Seven Deadly Sins of Poor Business Website Design

If your website fails to generate sales, then it’s time to consider if you’ve fallen foul of these seven deadly sins of poor business website design.

Below are common problems we see time and time again before embarking on a website design process for a new business customer. Be careful not to fall into the same trap!

Common Business Website Design Problems

Sin 1: Style over substance

Pretty websites with flashy graphics are great, but for a growing business the focus must be
placed on getting your website to work harder, not just look beautiful.

Effective websites deliver the right information to visitors in an easily digestible format, with clear calls to action. “Funky” designs can often do more harm than good, as they tend to deviate from normal website design protocols, confusing the reader and pushing them away.

Get the basics right and build from there.

Top tip: Focus on the effectiveness, not just the look.

Sin 2: Failing to plan is planning to fail

All too often we see business owners ploughing ahead with a website build without due care and attention given to the user experience.

It’s very easy to get carried away by high impact imagery, but what if that imagery prevents a user from being able to navigate the site effectively? Similarly, what if your beautiful branded website does a superb job in explaining your core values, but never actually attracts users looking for your service or solution?

Be sure to develop a web map that considers your audience profile and caters to their likely needs accordingly. If you have a few different target markets, then consider how you will segment these differing demographics so they each enjoy a custom journey.

You only have a few seconds to make an impression on a website visitor, so make them count.

Top tip: Plan the user journey meticulously.

Sin 3: Second guessing the user

You need your website to be found by the right people when they are searching on the likes of Google. The Google keyword planner tool allows you to research the volume of searches being carried out each month for terms that you think might be relevant to the service you offer.

Once you know for sure what people are searching for, then write your website copy with those terms in mind. Don’t start typing before you’ve done this as you may waste your time using industry terminology that your audience simply isn’t looking for.

Top tip: Optimise for key terms, but do your research first!

If you need support in website design, see how we could help improve the performance of your website here.

Sin 4: Failing to spread the word

What’s the use in operating a website that nobody visits? Be sure to drive traffic to your website through links from other websites. This helps search engines to crawl the site and pushes individuals toward your service from other trusted sources.

Focus on well-respected websites, such as industry publications or other providers operating in a similar field. Don’t waste time searching out every directory listing under the sun, just focus on relevant sites with which to partner.

Top tip: Build quality back-links.

Sin 5: Ignoring local custom

If you offer a service to companies in your local area then you could be missing a trick. Be sure to exploit Google’s local search display, so your business appears to local residents first and foremost. It’s easier to appear higher up the rankings in localised search results because, frankly, there is less competition for terms within a particular radius.

Top tip: Use local searches.

Sin 6: Delivering at a snail’s pace

Users demand a fast website and if you fail to deliver then you’ll lose them. In fact, Google estimates that half of all website visitors give up before a site even loads.

Plan for the worst, aim for the best

By using Google’s mobile page speed checker you’ll be able to see the worst-case scenario – how fast (or not) your site loads on a 3G connection. If it’s more than 5 seconds, you’ve probably got a problem.

You can also use other tools, such as Pingdom, Google PageSpeed Insights, SEO SiteCheckup, GTmetrix and a host of others to test your site speed from various locations. Each delivers a verdict and recommendations for improvements. Take these to your web design agency and task them with tweaking as appropriate. Whilst there may be some changes that will impact on the aesthetics of the site (and therefore cannot be made), you should be able to forge significant gains with relatively little effort.

There are numerous tools out there to help you to identify potential problems with your site’s load speed, so there’s no excuse for letting your site coast along in the slow lane.

Top tip: Seek speed… speed is what we need!

Sin 7: Being complacent

You may think you know how visitors to your website will behave, but chances are you’re wrong! Time and time again we are shocked by how different the behaviours of site visitors differ from meticulously planned user journeys. The only sure-fire way to check that your website is serving up a streamlined user journey is to use Google Analytics to review on-page behaviours.

Once you have sufficient data to make an informed decision on your business website design, you might consider either split testing different page designs or running with a new design for a trial period. Heatmap data from providers such as can provide valuable insight as to how visitors behave a page.

Top tip: Test, test and then test again.

Design a better website for your business

Dodge these common pitfalls and you’ll be able to make some measurable improvements to your business website design, experience and performance. This will ultimately drive a greater number of conversions for your business, be that online sales or hot leads for your team to chase down.

We are experts in business website design, so please get in touch to see what we could do to drive more sales through your website.

About the author

Joanna Tracey BeeBrilliant! MarketingJoanna Tracey is a partner here at BeeBrilliant! Marketing and seasoned marketer. Joanna is our resident web design expert, technical geek and an all round digital marketing pro. She has many years experience in delivering effective digital marketing projects for agencies, telecommunications firms and service providers alike.