The success of your business can depend on the success of your website. That’s why avoiding common website mistakes is vital. Luckily, it’s also quite simple – you can start right now by reading this guide.
The Biggest Small Business Website Mistakes
We’ve put together a list of the 5 biggest small business website mistakes. It’s worth saying that most of the tips here apply to larger websites – and larger businesses – too.
1. Confusing Website Navigation
Unless you have a one-page website, you’ll need to make it easy for visitors to get around. Try to group your content in a way that’s clear and makes sense. Avoid adding extra pages just for the sake of it.
Most websites include a navigation bar – which is at the top of the screen. A ‘sticky’ navigation bar always stays visible – even when the user scrolls down. Your navigation bar should include links to all of your main pages. You could also add a footer – shown at the bottom of each page – for links to less important pages.
2. Web Design Issues
Ugly websites are an instant turn-off. You can avoid most web design issues by picking a good theme or template. This is easy if you use a website builder to create your own site. WordPress also comes with hundreds of themes. Either way, a theme instantly adds the same style across all your pages, for a seamless and consistent look.
You should also think about the images you add to your website. High-quality images are a great way to break up big blocks of text. Choose carefully and only add images that are relevant and attractive to look at. If you’re on a budget, try searching Google for royalty-free stock images. Many of these look great and are free to use.
3. Too Little Content
It’s important to add enough content to make everything clear. Remember that what seems obvious to you might not seem obvious to your customers. (This is especially true if your products or services are complex.) A smart tip is to ask someone who doesn’t know anything about your business to read your content.
You’ll also want to highlight any unique selling points. Think about what you do better than your competitors: Are your products or services cheaper, better quality or delivered more quickly? Or maybe you offer more sizes, styles, or flavours. Highlight the things you do best so customers will choose you!
4. Neglecting SEO
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is important: Adding keywords to your content, meta titles and meta descriptions can boost your search ranking. This could help you increase your website traffic.
But this doesn’t mean you should start ‘writing for Google’. Your content should always look natural and appealing. Remember that it’s human beings, not search engines, who’ll buy your products or services. If your content doesn’t appeal to them, then you won’t convert visitors into paying customers.
5. Forgetting a Call to Action
Last but not least on our list of the 5 biggest small business website mistakes is the all-important call to action. Each time you add a page to your website, stop and think about what you want visitors to do when they reach the end. If it’s a product sales page, you probably want them to order online. If you offer services, you might want them to phone and book a meeting.
Create a call to action for each page that encourages readers to act in a certain way. Remember to make this sound clear, helpful and friendly – not pushy. Some simple examples would include: ‘Order now for next-day delivery’ or ‘Book an appointment using the link below’.
Learn More About Website Design
Improving your website doesn’t need to be difficult. Avoiding these 5 mistakes is a great first step. But this article is really just an introduction. For more ideas and inspiration, check out this Lifehack article covering more common website mistakes to avoid.