Top 10 Website Mistakes Small Business Make
As a small business owner, you’re probably not considering your website as a priority, however, with over 85% of consumers using the internet to search for businesses like yours, you’re wrong not to.
Reasons to change your perspective:
Your customers expect for you to have a website (and updated one at that).
It’s usually your first and only chance at making a good first impression.
Without a website (or outdated one) you’re not going to show up in Google search results.
You control the narrative and storyline.
It’s the perfect place to showcase your product and/or services.
Now that we established the need for a website, lets get into some of the common mistakes being made by small businesses that have an impact on your customers engagement with your site.
Urgency over Understanding
You’re scrambling to piece together a website to get something out there with little consideration of content and your user’s experience with your website. You’re simply not making your website a priority; this is probably not the case for your physical location, so why should it be for your website. Think things through and layout a plan. A simple navigation outline is all that’s needed (download our sample).
2. Thinking that Wordpress is your best and only option.
Wordpress is not the only solution and nor should it be the only one you consider. There are so many good platforms to chose from that are more user intuitive and don’t require the maintenance that Wordpress sites do. Three of the most widely used are Wix, Shopify, and Squarespace. Each of these offer similar features, however, Shopify was specifically developed for e-commerce and not for designing a general website. Among the three, we recommend Squarespace .
3. Thinking your website is a necessity and not a priority.
I’m going to say it again…85% of consumers use the internet to look up businesses like yours. Make your experience a memorable one and make it count by making your website a priority.
4. Not considering the mobile user.
So 85% of consumers use the internet to search for businesses (I said it again); more than 60% of those users are using their mobile device to do so (for restaurants that number is closer to 90%). Is your website mobile friendly? Take the Google mobile friendly test: Google Mobile Friendly Tool
5. You’re not looking at your site from a visitors perspective.
You’re either too close to the business, or you haven’t thought about it. When you design a website, your focus should be on how your user will interact with the site. Is it intuitive and easy to navigate? Start by looking at your design through the lens of your customer.
6. Outdated information and/or website design.
Face it, you’re busy, time gets by and next thing you know your website information is outdated and/or it’s still sitting on a foundation of old technology. Both scenarios are costly to your business. Only 30% of all small business websites are mobile-friendly, meaning that they are significantly outdated and, more than likely, the information on these websites is outdated. Take a look at your website, are you among the 70% of small businesses with an outdated website?
7. Poor website design.
Ask yourself a simple question… "Do I like the design of my website and does it reflect my business well?" If you’re not sure, ask one of your employees or friends for feedback. A customer’s first impression is 94% design related and in the same study 46% of consumers based their decision solely on visual appeal and design of the website.
8. Your website is not secure.
Google will eliminate your business from any searches if your site isn’t secure. Not to mention, your site is also more vulnerable to hacks and malware. You can easily identify whether your site is secure by opening your site and looking at address bar. If your URL starts with https:// , it’s secure. E-commerce sites (like the one below) that are not secure is costing small businesses billions in sales potential since the data they collect is not secure.
Here is how you can tell if your site is secure or not:
9. Not optimizing your site for Search Engines.
SEO is a buzzword for many small businesses. But small businesses neglect to understand that a good SEO strategy begins with optimizing their websites. Simply put, small businesses need to make sure every page on their website has the appropriate page title and descriptive text. Images should have the appropriate meta data or tags that allow search engines to understand who you are and what each page represents. Additionally, you should be submitting your site the search consoles along with your site’s site-map. Here are the links to the big two: Google Search Console and Bing Search Console.
10. Not hiring a pro.
You probably think that this is a sales pitch, it’s not. You know your business well, but I would guess that developing and designing a website is not your expertise. If this is the case, you really should consider consulting a pro before embarking on your website design endeavor. There are so many nuances to consider that you're bound to miss a few.
To help you get your website design project started we’ve created a Small Business Website Design Guide. The guide covers the initial planning of your website’s design, choosing the right website design platform, procuring content for your website, website design best practices, SEO basics to improve your small business search ranking, and a website design pre-launch checklist. You can download it here: The Essential Small Business Website Design Guide