The web is getting “smarter” almost every minute, and there are some common mistakes small businesses make when it comes to website design.
Undoubtedly the greatest mistake anyone can make concerning web design is to think that it is static. Websites have grown beyond their original use – displaying information about a company. Small businesses should be aware of this, as well as other common web design mistakes they may be making.
Here are 5 common web design mistakes small businesses tend to make. Put into classes in order to stay simple and concise.
1. Not having a ‘reasonable’ budget
When it comes to attaining a website, the cost is one of the major setbacks for small businesses. This is understandable, your business may be new and have limited resources. Paying too much or too little for your website are both mistakes, but what is worse is to “play-it-safe” by taking the DIY route; unless you are a web designer yourself or have a tonne of time to invest.
The best option is to come up with a reasonable budget for your website design; one that is neither too low nor too high, but primarily based on your needs and features you require from the website.
2. Not securing required features based on the website’s purpose
The primary purpose of a website is to be the digital representation of your business. You need to ensure that you have some basic technologies in place to make your website fast, safe and secure; especially if you intend to sell online. Building a high-definition eCommerce website without implementing the right SSL security certificates will only end up losing your customers, for example.
Likewise, tools and services which help you optimise your website to rank higher in search engines such as Google should be considered, as your beautiful new eCommerce site will be of little use if your customers cannot find it.
3. Implementing the wrong design strategy
How your website looks and feels, as well as the ease of with which it can be used, will determine whether or not your visitors will stick around or leave.
Too much design (e.g. excess colours, fonts and images) on a single page is a mistake, as it makes your website appear cluttered. Too little design is equally problematic as it makes the site appear barren or boring.
Another important tool for small businesses that are usually underutilized CTA buttons; Call-to-Action. These buttons are designed to drive traffic to your desired locations. You don’t want to make navigating your website a difficult task by choosing small, hidden and confusing menus.
4. Not having a suitable content structure
Just as important as design is content when it comes to website design. Many small businesses have the tendency to “load up” most of their pages with too much content and they actually make their website less attractive. On the other hand, some small businesses add too little content and you begin to wonder if they actually mean business.
A huge mistake is to have a website with no means of contacting you. If possible, you want your business name, entity type and contact to appear on almost every page, usually on the footer, to make it easy to get in touch with you.
Content on a business website should be updated frequently and be well-structured. Most importantly, content on each page of a website should be organised in a way that adds value and makes the visitor want to do business with you.
5. Not understanding your market and its needs
It is easy to presume that your business is for everyone. This assumption will put you at a disadvantage, however; you can’t make everyone happy. As an example, while younger audiences may appreciate smaller fonts and mobile-friendliness, older audiences tend to prefer larger and clearer fonts, with less of what they would call “distractions”.
It is important for small businesses to consider the audience they’re seeking to reach and make it easy for that audience to find, interact and relate with them. Once you have a clear picture of your target audience in mind, you have to focus on website design tools that will be relevant to them, and your business.
The internet makes it very easy to start and run a small business, especially if you have a website. However, as a small business, the mistakes above can put you at a disadvantage and hinder your efforts and need to be addressed.