As a small business owner, you probably already know that your website is a very important tool for marketing your brand and reaching your target audience. Ensuring your website design is attractive and functional to your audience is also necessary for success. Unfortunately, there are quite a few small business web design mistakes that are all too common. Sometimes this occurs when small business owners hire a cheap designer and believe they’re getting a value, although sometimes it’s mistakes the website operator makes by excluding certain important information.
To make sure you maximise the potential of your business website, keep these pitfalls in mind and avoid them.
Mistake 1: Not Building Trust
Building trust with your audience is arguably the most important thing any small business web design should do. There are actually some really easy and quick ways to build trust, as well as improve your conversion rate. Start my making sure your full address, company name and phone number is included on every page, preferably the footer. If you have an e-commerce storefront, make sure you are displaying badges like your SSL certificates and sitelock. After all, most people are not going to want to place an order if they doubt the professionalism and security of your website.
Finally, consider adding the rel=”publisher” link to your homepage, which points to your business’s Google+ page. This way, the image used on your Google+ profile will be displayed alongside your website on Google search results.
Mistake 2: Website is Too Flashy
It’s not uncommon for business owners to get a little carried away with the content and design of their website, requesting flashy graphics and bold colours that detract, not add value. To effectively market your brand and improve visibility, you want a clean and minimalist interface that impresses customers but makes it easy for them to find what they are looking for.
Content should be straight-forward and relevant, not a long rambling monologue or an excuse to stuff in keywords unnaturally. Users should come away with a good experience and feel like they found exactly what they were looking for.
Mistake 3: No Call to Action Buttons
Call to action buttons are important because they funnel your visitors further into your site. By keeping website users on your website for a longer amount of time, you’ll lower your bounce rate and increase the chance of a conversion. It also improves user experience by directing users exactly where they want to go, assuming it isn’t overdone. If you sell insurance, for example, you would have a call to action button encouraging users to request a quote. If you sell products online, you would have a call to action button for users to “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart.”
Mistake 4: Not Using the Rel=”Nofollow” Tag on Outbound Links
Finally, a really common small business web design mistake is not using the rel=”nofollow” tag on outbound links away from the website. While it may not seem like a big issue, it actually allows you to control the “link juice” of your website, which gets leeched out to all of your “dofollow” outbound links. Only links going to your internal pages should be “dofollow,” which means they pass along this link juice.
It’s also important to avoid linking to a lot of low authority or low quality websites, especially if you do not have a great deal of inbound links to your website.
Unfortunately, these mistakes are all too common, but very easy to fix, for the most part. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so the best option is avoiding these mistakes in the first place by working with an experienced individual who can create a custom web design for your business.