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A well-considered, highly functional business website design can make all the difference between a thriving online enterprise and mystifyingly flat traffic and conversion numbers. But you might be surprised how easy it is to make some major blunders that hinder your success before it can even begin. Here are three common web design pitfalls you’ll want to avoid.

1. Putting the Cart (Design) Before the Horse (Content)

When most business owners think of creating a new or updated website, their first thought is a revamped design. While that may well be a good idea, it’s not the first item on the agenda. You may build a gorgeous-looking design only to find that there’s no comfortable way to shoehorn the necessary content into it.

What went wrong? You put your website together in the wrong order. The first step is to decide on the essential points your content needs to make and then arrange your content into sensible silos or categories. From there, you create your site map (and ideally a master content document) – and then you design.

Once you’ve positioned your content in a way that’s logical and easy to navigate within your business website design, don’t forget to do some design work to the content itself. Break up large chunks of text on the page with headers, assign clear, readable fonts throughout, and make sure the content on each page is presented in a consistent format.

2. Redesigning the Website “Just Because”

Lets face it, many of our projects today are classified as business website redesign. If someone in your organization (including you) proclaims that a new business website design is in order, the next word to come out of your mouth should be “Why?” Answers such as “Because I’m sick of this one” or “Our clients don’t like it” are opinions, not informed reasons meriting the investment of significant marketing dollars.

Always base such major decisions on sound evidence of need. Perhaps you see that your conversions are way down because your site doesn’t push traffic onto strong conversion pages, or you need to be able to expand your number of landing pages in ways you currently can’t, or you’re losing sales from mobile visitors because your current design is static instead of responsive. Let concrete data, and not the itch for a change of pace, serve as your guide. Need a hand compiling this concrete data? We can help.  Yes, we’ve been known to talk prospects out of a complete redesign and use their budgets for something more impactful.

3. Allowing the Work to End With the Launch

You’ve launched your website — now track and adjust its flight!

So you’ve created a business website design that supports some top-class content and is optimized to accomplish specific objectives for your company. All the fine-tuning is completed, and the magic moment arrives – you launch the new site for all to see. Congratulations! So now you can breathe a sigh of relief and go back to other things, right? Wrong.

If NASA had treated its Apollo launches the way so many businesses handle a website launch, we might be wondering to this day whether the moon is made of green cheese. Putting your website into circulation is the beginning of your quest for online marketing excellence, not the end – and if you let it fend for itself with no intervention or evaluation, your journey is doomed to come up short. Times change, and so do website styles, marketing techniques, device technologies, and possibly your target audience and business. Even in the short term, you can’t know what’s working and what isn’t unless you track your metrics diligently and adjust your site accordingly.

Online marketing is always a work in progress, and your business website design is no exception. But before embarking on a big change, make sure you know what you need to do, why you need to do it, and how to do it effectively. 

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About the Author: Jason Corgiat

I started building websites in 1999. Through the years I've worked with hundreds of businesses in various verticals and have built, implemented and managed digital strategies for companies of all sizes. My education is not formal and neither are my methods. Chances are, I can add value to your organization from day 1 but I'll let you be the judge. I'm a proud father of 4, luckiest husband in the world, and enjoy the occasional gym session. How was that for a bio?

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