Web Design Mistakes Small Businesses Make

Web Design Mistakes Small Businesses Make
Web Design Mistakes Small Businesses Make

As a small business, your website is a vital piece of your marketing and branding efforts.

Visitors are coming to your website for a specific reason, and you want to ensure that you answer their questions and use your website to sell your product or service.

If you get your website designed wrong, you can easily lose thousands initially, and ultimately lose even more money in potential revenue that you could be making from a well designed, properly functioning website.

Grow your bottom line by avoiding many of these common mistakes among business owners:

Putting urgency over understanding your target market.

Instead of focusing on getting your website done as soon as possible, you must first research your target audience in your specific market. Then, design your website around your research.

For instance, if your target market is older, perhaps the font size should be larger. Or if your product is geared towards a younger demographic, then you need to think about catering your site to be smartphone compatible.

You’re going to have to determine where should your users go once they get to your site? That question is easily answered if you know your market.

Using DIY or Free Tools

Don’t get me wrong, DIY, Free and WordPress type tools all have their place; especially if you are running a Bootstrapped business starting up on a shoestring budget then there are plenty of tools out there which you can use. I’m not going to go into which ones are the best, it’s not our field of expertise. The reason for DIY and Free website tools being so poor is that they tend to lack features, hold lots of code bloat, be buggy and difficult to customise. At the end of the day you may be an expert in your field, but you are not a web designer. Would you consider building your own house or car? Probably not, so why would you try that approach with your website.

A good website is designed to engage potential customers and generate sales and enquiries for your business, it should also grow as your business grows. DIY and Free options place barriers which disable this.

Quite often when I say this to business owners, their response is, “Well, I built my own website using WordPress and it does generate enquiries for me.” – That’s great, but what if you could have a website which generates 10 times or even 100 times more enquiries than you are currently getting? How would that feel?

However, when your business is established and you require a wider feature set on your website, which needs to now scale at the same pace as your business, you really need to consider having a bespoke web presence built by seasoned web professionals. Engaging with an established online or digital agency means that you get the added bonus of working with professionals who also understand business strategy, growth and optimisation.

No clear call to action

What do you want users to do once they’ve found your website? Do you want them to buy your product, contact you, or subscribe to your business e-newsletter? You need to tell visitors what the next step is and when (ideally, now!). Your content should answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” and then the call to action tells them what to do next.

Color & Contrast

Colour and contrast aren’t usually high up on the list of priorities for a small business owner when it comes to creating a website. But it should be, because if your website text does not have sufficient contrast compared to its background, people will have difficulties reading your content, especially people with poor vision or color-blindness.

colorcontrastAside from plain readability, colour and contrast are important because they can be used to create visual interest and direct the attention of the user. It can equally be effective in organising and defining the flow and hierarchy of a page, and it’s, therefore, an essential principle to pay attention to during the design process. Here are some tips:

•  Using a free a Colour Contrast tool, which conforms to accepted standards, you can easily check to see how the contrast on your website measures up.

•  Research how major sites use colour and contrast to improve readability and highlight specific sections and use this knowledge to experiment with colour schemes.

•  One of best ways to create contrast is via a size difference between two elements, making some things appear larger than others. This works especially well with a minimal colour scheme, and it means you don’t have to necessarily rely on colour.

Not Enough Content

For some reason, most new websites just don’t have enough content.

And that’s a problem because Google doesn’t like ‘thin’ websites. Google prefers websites with more (and better quality) content. How much content? Well, a recent study on over 540 UK B2B websites showed that ‘Best in Class’ websites who get a top 3 position in the search rankings typically have 104 pages, whereas the Industry Average is just 48.

The quickest and easiest way to do address this is to create more service pages. For example, if you are an accountant, don’t just have a generic services page listing all your services. Create separate pages for EACH service (payroll, annual returns, PAYE, Investments, Personal Tax, Company Formation, Auditing, etc..).

This is a really important point because it allows you to cast a wider net and give Google some really important information about who you are and the EXACT products or services that you offer.

Now in terms of the length of each page, this is another important point. Most websites’ pages are just too short. Ideally, they should be a minimum 500 words per page or 1000 if you can.

Now before you say that you can’t think how to do that, try this little exercise. Imagine that a prospective client phones you and they ask you about a particular product or service that you offer. Run through an imaginary conversation. You’d tell them all about the pros and cons, the advantages, benefits, etc. to try to make sure that they understand it.

Maybe you would make a comparison with alternatives and help them understand everything they need to make an informed decision. Use Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) & answer every possible question you can think of.

This content serves two audiences – the search engines like Google and your prospective clients. People want to be educated and they are information hungry so you are really killing two birds with one stone.

Write it all done and you’ll soon see that finding 500 words is easy.

So come on, get cracking and let’s get that valuable extra content up there for Google and for your prospective clients.

Not Asking For Help

Not Asking For Help

We do very often come across business owners who are simply happier doing it themselves. With websites, however, what you see isn’t always what you get. Sometimes paying a small amount of money for some advice is invaluable. We provide a support mechanism for our customers which means they pay a small amount on a monthly basis and they can call us for advice about their online strategy whenever they like without the clock ticking.