Crimes against web design
19 February, 2014 | Web design
Crimes against usability
Crime: Not having a responsive or mobile website
Before smartphones, tablets and phablets internet usage revolved around the desktop computer and laptops. These days there is a huge variety of different sized screens that your audience will be using. You need to meet their needs with a mobile or responsive website.
Crime: Not following web design standards
Within web design there are a few unwritten rules about how a website should appear, for example:
- The logo should be at the top left and it should link back to the homepage.
- Text links should always have hover effects.
- You should have images displayed on every page.
- The contact information should be clearly visible on every page.
The structuring throughout your website should be consistent. If the layout changes from page to page it will confuse the users.
Crime: Speed issues
Website loading speed has never been more important, not only is it poor for the user experience but it can also have a negative effect on your SEO.
Crimes against Design
Crime: Overwhelming the user
Many estate agents choose to make their homepage look extremely busy in order to display all their content. This jeopardises the user-experience and the visual appeal of the website. Large quantities of content stuffed together can make a website look overcrowded and too busy. These days users like clean and simple website design and even if you have a lot of content, there are certain user-friendly ways to distribute it to your audience.
Crime: Overdoing colours
Of course you want your website to stand out from the crowd and wow your users but the solution isn’t by using fluorescent colours. These types of colours, especially if used in high doses, will be harsh on the user’s eyes. This in turn will deter them away from your website.
Crimes against SEO
Crime: Using blackhat SEO
Blackhat SEO is the strategies you can use to cheat the search engines into ranking you higher. These include things like buying links, stuffing keywords and hiding text. However these days Google are cutting down hard on these types of practices, penalising the websites that are found using them very harshly.
Avoid them at all costs.
Crime: Poorly optimised content
There are several basic SEO practices that you need to include within your website in order to rank for your chosen keywords, these are:
- Every page should include a unique title, heading and meta description.
- Your titles, headings and meta descriptions should include your chosen keywords.
- Your titles and headings should be H1 or H2 tags.
Crimes against Social Media
Crime: Inconsistent posting
Aim to post at least once a day. If you don’t post consistently your users will become disinterested and unfollow you. Keep your followers engaged by posting frequently.
Crime: Spamming your followers
Many estate agents use social media to spam their audience, either by forcing sales upon them such as multiple property listings at a time or promotions.
Social media is about building brand awareness, demonstrating your expertise and engaging with the audience. The only way you will find success through social media is by following the right practices.
Crime: Not responding/interacting with audience
As I said above, social media is about engaging with your audience. Ignoring your followers will reflect very badly on your business. Be sure to stay active and engaged on your social media channels. Aim to respond to your audience as quickly as possible.