Looking for new clients? These 7 web design mistakes stop them calling

- February 4, 2017 4 MIN READ

Probably the number one question I receive from service-based business owners is “How can I get more leads?” They’ve worked hard at email and social media marketing but they’re just not getting the enquiries they need.

The first thing I do is take a look at their website and behind the scenes in their Google Analytics account. Why? Because your website has to stand out from the crowd and inspire visitors to take action. Otherwise, it’s nothing more than an expensive online brochure and a waste of money.

How do you measure success of a website?

Conversions – or leads. In other words someone:

  • Making an enquiry by completing a form
  • Clicking your phone number to call you
  • Subscribing to your newsletter or mini course
  • Opting in to watch a video
  • Downloading an ebook, voucher, checklist etc
  • Registering for an event (webinar, seminar, exhibition, etc)

The first two ‘conversions’ listed above are your hottest leads. These are the people who like what they’ve seen on your website and are ready to go the next step (i.e. speak to you directly and hopefully purchase). The last four are warm leads. They like what they’ve seen on your website, but are not yet ready to commit.

In this article, I’m going to share with you the common web design mistakes that affect conversion rates

Mistake 1: Bad user experience

The following things are examples of bad user experience:

  • Too much text, particularly large blocks of text
  • Site is slow to load (more than 6 seconds)
  • Poor visual appeal – ugly or old fashioned
  • Confusing or inadequate navigation
  • No about us page – or info is sparse
  • Contact info is hard to find

Google looks at a whole bunch of things like time spent on site, number of pages visited, site load speed, actions visitors take, conversions, etc. and use this info as part of a complicated algorithm which determines how you’ll rank for various keywords. As far as Google is concerned – user experience is everything.

Mistake 2: Irrelevant or boring copy

The written word (copy) is the most powerful element of your website, so this is the one thing which must be done extremely well.

  • Get to the point immediately about the benefits you bring.
  • Create value for your readers by giving them all the information they will be seeking.
  • Use language that is familiar and friendly.

Keep in mind that roughly eight out of ten website readers don’t make it past the headline. Keep copy short, focused, and to the point.

  • Relate to them and their needs.
  • Answer their concerns and questions.
  • Provide social proof and trust through case studies, testimonials and guarantees.
  • Use sub headlines and bullet points to make it visually appealing and easy to read.

Mistake 3: Not optimised for conversions

Each page of your website should have one main conversion goal. Then, with that goal in mind, each page should be optimised in a way that guides visitors toward the desired action.

Features of a well-designed, conversion optimised website include:

  • A Call to Action (CTA) on every page. These can be different on each page – and should relate to the topic of that page.
  • CTA buttons that are clearly visible – a bright constrating colour is best, so readers know where to take action.
  • Signup forms that are short and only ask for the necessary information for the next stage. This will improve optin rates.

Mistake 4: Not optimised for mobile devices

With almost 80% of all Australian’s using a smartphone, having a mobile-friendly website is an absolute must. A mobile friendly website is one that has been technically coded to automatically detect the visitor’s device, screen size, and orientation, and adjusts the layout accordingly.

Mistake 5: No connection point

This mistake relates to not providing an obvious way for people to connect with you while they’re on your website. For example, a well-located contact form, a phone number and webchat offer visitors multiple ways to connect.

Mistake 6: Low quality images

High quality images play an important role in attracting attention. Images are the first things people notice, so are essential to creating visual appeal. Plus, quality images will increase the chance of your content being shared on social media.

When it comes to selecting images, the first choice is to use your own.

Here’s how to use images effectively on your website:

  • Use images that illustrate the copy around them.
  • Avoid only using images which show your vehicles or building. Whilst these are good to demonstrate your size or credibility, they are only really of interest to you. Action shots are way more interesting.
  • Every one of your own images should tell a story – so add a caption to explain what it is.

Mistake 7: Confusing navigation

Your website’s navigation should guide visitors from point A to point B – they should never feel lost. Instead, they should be able to find what they are looking for in several ways.

A well-constructed, logical navigation bar is essential, and should be repeated in the footer. And adding in-text links on every page is a great way for visitors to find related content on other pages or posts


As you can see there’s a lot more to developing and maintaining a high converting website than you may have originally thought. Although many websites are well designed technically, often they don’t generate sufficient leads because they’ve been created by graphic designers or web developers who don’t have the in-depth marketing experience that a marketing company does.

Use these tips to critically analyse your website and see what web design mistakes need fixing to make it more enticing and inspires people to contact you.