my website sucks to the coreWhy Does My Website Suck?

Perhaps a more important question would be, “how do I fix my sucky website?”

I know, I’m starting off super technical with this article. Some questions are just so simple in nature that they seem absolutely absurd, but I often find absurdly simple questions like; why does my website suck?”, a great starting point to finding answers that aren’t so simple. Website failures occur for many reasons and the reason your site isn’t successful could be due to any one of them. It may be that you have a bad website because you fail to listen to client feedback or it may be that the website design itself needs major changes. The important thing is that you are asking the question, “why does my website suck?”, which means you realize changes need to be made.

bad website designIs your website sucky to the core?
The basic design of the site may be where the problem lies. Often, when designing a site, developers tend to look at what is trendy at that given time, and use these trends heavily in the site. Although this may seem like a good idea, it actually tends to leave the website appearing dated in a very short period of time as newer trends become popular. An even worse alternative is cheaping out on the design right out of the gate. We’ve all seen these sites; the DIY web design hack job that not only looks bad, it functions poorly too. Although every visitor will have his or her own preferences in terms of the subjective elements of design, certain things do stand out. This includes websites designed for outdated screen resolutions, sound effects and reverse text. You’re laughing because there are still a ton of sites with white text on a black background and you know how annoying they are. Stuff like this is super easy to fix and it’s common sense fixes like those that can make your site less sucky within a matter of minutes. 

Your site sucks because you’re selfish.
Ouch! Now get past it and ask yourself who you really designed the site for? The focus of the website needs to remain on your customer and how you can benefit them. One of the worst things you can do is design your site based on your own preferences. You may not want to hear this but there’s a good chance your preferences are not the same as those of your target audience. Knowing how to engage your audience and understanding how to make things easier for them is the most valuable thing you can do. Many experts would agree that 90 percent of your site should focus on the wants and needs of the customer with 10 percent being dedicated to the company information. Keep your site and your message clear, easy and engaging.

poor message deliveryDoes your message suck?
Do you buy from websites that have lousy photos and poorly written landing pages or product descriptions? I doubt it. So, why would anyone buy from your site when you’ve clearly put little to no thought into the message and slapped up crappy photos? The goal of website design is for the text and imagery to compliment each other in order to motivate an action. Make sure the important information is at the top of the screen and that the site isn’t overwhelmed by ads. Internet users have a very short attention span so you need to make sure they can find the information they want right away so they’ll want to stay on the site and continue to browse. The text needs to be easy to read, descriptive and unique. Product photos should be sharp, clean and illustrate clearly what the product is, how it functions, and even what it looks like in use.

Does your site have sucky visibility?
Search engines continuously update the algorithms they use to rank sites and your website design needs to take this into account at all times. If the search engine can’t find your site, consumers won’t be able to either. A good web design firm works to ensure the site is properly optimized at all times and that it can be found by search engines. In today’s search landscape you really want to focus on building your brand and not seedy link building schemes or techniques that could actually lower your site ranking rather than boosting it. Great content plays a large role in your search engine rank, so make sure it is being updated regularly, doesn’t contain misspellings or grammatical errors and provides visitors with new information.

Visibility comes in many forms and today you must ensure your website makes use of responsive web design or is at the very least mobile friendly. Consumers use a number of devices to access the Internet, from smart phones and tablets to desktop computers. The site must be viewable from every device for great results. Your goal is to ensure all viewers see the same site, no matter which device they are using to access it.

Finally, before you go hire a web design firm, you need to establish your goals. Once you understand what you want the site to accomplish, the entire process becomes much easier. As a small business owner you may be tempted to do the work yourself or cut corners by hiring a discount firm, don’t! The cost of building your website right once is much more economical than doing it twice to get what you need.