If you run a small business your web design is probably one of the most important parts of your digital marketing and PR efforts: it is the face of your company, your 24/7 salesperson, maybe even your main sales point.
Most small businesses make a lot of website mistakes and miss out on online marketing and SEO opportunities.
Don’t be one of them - read on to find out the biggest small business website mistakes and how to avoid them or fix them.
5. A cluttered website
We know you want to “make the most” of your little corner of the internet, but a site full of text, info, images and buttons is not necessarily a successful website: all the clutter and unnecessary graphics will confuse your visitors, who may even leave your site without buying. Good web design is easy to navigate and lets your visitors find what they are looking for easily and quickly
Instead of cramming everything into your homepage, prioritize and organize your information. Think “less is more” when it comes to images and text, and remember empty space is your friend, because it allows your information to really stand out.
One web design strategy for de-cluttering your site leads us to the next frequent mistake on our list.
4. Poor navigation
Think of how you’d feel if your supermarket had all the signage wrong, and you wanted to buy milk but kept being directed to the vegetables or the cleaning supplies. You’d leave that supermarket in a hurry and never return, right?
Visitors come to your website looking for something, and a good web design will ensure they find it in the first try. Great design should result in a good navigation menu that is intuitive and easy to use. This way your web site will be a lot more user friendly, and result in more return visits and sales.
A good tip is to use graphics and icons to help your visitors navigate your site. Websites that work tend to also use “breadcrumb navigation”, so the user always knows exactly where in the page they are and so they can easily get to wherever they want to go.
3. Too many colors, too little contrast
Do you remember the websites from the early 90s? They had very patterned backgrounds, animated titles and colorful Word Art. They were very, very ugly, but their real crime was that they were totally unreadable. Good web designers use tools such as a Color Contrast checker to make sure that their color combos are not just beautiful, but highly readable.
A very important aspect of great design is that is caters to everyone. Remember there are many people using the Internet who suffer from various types of color blindness, and use a Colorblindness Simulator to ensure that your web design is easy to read for everyone who visits your page.
A good tip is to use size and weight to differentiate and create contrast, which has the additional plus of using fewer colors and making your site even easier to read and navigate.
2. Stiff, not responsive website
People nowadays surf the web on many different devices: besides good old computers there are tablets, smart phones, readers, smart TVs… and the list is only going to grow. An old-school website will look good on a computer, but be awkward and out of shape in other devices.
The good news is that you do not need to know how to code, nor do you have to hire an expert in PHP, HTML or UX to make your site mobile friendly. Many web development tools such as WordPress come ready with responsive templates and structures to make sure you have the best website no matter what tool is used to access it.
1. No clear call to action
What is it you want your visitors to do? Buy? Subscribe? Fill a survey? Good web development agencies and anyone worth their salt working in digital marketing know that a clear call to action (known as CTA) is the single most important part of your design. Whatever you want your visitors to do, design your site so it is both obvious and easy for them.
You can spend a lot of time and money on Oklahoma City web design services, and pore over analytics, SEM and digital advertising, but your bottom line will not improve until you ensure your CTAs are on point. This means no more than 2 clear, visible, highly clickable CTAs per page.
Our OKC web design team at Bridges has built a number of excellent websites, assisting them with everything from hosting and domain name to tracking and marketing tools such as HubSpot.
Let us help you avoid the biggest small business website mistakes and make your website the best it can be, so it can become a real asset for your business.
Ashley Quintana is a co-founder of Bridges. In her role, she develops, leads, and executes digital marketing strategies for the company’s growing client base, including a Fortune 500 subsidiary and an NBA basketball team. Ashley’s work can be found in the Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Science, and she is an OKC.biz 40 Under 40 honoree for her leadership in business and community. She frequently speaks at universities, churches, and conferences on marketing, diversity, and business.