The 80’s fashion is back! If you were too square back in the day then now is the time to put on your shoulder pads and neon socks. Dust off your old hairstyle, get out the hairspray and put the needle on that boy band record…wait maybe that’s going too far but it is nice to see the old colour clashes out and about again.
The same can’t be said for your website. While it is tough to find the really obvious Pagemaker horrors there are still some factors to look out for to prevent your website from being a fashion victim.
1) Too many gimmicks – 80’s fashion was full of these
The idea is that something different or outrageous will get the attention. The problem with these is that they have a very limited amusement factor and then get irritating fast. And it doesn’t need to be bold flashing lights, videos that auto-start or blaring music, it can be the small things that cause people to leave your website. Make sure that your website is easy to use and you are not expecting visitors to repeatedly use your gimmick to navigate your website.
What kind of gimmicks are we talking about?
Flash websites – Like B.A. Baracus all action and no (SEO) talk.
Flash is OK for a slide-show or a menu but you will always loose out on the SEO advantage so it should not be used on your primary menu or your product pics. If you absolutely have to have flash use it on non essential content.
Intro pages – Night club bouncers
Intro pages are only for restricted access websites and not to be used for window dressing as you are only putting up barriers for people to get to your website.
Fancy content tricks – Trying too hard and no sense of style
Layout tricks like accordion slides, content reveals and tabs ( these open to reveal content when you click on the button) should only be used with restraint and need to be well thought out. When your visitor repeatedly needs to click to reveal content it will only aggravate their carpal tunnel syndrome.
Over designed websites – The Pretenders.
I’m sure you have seen these where the website is made to look like something ( a shoe, a ball, a book) and you spend some time trying to figure out the layout. While these were cutting edge back then they rarely work in your favour. Don’t hinder the visitor getting to your important info.
2) Vague Content – The fake repetitive back-beat
Have you ever read a website and still not been able to tell what they are selling? This is either as a result of some high brow writing or your website has been written by a SEO expert for the search engines pleasure and not for human visitors. In either case you are preventing your visitors from feeling comfortable with your company.
Put your important content front and centre don’t make people look for it. Include your prices ALWAYS! There is some fast decision making going on and not displaying your prices or decent product information will send your visitors to the competition.
3) No Social presence and blog- Just Dancin’ in the Dark (The Boss)
The time of “it’s just a brochure really” approach to websites is past, they just get buried with all the other static websites. You need to engage your audience and you do it with social media and your blog. “But we are business to business not business to customer” – most of your business customers are in on the social media movement in a personal capacity and who makes the decisions? Not companies but people! …And the competition that is doing better than you, are running a decent social media campaign.
4) Bits and pieces of website design – lip gloss, hairspray and cool smoking techniques.
Does your website translate well across multiple screen types – computers, handhelds, tablets, etc? You don’t want people having to slide up and down, left and right to read your website.
Does your website have contact details in an easy to find location. Are they current?
Do all your pages still work? Are all you images still there? You would be surprised. And remember Google doesn’t forget so all your old blogs and information better be still working too.
Any spelling mistakes? Bad grammar?
Too greedy on your forms? You will chase people away if you want too much from them.
So make sure that your website is at the height of fashion, easy to navigate, informative with new articles (blog) and integrated with your social media channels.