrated easily and leave your site.
Also your hosting environment plays an important role in pagespeed as well!
We'll soon publish an in-depth article about ways to optimize your pagespeed.
When using widely used software, such as WordPress, Typo3, Shopware, etc. there is a huge risk to become the victim of hackers. They make use of exploits and other commonly known security breaches. Thus it's important to keep the software you use up to date.
But it's not just done with the software itself. If you use a CMS you are probably using themes and plugins and they are a risk nonetheless.
If you built your site from scratch you should also keep an eye on the dependecies you have in your project.
These are some of the most common mistakes we encounter on a lot of websites and a few suggestions on how to fix them.