One of the biggest mistakes a designer can make when designing a website is trying to accomplish too much. This often results in a very cluttered website that is hard to navigate and that doesn’t accomplish any goals successfully because it tries to do too many things.

First, you need to identify the goals of the website and then create a design that fits the goals. For example, if you are creating the main website that needs to rank high in search engines, you need a lot of menus on it. You need extensive, excellent navigation and sitemaps. Search engine bots will crawl the website and punish it with low rankings if it doesn’t provide excellent user experience and by user experience, search engines understand the opportunity to navigate freely across the website.

It is also possible that you want to generate leads or sales. In this case, having people wander around is not what you want. For someone to make a buying decision, they need to be in a certain emotional state. Getting into an emotional state takes time, which is why you don’t want people spending a few seconds on one page and a few seconds on the other. You want them to stay on one page and read, listen or watch your sales message in full. To do that, they need to focus on the message, not switch between sites or pages on a site.

This is one of the reasons why Twitter has issues with monetizing the platform by selling advertising: it is simply not possible to get someone into an emotional state in 140 characters. This is also why Twitter is testing longer videos and paid subscriptions. If your goal is to sell, design a website or a set of pages that will sell. Not inform, not educate and not entertain. All of these may be elements of a sales process, but elements are different from goals. What makes web design successful is knowing the difference between the two.