As a marketing manager at a software or technology company, you’re an expert in a lot of things: writing content, managing budgets, coordinating trade shows…the list goes on an on. But one thing you’re probably not very experienced at is website design.
Since redoing a website takes a lot of time and effort (and money), it’s important to get it right the first time around. Here’s a list of the top three website design mistakes we see marketing managers in tech making on a regular basis…and how to fix them.
Mistake #1: Prioritizing personal preference over user experience
Do you love the color red? Despise serif fonts? Have a newfound obsession with Instagram-esque filters on photos? Sorry to sound harsh, but it might be time to get over it…a seasoned B2B marketing professional knows to prioritize the needs of his/her audience over personal design preferences.
After all, the website isn’t for you: it’s to convert visitors into potential customers.
For example, you might think that two calls-to-action on a landing page is a great idea. After all, if your visitors are ready to purchase, they’ll click “buy now”; if not, they’ll click “download” to get a free trial. But this A/B split test by VMO shows that two CTAs might not be a good practice for software companies; by removing the “buy now” button and featuring only one CTA, you could experience a 30% increase in downloads of the free trial.
Mistake #2: Using too many page layouts
How many different page layouts does your B2B technology or software website use? The answer might very well be “too many.”
Obviously you want your homepage to look different from your contact page, but when you get down to the bulk of your website’s content, similar pages should look, well, similar. Avoid the temptation to use a unique layout on each blog post or 3rd-level service page; in those cases, consistency is king. Having the sidebar in the exact same location and featured image the exact same size on every blog post isn’t boring…it’s reassuring to users that they’re on the same type of page.
Mistake #3: Using too many “cool” plugins
We love WordPress because it lets you easily expand the functionality of your website through free (or low-cost) plugins. But watch out: many of these plugins can do more harm than good.
For starters, many plugins are poorly coded, leading to bugs and security holes that can slow down your website. Others use a lot of code to accomplish something relatively simple that a developer should really program from scratch. Still others let marketing managers achieve website functionality that probably isn’t providing a good user experience. (Anyone remember those talking video spokespeople that would walk onto your homepage 5-10 years ago? Yikes.)
When choosing a plugin, marketing managers should ask themselves this series of questions:
- Does the plugin have positive reviews?
- Has it been updated recently?
- Is there technical support available if I run into problems?
- Is it going to improve the user experience on my website?
If the answer to all of the above is “yes,” then go ahead and download. Otherwise, proceed with caution…that “cool” plugin you discovered might not be all it’s cracked up to be.
(Not sure where to start? Here are our top five free WordPress plugins you should check out.)
Want even more design tips for improving your website? Check out our eBook, “The Seven Deadly Sins of Designing for a B2B Technology Brand,” for advice on choosing powerful stock photography, using icons to highlight important stats and more…all great advice to help a marketing manager in tech avoid website design mistakes!