Website design is an art form that can be difficult to master. Your website is a visual representation of your business; its purpose should be to combine form and function in a way that enhances the user experience. However, it remains a common mistake for businesses to focus on a website design that simply looks great rather than one that is aesthetically pleasing while also built to maximize conversions.

If you aren’t seeing those conversions or if your brand’s website is starting to feel a little stale, you may be considering a website redesign. But before you begin your website makeover, it is important to have a plan in place so you can steer clear of website redesign pitfalls. Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid:

1. Failing to analyze your existing web design. You can’t find a solution to a problem without determining what the problem is in the first place. Analyzing your current website thoroughly is key to understanding what the major problems are and which redesign measures you should be taking. Look at what works and what does not. Ask yourself some critical questions. How much traffic do you attract? What is the bounce rate? Which pages are most and least popular? Where and how do you successfully convert customers on your website? Also, ask a few people you trust outside your company to give you their thoughts on where the website succeeds and fails in terms of user experience. Are there things that they find unclear or confusing?

2. Lack of clear calls to action. Without effective calls to action (CTAs) on your website, you cannot expect a higher conversion rate. A clear, persuasive CTA will prompt your visitors to take action, whether that’s purchasing a product, downloading content or subscribing to a newsletter. Your CTAs need to be clearly visible and inform customers exactly what to do and what they are going to get from taking such action. Ensure your CTA is concise and keep form-filling to a minimum. While you may have many calls to action spread throughout your website, consider having one main CTA that follows visitors throughout their journey. On the ClickDimensions website, for example, that CTA is to request a demo.

3. Hidden navigation. Make sure your website is easy for visitors to navigate. A website that is difficult to navigate can be frustrating for users and will quickly increase your bounce rate while decreasing your conversions. Hidden navigation is a common web design mistake. A visitor should never become lost on your website; they should be able to locate what they are looking for without difficulty. Your menu should be uncluttered and easy to use. Websites that are filled with multiple side menus and sub-menus can be overwhelming and can cause visitors to give up and simply leave the website. To avoid this, a clear and visible navigation bar should be used so that it can be clearly seen on a screen of any size. Navigational aspects must also be simple to understand. Avoid using clever names in your navigational menus that can be easily misunderstood and instead opt for concise and direct menu and page names.

4. Not considering SEO. SEO should be factored into your website makeover from the very beginning. Consider this the foundation of your website’s success. Even the most appealing of websites can fail if they are not optimized for search engines. A beautifully designed website will be of no use if it is not visible to users. Failing to consider SEO in your website makeover will likely see your website lost in the endless pages of the internet. If your website does not appear on the top search results, then it will most likely not be driving heavy traffic any time soon. When redesigning your website, focus on the best practices of SEO that will make your website rank high on search engines and deliver a more SEO-friendly website.

5. Ignoring a slow load time. If your website takes too long to load, typically anything longer than three seconds, you are very likely to lose visitors. People want to find information fast and if your website can’t deliver, visitors will simply leave and look for another option. There are a variety of causes for a slow load time, but some common problems are caching issues, database and code optimization issues, errors caused by missing files, excessive plugins and an abundance of large media files.

6. Poor positioning of contact info. This is one of the easiest website design mistakes to avoid in a website makeover. Website owners often overlook the importance of the positioning of their contact information and fail to prominently display these details in the header, footer and/or on a dedicated contact page. Visitors do not want to work to find out how to get in contact with your business. Your website should allow users to easily find a method of getting in contact with you. Include a clear CTA on your website that prompts visitors to get in touch. Your Contact Us page should always be just a click away.

7. Not optimizing for mobile. As mobile usage continues to surge, it is imperative to optimize your website for mobile visits. Your website makeover should focus on offering the same user experience for both mobile and desktop visitors. If you fail to do this, your website and your business will appear outdated. Mobile friendly websites have become the norm and your visitors will likely be frustrated if they face difficulties navigating because of a lack of mobile optimization. Your website experience for mobile users should be a smooth as possible.

Happy Marketing!