Your website is integral to your marketing efforts and the reputation of your business. A poorly designed site will waste your budget and time initially, but you’ll also lose out on potential customers as they turn away to your competitors. A well-designed site encourages users to explore your products and services, commit to your intended action, and purchase your products or get in touch with your company.
Visitors access your site for a reason, and you want to make sure that you provide what they are looking for and present your business in the best possible light. Avoid the following web design mistakes to ensure that you make the right impression on potential customers.
1. Not Doing Your Research
Your website is your online real estate, and just like any real estate project, you have to make sure you’re building on solid foundations. Do your research and determine your target audience, using that information to inform your design choices and web development.
If you’re targeting an older audience, consider making your font size larger and reducing color contrast to ensure your web pages are easy to read. If your products are aimed towards a younger generation, you might want to pay special attention to social share options and making your website mobile friendly. Your design choices should always be based on what you know about your target audience.
2. Cluttered Page Layout
Small business websites have a common problem. Inexperienced and DIY web designers can get carried away with their creativity, cramming in as much as possible on every web page. The result? A cluttered and busy web page that is almost unreadable – 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the layout is unattractive.
Keep your visitors in mind and use ample white space to let your web design elements breathe. The more features on a page, the more divided your user’s attention. Focus on the purpose of each page and make your content easy to read to increase engagement and improve user experience.
3. No CTAs
What do you want people to do when they visit your website? Do you want them to purchase a product, sign up to your email list, or get in contact with your business?
If you don’t ask people to commit to the next step, they won’t do it. Use strong and clear calls to action to tell the user what to do next. Your supporting content should answer the question, “what’s in it for me?”
4. Choosing A Web Designer Purely on Price
While it might be possible to find a great web designer that is just starting out and willing to work for reduced rates, the general rule is that you get what you pay for. Your small business website is the hub of your online presence, hiring a cheap web designer can result in a terrible end product that does more to damage your company’s reputation than improve it.
That being said, an expensive design agency might not be the right choice either. Most small businesses are focused on the ROI of their website, whereas large agencies working with major brands can be more focused on brand visibility and web development that doesn’t align with your business goals. Research possible web designers for your project and clearly state your goals to ensure you get a quality end product.
5. Targeting Everyone
Another reason to do your research and know your target audience. By trying to please everyone, your website will fail to make an impression on anyone.
Define your target audience and compile information on everything you know about them. Use this information to create the best possible experience for your target audience. The more you know your audience, the more you can target your web copy and design elements, and the more your audience will feel you are talking to them.
6. Choosing the DIY Route
The chances are that your website will be the first interaction that your potential customers have with your business. If you don’t have any experience with web design, do you really think that you’ll be able to produce a quality end product?
First impressions are crucial in business. Don’t let a poorly designed website damage the credibility of your business.
7. Complicated Navigation
Poor navigation is a sure fire way to frustrate visitors. We live in a fast-paced world, where people want and expect to find things quickly. The average human attention span has declined to 8 seconds. Making your website hard to navigate will see your user abandon your site and disappear back to the SERP. Make your menus and navigation elements easy to find, and intuitive to use to encourage users to explore your site.
8. Contact Information is Hard to Find
Make it easy for visitors to find your contact information. According to KoMarketing, 44% of visitors will abandon a company website if they can’t find a phone number or contact information. What’s the point of having a website if users cant get in touch with you to find out more about your products and services? While you don’t have to dedicate space on every page to contact information, users should be able to find it with a single click.
9. Website is Not Secure (HTTPS)
It’s an unfortunate reality that data breaches are becoming more and more common. Around 18.5 million websites are infected with malware at any given time. Securing your user’s data should be a priority anyway, but you’ll also be punished in search engine rankings if you don’t secure your site.
Not having a secure website is a warning sign for your visitors and search engines, and it’s not just for e-commerce stores. If you request any personal information from users, your site must be secure.
10. No Testing
How many times have you accessed a web page to find the content and design elements distorted? Testing is a crucial stage in the development of a website. Your web designer should have a checklist in place to ensure your site is tested before it goes live.
l Is your design consistent across all browsers and devices?
l Can search engines effectively crawl your website?
l Are all internal and external links working?
Conduct sufficient testing before you start directing your potential customers to your website.
Your small business website is the hub of your online presence. While it might not be necessary to spend a fortune on developing your website, it is important the components of successful small business web design, follow the best practices and hire a professional if you have no experience with web design.
It’s not enough to simply throw up a cheap small business website with your phone number. The modern consumer expects an engaging and enjoyable browsing experience when they access a website. If you’re not providing it, they will find a company that does.
THE 10 COMPONENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL SMALL BUSINESS WEBSITE