I spend a lot of time online. Every website project requires researching competitors websites to see what is making them successful. And of course, I spend time browsing like everyone else. There are some really nice websites out there. There are also some that make me sad as a designer. Whether it’s bad organization or careless design, the user experience is not a good one. A poorly designed website can potentially hurt your business. Is your website turning your customers away?

Recently, a friend of mine received a cold call from a local food delivery service. Unfamiliar with the company, she looked them up online. She did not get a great impression from their website. So much so she told them that based on their website she wouldn’t feel comfortable using their service. I appreciate her honesty. Very few people would be that upfront. I hope the company heard that feedback and eventually made changes.

Bad design isn’t just a surface or superficial issue. It can hurt your business. There are mistakes that should be avoided.

Is your website turning your customers away

Is your website turning your customers awayCurious, I went to the website after she told me about it. She was not exaggerating. The first line of the homepage text had three typos in it. Three in the first sentence! I understand not every company can afford a professional writer for their content. But there is no reason to have misspellings. Every word processing program has spell check. Every email program has spell check. It is careless and leaves a bad impression.

The site was a five-page website. Not a huge site by any measure. One page was “under construction.” It even had the old construction graphic from the 1990’s. Two red flags there! Don’t include a page that isn’t finished on your website. Just don’t. You wouldn’t sell a shirt that was missing a sleeve. It doesn’t look professional. Those flashing animated gifs date your site and do not add to your customer’s experience. It will drive them away.

What is your customer’s experience

Your website MUST instill a sense of trust and reliability in everyone that visits it. My friend was told that the company had been in business 30 years. Was that anywhere on the website? Sadly, no. What an oversight! Being in business that long is a great accomplishment and a wonderful selling point. That should be emphasized. Instead, there was no mention of it.

Keep in mind, your website is there to promote your business and to reach new customers. It can’t do that if a visitor is left wondering how to navigate it or find the info they want. There are other sites that have the essential elements in place. Your potential customers will go there instead.

Investing in a well-designed site is important

How many other potential customers had the same reaction as my friend? Losing customer based on a bad impression can be avoided. I’ve written about a user’s experience being essential to the success of any website. First impressions matter.

In conclusion, I am very motivated to make the Web a better place one website at a time. Be sure your website isn’t turning customers away with a free website review.