Unveiling 5 Common Web Designer Pitfalls: A Fresh Perspective on Industry Challenges
Ask around your network for a good web designer you can trust, and you’re as likely to get some horror stories as you are solid recommendations. As in, “I decided I’d rather go live with this version than have one more conversation trying to get it right.”
Unfortunately, it’s very common for some web designers and developers to take shortcuts, so they can make more money in less time. For clients, this can mean a rushed or frustrating experience, and deliverables that don’t actually meet your website goals… or feel right for your brand.
By carefully choosing the right web designer and developer, you’ll get a better client experience, and a website that drives profits for your business. So let’s explore the top 5 pitfalls, and how to avoid them.
1. Prioritizing style over substance
Some website professionals are focused more on pushing and showcasing their capabilities than they are on their clients. But remember that their job is not to express their vision and voice – it’s to express yours! Every decision they make throughout a project should be focused on your goals, e.g. by guiding audiences through the AIDA process.
So steer clear of web designers and developers who mostly talk about themselves. Look for a strategic partner who asks a lot of questions about what you need and want, before they make any recommendations.
2. Treating messaging and copy as an afterthought
The really good designers and developers know that their best work still needs solid messaging to do its job and convert. Design catches the eye, and copy closes the deal. That makes messaging a non-negotiable component of a results-driven website branding strategy!
A web designer who doesn’t understand this – or chooses to ignore it – will typically do one of a few things:
- Use generic website copy, templated for your industry
- Write it themselves
- Have you or a VA write it
- Offer professional copywriting as an add-on (if you’re lucky)
But website copywriting isn’t a luxury or an afterthought – it’s the foundation of a website that delivers long-term ROI. It’s the difference between an attractive website that doesn’t impact revenue (AKA an expense), and a website that brings in far more money than you paid to create it (AKA an investment).
So, ask prospective web designers and developers how they’ll ensure that the copy and design are both effective, and work together. Their answer should be illuminating!
3. Over-using stock photos
There’s definitely room for stock photos in your marketing strategy, particularly in content marketing. But for your website, it’s important that all your visuals tell part of the same compelling story – including your headshots, lifestyle photography, and portfolio or product photography.
In service-based industries where you’re working directly with your customers, brand photography goes a long way in building trust and credibility.
So ask prospective web designers who they use for brand photography. If they recommend sticking with stock photography, they may be prioritizing what works for them (and the limitations of their existing network) over what your business needs.
4. Neglecting mobile optimization
Most website design firms now create mobile-responsive websites, ensuring a seamless user experience across various screen sizes. But many don’t optimize the website for mobile performance.
Keep in mind that mobile performance plays a significant role in Google’s Page Experience scores, and therefore your ranking in search results. And Google currently accounts for over 90% of global search traffic!
5. Ignoring comprehensive SEO strategy
While not every company needs an extensive SEO strategy, every website does need to be developed with SEO in mind. Ignore SEO, and you hamstring your site’s ability to pull in relevant, qualified search traffic… which means lots of money left on the table until it’s fixed.
Here are some basics your web developer will need to be on top of from the beginning:
Schema markup on the back end of your site helps search engines understand the content and context of each web page – kind of like the Cliff’s notes to your website. It helps search engines display relevant pages in search engine result pages (SERPs). Getting this right means your website will automatically get more of the right visibility!
Each page on your website should have a meta title and meta description. These don’t display on the web page itself, but they do show up in search results pages. Together, these elements are how a user decides what result to click on. Since they need to be click-worthy, you definitely want a professional copywriter’s hands on this step.
Gone are the days of keyword stuffing! Your developer should research the most relevant keywords for your website, looking for that sweet spot of high traffic and low competition. Then your copywriter should weave the top keywords into both your meta copy and on-page copy. You do not want a developer writing copy to add in keywords later… trust us!
Web design that drives business results
Now that you know what to look for, where do you start? Here at The Right Path Marketing, our website design and development process is specifically designed to avoid these common pitfalls, so you don’t have to worry about any of it. For comprehensive, actionable insights on your website and SEO, schedule a free consult with us today!