Design Mistakes You Might Be Making on Your Website
Welcome to this episode of The Determined Mom Show. I have the amazing Christi Cooper here, and she is the owner of Cooper and Heart Creative. We are gonna talk today about design mistakes that you might be making on your website. This is really important stuff. I’m very excited that you’re here to share with us.
How did you get started in designing websites?
I’m one of those rare people who started a career and kind of stayed in it forever, I didn’t change. I started in design when I was 17 and I’ve been a designer for 23 years now, maybe longer. I started in print design and graphic design. I went to university for it. I have a degree. I worked at a design agency for a long time, so that’s where I started to do more website design in conjunction with branding and stuff like that.
Then I started my own business in 2017 on the side of my job. Just getting going and started and it just really expanded and I started learning a whole bunch in the online marketing space. And it just went from there. I taught myself how to build websites because before I was designing websites but not building them. Now I’m designing and building them. And it just grew from there. So, it’s been fun.
It’s really rare nowadays and I think that’s pretty normal. Like it’s normal to start with some things and like maybe you just haven’t found your thing yet. I guess I just got off, early on and became fascinated with design. As far as work goes, it’s always been kind of design oriented. But, my other interests have changed over the years, so I think I just had other outlets to find new things.
What are those mistakes that we might be making when we’re making our website?
One of the mistakes that I see is wasting that hero area on the homepage. So when people first land on your website. There’s like a pretty picture or it says, “Welcome to so and so’s name site”. And it doesn’t like, it’s a missed opportunity to like. Talk to people about what you do and hook them.
Put a headline there that just speaks to what you do and who you help. Something about the results that you offer. Just really try to speak to your people and draw them in as soon as possible. We have short attention spans. Split-second decision. They’re not gonna scroll down and reach yours about you section. They’re just, they wanna know as quickly as possible.
An example, like a straight board example I’ve done recently, is I did a website for financial planners. And, he has a very specific niche and so he says Financial planning for Twitch and YouTube creators. It’s super clear, super specific, and maybe not super catchy or clever, but it is really clear.
What he does and who he helps, right? Like it’s just super obvious and then he has some follow-up copy, And then a nice call to action button that is just for people who are just ready to jump on the ball like you always wanna put that call to action there too.
That eliminates people from meandering there. I need a financial planner, and they’re like a teacher or something. That’s not the right person for you.
He had an advantage cuz he has a very specific niche. So it does depend on your business and stuff, but you do wanna speak to what you do and who you help in that first section and give them a call to action to learn more.
What other mistakes are we gonna avoid making so that our websites are all fabulous?
Another mistake that I see a lot is making it difficult for people to contact you or take that next step with you. Make it easy for people to contact you. Like I, I’ve been. Why are you making it so hard? So make sure it’s really clear whether you have a contact form or book a call or make an appointment, whatever your contact method makes it obvious like that’s usually your primary action goal on your site.
Make it obvious. In your navigation, usually you want that furthest right link in your navigation to be that action that you want people to take on your site. Also, when you’re talking about what you offer, put that link button right there too. Don’t make people scroll back to the top of your website to find your contact information or scroll to the bottom.
So they’re not having to scroll also you could lose their attention if something else catches their eye, like on the way back up. Who knows where they might go? They might go to someone else’s website or, who knows what it is.
It’s super important you wanna catch people in the moment when they wanna learn more. I wanna take that into step. That’s another mistake that I see. It’s just not making that clear and easy. Let’s see here. Related to that is a website that’s not structured around whatever primary action that you want people to take.
If you’re like a consultant, you want people to probably contact you, book a call or submit an application, whatever your process is, and you really wanna structure your site pages and content around leading people to that call to action. Versus just using your website as a dumping ground for all of the information about everything you do.
You really wanna inspire people to take action. Or you want them to book an appointment. You wanna make sure that you wanna make sure it’s really clear in the navigation, but you also wanna make sure that the information that you’re giving them is focused on leading them to book that appointment.
That’s a very good point because I think a lot of times we’ll put multiple calls to action or multiple like you could call me or you could book a call or you could email me or you could, like Facebook message me or you could fill out our contact form or you could chat with us.
It depends on how you have it structured. If you don’t want to avoid it, like, book a call with me and then join my email list and then sign up for this workshop and then do this. Like really different types of call to action that they’re doing something different for each one versus a contact you one, you probably do want a couple of different ways for people to contact you.
On mine, I emphasize booking a call with me through my appointment scheduler, but I also put my email address for those people who are like, I just wanna email you, or they have another inquiry or something like that. And I think if you’re like a local business, you want your phone number on there.
You want to list your phone numbers. People can call you. And you probably wanna give them another way to contact you. Email contact forms, something like that. I’m a person who doesn’t like to call local businesses. I like to send them a message. So I think it can be beneficial to have a couple of different ways.
But you also, like you were saying, don’t wanna overwhelm them either. Like here’s a chat box and then here’s a contact form and here’s email and here’s a call thing. There are too many options.
You could feel like I was trying to read something, so I closed the popup, but then I’m like there’s something on there that caught my attention, but I already closed it. So more on the visual side is making sure your website just looks professional and put together because there are people who judge a website by how it looks before they get to read what’s on it.
And you really wanna establish trust and credibility, so you just wanna make sure that your site is. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but you want it to be simple and clean and clear and look like a legitimate business versus something you let you’re nine-year-old put together.
I’ve seen some pretty dated-looking sites like that also the thing you wanna avoid is looking dated. I feel like that presentation that you put out there with your website and your branding and everything reflects how much you care about your people and who you’re serving. If you put some intention into making sure you have a professional presentation, it does convey that you are like, you’re serious and you’re not just I put a side up 10 years ago and it’s still fine.
So you wanna avoid a bunch of different fonts, a bunch of different colors, a bunch of different background images. If you’re not a designer, just keep it simple and clean and somewhat updated looking so it doesn’t, you know, turn people off right away.
Do you have any other tips when you’re rebuilding websites more than when you’re building them?
So another big thing is a copy, like your text on your site is not doing big blocks and big paragraphs of copy, because back to the short attention span, nobody reads it. We just skim the page looking for the information that we’re looking for and we take in. Headlines and callouts and things like that, we don’t sit down and read three paragraphs of your story or stuff like that.
If you wanna break it up and edit down your copy first, only talk about what you need to talk about and then break it up into different lines. I rarely do traditional paragraphs on sites anymore, occasionally three sentences are a paragraph, but usually, I’m almost always breaking one or two sentences, and then there’s a return. It just helps people skim it and then they’ll stop and read if something catches their attention. But then they rarely read the whole thing.
But it does allow, you’re right it’s a visual cue. It just gives you enough information that you can pick out a couple of words. Or, I do need to read this sentence and I wanna read all of them now.
You really wanna design your pages to be for those people who are just skimming so that they can take in enough information when they’re skimming the page versus reading everything word for word. Some people do read. Like dedicated read pages, but most people don’t.
So you want both, it’s like you want both there for the people who do want more information, but, you really wanna aim it at people who are just skimming and scanning for information. As they go through your site.
I think there can be some generational differences there. As far as older generations were more accustomed to reading full newspaper articles and magazine articles nowadays we don’t do that. Whereas younger generations are like that, social media inundated them.
They read a line and that’s it. But I also think it’s personality based too. So people who are a little more analytical and detail-oriented will tend to read more versus people who are just like moving on to the next thing on their list. You want some sort of idea. And that’s why we do write more copies, than maybe what everybody reads, just because some do want more information and do read it.
How important is visual aesthetic versus copy on a website in this day and age?
I think they’re pretty equal in my opinion. They work very much together. You can have a great copy, but if your site design isn’t up to date and it’s just like blocks of copy, nobody’s gonna read it. No one’s gonna take it in. You have a pretty site, with pretty pictures, but your messaging is all off, and that’s also not gonna work.
I think they’re pretty, I feel like they’re 50-50. Okay. As far as. You know the impact that they have. So you want them to be both Pretty good, to have an effective site.
Do you have a particular industry or niche?
I work primarily with a lot of entrepreneurs and bus and businesses small teams, such as coaches, consultants, and service providers, both online service providers, and local service providers. Those are typically my main clients. I’m capable of designing for anyone, but that’s who I primarily serve.
At the design agency, my old job, we’d serve large companies and corporations and that’s just it was a little less inspiring to work for a tire technology company that’s looking at their bottom line versus A consultant who just really cares about their people and wants to have a bigger impact.
When are we going to build our website?
I feel like I shouldn’t need to say this but always check your mobile view. Like sometimes people forget, and the mobile view of a website just is, it’s a poor experience and you just can’t ignore that nowadays. Menus and words are cut off and images are in the wrong place. There’s a lot that can go wrong there.
Where can people get in contact with you?
If you wanna follow me, I’m over on Instagram at Cooper and Hart. And then my website is cooper and har.com. If you are looking for a website and you need some help with it, definitely reach out to Christie. She can help you with that, and she will help you to get started and get everything. You need to do it, and have a beautiful website, beautiful and effective too.