Top 5 Web Design Mistakes Small Businesses Make

If you’re like most small business owners, you may be wondering why your website is not driving in customers. The sad truth of it is that most websites were not built to drive customers to a business. Instead, many people get caught up in making their website look “pretty”, or displaying a ton of content they assume people will want to know.  Thus, many factors that actually drive clients to contact you get overlooked. For that reason I’ve come up with a list of the most common web design mistakes small businesses make.

1. Search Engine “Unfriendly” Design

When a small business makes the decision to get a website, they must be aware of the different ways a website can be designed. There are web designs that are search engine friendly and a whole lot that are “unfriendly” to search engines. Flash websites may be pretty, but they have a tough time getting indexed by search engines. Websites designed using Frames may be inexpensive, but your site will be virtually invisible to search engines.

2. No Website Plan

Every website must have a plan and goals. The largest mistake small businesses can make with their website is not defining their website goals. Ask yourself “what do we want the visitor to do when they land on our site?” If you’re not sure, then your website goals are not clear. Clear goals help convert visitors into customers.

3. No Calls to Action

There is nothing worse than landing on a web page and having to search for the information that you’re looking for. By placing clear calls to action on your website, your visitors will be more likely to make an action instead of hitting the back button.

4. Poorly Written Copy

Small business website owners typically work within a tight budget when launching their website. Hence, they tend to write the website copy themselves. If you do write your own website copy, make sure you have other business professionals proofread your website before it goes live. Grammatical errors or typos will cause the website visitor to leave your website immediately.

5. Ignoring Search Engine Optimization

Websites do not attract visitors by themselves. Your website needs to be positioned high on search engines in order to reach your target visitor. Search engine optimization is the process of improving the online visibility of a website by researching keywords your target visitor uses to search, implementing these keywords in specific areas of the content and code, and building links to the website. This process takes time and energy. When in doubt, it’s best to consult with an SEO professional.

The great thing about websites is they give small business an even playing field to compete online. Follow these five simple steps, and your website will be very successful in a short order.

Whether you use your website to sell your products or services or simply to spread the word about your business, your website is a crucial piece of your online marketing and branding efforts. That is why getting it right the first time is so important. Unfortunately, most business owners don’t hit the bullseye or even the target on their first try. What goes wrong? Many things. But for brevity’s sake, let’s discuss the four most common mistakes.

1. Leaping Before You Look
We know you’re in a hurry to get your web address up and running, but if you don’t take the time to research your target audience, your efforts may all be in vain. In fact, it will be far more frustrating and expensive to redo your site for a new target market than it would have been to know your audience from the start.

What information should you gather? Age is an obvious and influential consideration for any business owner. If, for example, your target audience is older, you may want to use larger font sizes. If your website is geared toward younger users, you must make sure your pages are smartphone compatible.

2. Over-the-top Design

Flashy, busy websites may have been all the rage five years ago. But nowadays, these designs simply do not look as impressive on smaller tablet screens or mobile devices. As mobile use continues to increase, online marketing companies are focusing more on simple, classic designs that are easy to view and navigate on much smaller screens.

3. Stale Content

A significant number of business owners fail to update their web pages on a regular basis. As a result, product information and prices may have changed since the site was last revised. Then, when the customer goes to buy, he or she finds out that an item is more expensive than it was only a moment ago. These types of errors are not only unprofessional, but they also usually result in lost sales. So, if you don’t have the time or experience to faithfully update your website, hire a professional to do it for you.

4. Doing Everything Yourself

While it is true that it’s now possible for almost anyone to create a template-based website on their own, these pages often fail to impress. Most are simple, generic web addresses that don’t tell your visitors much about your company or brand. What makes you different? That is a difficult question to answer with a simple template.