10 Mistakes to Avoid on Your Small Business Website

10 Mistakes to Avoid on Your Small Business Website

Every modern business needs a website. According to the most recent data, 92 percent of customers visit a company’s website before making a purchase.  But consumers judge small business websites very harshly. Studies show that customers take less than 0.05 seconds to decide if they like your website. In that time, they are also deciding whether they like your business. Your website has an important job. In less than one second, your website must convince potential clients and customers that they should stay on your site.

Conveying important information in less than one second is no easy job. In fact, most small business websites contain serious errors that drive customers away. Read on to learn 10 best practices for building a better small business website.

Mistake #1 – The website is too slow.

Customers expect websites to load in less than two seconds.  If your website takes too long to load, potential customers will simply visit a competitor’s website. Make sure that your small business’s website always loads quickly and smoothly. Have your website administrator check the website periodically to make sure that there are no issues with loading or speed on any of the pages.

Mistake #2 – The website was not professionally designed.

Many small business owners save money by doing things by themselves. However, unless you have taken the proper courses, you should not design your own website. If you don’t know how to promptly fix your website if it crashes, the time it will take you to figure it out – not to mention the potential customers and clients you will lose while you do so – will cost you more than it will “save.” Hiring a website professional is the best use of your money and time.

Mistake #3 – The website is poorly maintained.

Customers expect your website to be fully operational at all times. Broken links, “under construction” pages, or error codes tell customers that your business is either very new or very untrustworthy. Either way, the website will not inspire confidence in your brand. Ask your website professional to keep your site properly maintained. A professional can build a professional website and troubleshoot any issues that might arise.

Mistake #4 – The website is difficult to navigate.

Customers and clients visit websites to get information – and they want that information quickly. But hard-to-navigate websites make customers hunt for information that should be easy to find. To make navigation easy, use a simple navigation bar with just a few options. (Use no more than five.) Place the navigation menu at the top of the page in an easy to find location. Avoid adding unnecessary drop-down menus that will confuse clients. A clean navigation strategy will help clients find what they need when they need it.

Mistake #5 – The website is not optimized for mobile users.

The average American checks her smartphone more than 50 times a day.  So, it should come as no surprise that smartphones are responsible for more than half of all website traffic and over 40% of online transactions.  Therefore, small businesses must make sure that their websites can be easily seen on smartphones. Mobile customers will not buy from your brand if your website doesn’t load properly or is difficult to view on a mobile phone. A professional website designer can help you ensure that visitors can access your website from any device.

Mistake #6 – The website is poorly designed.

Your website design should be inviting, clean, and easy to navigate. Websites that are cluttered with dozens of pop-ups, videos, scrolling content, and other distracting items make it hard for customers to easily find what they need. Similarly, websites that have nothing but giant, unbroken walls of text with nothing else appear amateurish. Your small business website should have a balance of elements that attract customers and keep them interested. A web design professional can help you achieve this balance.

Mistake #7 – The website has no content or outdated content.

Your website’s content is its most important feature. Websites without content are useless to consumers – and to businesses. Potential clients visit websites to get information, but websites without content have no information to give. Similarly, websites with outdated content tell consumers that your business is out-of-date and out-of-touch. Add fresh content such as blog posts and articles to your website on a regular basis. Ideally at least once a week. This new content will let visitors know that they have found a thriving business..

Equally important, when you update your website with new content, you signal to the search engines like Google, that your website offers searchers relevant content. Posting regularly gives your website a better chance of ranking higher on search results for people searching for specific content or businesses.

Mistake #8 – The website’s copy is not readable.

Make sure that your website’s design makes the content easy to read. For instance, this post is easy to read because it has dark letters on a light background. If the letters and the background were the same color, it would be difficult to read this post. Similarly, make sure that the font is neither too large nor too small. Ask a professional website designer to evaluate your website’s readability.

Mistake #9 – The website’s copy is poorly written.

As stated, small business websites need content to survive. But having content is not enough; the content must be well-written. Experts found that poor spelling and grammar were the number one factor that caused consumers to develop a negative view of a brand. In fact, 60 percent of customers said that they would not use a company that had obvious misspellings and errors on its webpage. Proofread every piece on content on your website to ensure that every page is error-free.

Mistake #10 – The website’s contact information is missing or hard to find.

Customers and clients visit your page because they are researching your company. These people might want to call or email you with questions about the goods you sell or the services you provide. If these visitors can’t easily find your contact information, they will simply visit your competitor. Make your contact information clear and easy to find. Also, make sure that there is a “Contact” section on your website’s navigation bar. Finally, add social media buttons in a prominent place to help customers contact you via social channels.

Creating a website that helps your business grow takes time. If you find that you lack the time or know-how to create a website while running a small business, don’t despair. Contact the Social Channel Marketing Group. We can operate, design, and create content for your small business website. Contact us today for a free website evaluation and consultation.

Nareissa Smith

Nareissa is an attorney and experienced writer who strives to exceed client expectations as Social Channel’s Digital Content Creator. After graduating law school with honors, Nareissa went on to teach writing courses at several law schools. As a result, she knows the rules of grammar inside and out. Nareissa adheres to the adage, “There is no such thing as good writing; there is only good editing.” When creating your content, Nareissa will painstakingly review all copy to ensure not only that it is error free, but also easily found and clearly understood by your intended audience. She will work tirelessly to guarantee that the content embodies your voice and message.

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