web design frustration

7 Most Common Web Design Mistakes Companies Should Avoid

The Internet continues to be one of the most popular resources that people use when they are researching a company or product. Despite that, there are still some very basic – and easy to remedy – mistakes that businesses make on their websites. Here are seven common website mistakes that companies still make, and some ways to avoid making them yourself:

1. Static Design

All websites should be using responsive design. There is just no way around this. Today’s searches aren’t just done on desktop computers, they are also done on mobile phones and tablets. Think about your own search habits: how often are you using a desktop device vs. a mobile device? If that isn’t enough to convince you, don’t forget that Google actually penalizes websites that aren’t responsive by giving them less weight in search results. Just read these 6 Undeniable Reasons Why Your Website Should Be Responsive and never think about static design again.

2. Thoughtless Design

Each piece of your website real estate should be considered when you are working on your design. Your navigation, your headers, your sidebars, your footers – all of these areas are just as important as the main content areas of your website. Don’t get lazy, and don’t fill those areas with ads, either.

3.Confusing Design

The main reason that people visit your website is to find information. If your design makes the most basic information difficult to find, you’ll see high abandon rates. The main rule is to design for what the customer wants to find, not what you want to say. Some A/B testing should help you determine the most viewed content, as well as the best location for that content.

4. Outdated Design

Websites require a lot of maintenance, from updating your content to keeping your site secure. Either you or your digital marketing agency should actively be monitoring your themes and plugins – above and beyond your auto-update options. You should also make sure that you are removing outdated content, optimizing existing content, and fixing broken links.

5. Bait and Switch Design

If you use outgoing links to microsites from your main site, you might end up confusing your website visitors. Once on a microsite, users might be looking for your main website’s navigation, or a way to get back to where they were. Try to minimize the use of microsites when you can, but if you must use them, make sure they open in a new browser tab so that visitors aren’t shut out from your main website.

6. Big Design

This one is simple: bad website design uses large image and video files that slow down your website’s load time. Optimized websites will have better ranking in Google search, as well as lower site abandon weights.

7. Annoying Design

A big mistake that is still happening with website design is the improper use of pop ups and advertising. An entry and exit pop up is completely acceptable; a pop up for every page, or after every minute is not acceptable. You also want to minimize distractions, so don’t annoy your visitors with advertisements that cover both sidebars and your header.

If you’re looking for more web design mistakes you should avoid, be sure to read 7 Web Design Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make.



Web Design

4 Website Design Tips To Increase Lead Engagement for Your Brand

If your brand was on a dating app, would your leads swipe left, or right?

This is not a silly question; website design has more in common with a dating profile than you may realize at first. Both are often the first place that people will go to learn about you, and to make snap judgements. On dating apps, people can swipe left in seconds, and on websites people abandon your site after just a moment on the homepage.

Here are some ways that you can use website design to get your leads to not only swipe right on your brand, but to fall head over heels in love.

First Impressions

Choosing a profile image on a dating site is a big decision, and there have even been studies conducted about it that conclude what should and shouldn’t be included – from the setting to the clothing color. Should your dog or cat be included? Should you smile? Should you be indoors or outdoors? While a website design doesn’t need that exact set of questions, there is definitely research out there that details what works, what doesn’t, and what questions you should be asking. Your homepage is like your dating profile image – it has the impossible task of summing up what your brand is about with just a glance. Don’t underestimate the power your website design has.  

Clear Brand Identity

Imagine a dating profile that has the “vegetarian” box checked, but also includes pictures of the person eating chicken or ribs. That’s confusing. You can’t get a good idea of who the person is, and, worse yet, they have lost your trust. Are they lying? Is that just an old photo? Your leads shouldn’t be vexed with those types of questions when they visit your website. Your design should clearly communicate your brand’s identity. Use a single, consistent logo. Stick to one tagline, and make sure that tagline connects to your mission statement.

Emotional Connections

Why do some people choose to include pets in their profiles, while others include their love for pizza? They are sharing the things that they have an emotional connection to, and, in turn, they are hoping to build an emotional connection with the people that visit their profile. Your website design can use color, font, and spacing to help achieve emotional connections. Of course, the content is important too, but the design is what will catch the heart.Web Design Love Angel

Name Dropping

Name dropping can be annoying, but if used correctly it be a reflection of your brand. On a dating profile, someone might say that their friends think they are kind, or funny, or generous. A brand can utilize their website design to include space for both testimonials and a staff showcase. Testimonials let your leads see what others think of you, while staff showcases let your leads see how you think of your brand.

For more website dating advice, be sure to read 6 Pieces of Dating Advice for Developing Better Content.

Lead generation laptop

3 Common Lead Generation Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Every successful sale starts with lead generation. Buying leads is never going to yield the same results as organic leads, but it can be tough to get your design and marketing just right. The effort should not be abandoned, however, since valuable leads help a sales team thrive.

Difficult or not, generating leads is and will remain a high priority for marketers in the years to come. Finding the balance between quality and quantity for leads needs a well thought-out strategy. Here are some of the common lead generation mistakes that you should consider with your internal and external teams while developing your plan for success.


Design Mistakes

It’s said that you only get one shot at a first impression, and for lead generation, that first impression is going to hinge on the design of your landing pages. Well, to be fair the first impression really starts with the page load. If your website design doesn’t allow for fast and full page loading, you’ll lose your sale before it even becomes a lead. Your landing pages should also carry over your brand’s overall look and feel. Stay away from gimmicky trends that will confuse your audience about who your brand is and what they have to offer.


Keep the design of your landing pages consistent, and follow these basic guidelines:

  •       Keep your form above the page fold
  •       Don’t muck up your lead generation process with too many points for conversion
  •       Don’t busy up your landing pages with a bunch of competing content
  •       Don’t hide your call to action


Messaging Mistakes

Your internal research, paired with expert recommendations from your digital marketing agency, should help you craft the right messages for the right audiences. Despite having more access than ever before to all kinds of data, marketers still struggle to find the right message. Here are a few mistakes that marketers make with their lead generation messages:

  •       Ignoring pain points. You should be working with your sales team to identify the pain points in the industry, and you should be using those pain points in your messages. Call out how your product or service can solve those pain points. Sure, you want to talk about your features and benefits, but you need to weave those around a story about how you’ll solve a problem.
  •       Forgetting to nurture leads. Your messaging should be changing as your leads move through your funnel. If you just bombard them with a constant “buy now” message, you’re missing a valuable opportunity to educate your leads and turn them into loyal, long-term customers.
  •       Offering nothing. If you want your leads to give up their professional or personal contact information, you need to be willing to offer them something of value in return – for free. Go through your blog and webinar archives and recycle the content into an eBook or a highlights video with tips and tricks.lead generation mistakes

Form Mistakes

Once your leads are impressed enough with your web design and the value you are offering them in return for their information, you still aren’t home free. Your landing page form is still a point of contact that can make or break your lead generation. Do some A/B testing to find the right balance for your forms, but in general, try to keep them short by prioritizing the information that will be most important for your sales team.  

For more on forms and lead generation be sure to read Is Your Lead Generation Process Killing Your Lead Generation?

5 Reasons How Colors Can Impact Your Marketing Efforts

Color marketing- colored pencils

Luck Has Nothing To Do With It

As a marketer, you have no doubt taken a class or read a blog that discusses how the use of color in design can help drive marketing results. If you haven’t just check out this article on The Psychology of Color in Marketing and Branding. Color is no joke in the marketing world; some would even argue that it is overanalyzed at times.

Unfortunately for the naysayers, the use of color in design has proven time and again to be an important and motivating marketing element. If you’re still on the fence about whether or not you should be investing some time to discuss your brand and website colors, here is a breakdown of five “whys” and “hows” that help explain the basic ways that color can drive results and change your marketing analytics.


WHY: Color triggers emotions.

HOW: Humans associate the colors they see with their own personal memories, and transfer those memory’s emotions to the brand that displays those emotions. Of course, you can’t universally connect with color; some people might hate yellow, whether or not it has proved to motivate purchasing. Colors in your design aren’t working alone; you are pairing them with font styles and sizes, as well as element size and placement, to appropriately motivate your audience.

WHY: Color motivates purchases.

HOW: One of the main reasons that people feel motivated to click on buttons or to make purchases is because the use of design elements – like color – create a persona and an atmosphere that is relatable; the audience either feels as though they are already a part of that group, or they aspire to get there.

WHY: Color can connect us to a cause.

HOW: Whether it is a battle of the sexes or political party affiliation, humans respond to certain colors that connect them to causes. Those colors and causes spark something – fear, anger, empathy – that results in action. We might feel that taking action will bring us closer to a cause, make us feel some kind of satisfaction, or even be a burn to someone that is against the cause.

WHY: Color connection is intuitive.

HOW: All this talk about how color connects us to our emotions and some primal motivation makes the experience seem complicated, but it’s the opposite; our connection to color is intuitive. Even before someone registers the words on a call-to-action button, they see what color that button is. Marketers often find that “real-world” color applications don’t translate to design; where in the real world green means ‘go,’ it might stop people from clicking a button on a website. This is because the reaction to the color is emotional and intuitive, not practical.

WHY: Color denotes direction.

HOW: Color – used in design elements or for font – is meant to stand out, and that core function is what helps it lead visitors through a page. Combining common left to right website viewing tendencies with directional color elements can create a pattern of visual hierarchy and serve as a roadmap for your audience’s journey.

For more on how to use color, be sure to read: How To Use Color To Communicate Your Message.

marketing help

3 Reasons Marketer Should Hire Digital Marketing Agency

Marketers are often balancing heavy workloads, as they are thought to be the Jacks and Janes of All Trades throughout the business world. They support and manage sales, thought-leadership, events, advertising, content, business development…the list goes on. At some point, their expertise is stretched too thin, and they need to call in some professional help. Just check out this article on Why Digital Marketing Trends May Require You To Hire A Digital Marketing Agency

It’s time for marketers to love their jobs again.

Working with a digital marketing agency can give marketers the freedom to take back their professional experience, and remind them why they do what they do, and why they love doing it. Here are a few ways that working with an agency can take turn a marketer’s “job” into an experience that they love.

#1 You Can Get Back to the Basics

It’s hard to come up with creative, engaging content strategy when you’re pressured to just publish as much as possible, as fast as possible. Without a focus on strategy, however, marketers are just shooting in the dark. They will struggle to find the right metrics, and won’t be able to provide proof of ROI. Working with an agency can free up marketers’ time so they can get back to the basics. With a team that is able to schedule and push content, as well as monitor and report on performance, marketers can spend their time evaluating and adjusting their strategy.

#2 You Don’t Have to Learn a New Vocabulary

Bridging the vocabulary gap between marketing, web, IT, and development teams can be a full time job. Marketers are expected to keep up on the trends on new vocabulary for their own industry as well as those they work closely with so that they can interpret conversations across departments. It can be a full time job. Account managers and teams at agencies will already be experts in all the technical vocabulary, so marketers don’t have to try to learn a new language. Agency teams will be able to understand marketers at their level, and will translate technical terms to layman’s terms.

#3 You Can Learn Something New

While fitting an entire vocabulary from a different industry into your head is overwhelming, that doesn’t mean you don’t appreciate learning something new. Working with an agency will put you in contact with a team of people that have expertise in industries that are different but related to marketing. Learning a little bit about something new can help marketers expand their creative planning, without putting the weight of a new discipline on their shoulders. While it’s hard for a marketer to suddenly learn how to code – if they didn’t already study coding in school – it is feasible to say that a marketer can pick up a few basic coding tips from the developers from the agency that are working on their account. Working with a group of people that have a variety of backgrounds and come from different generations is a great way to expand both the knowledge and creativity of a marketer.

Now that your thinking about working with an agency, make sure its the right one by reading our guide: 6 Things a Successful Agency Will Never Say to You.