Small businesses can have a tough time. As a small business owner you will know the feeling that all areas of your business are down to you. You will have to wear many hats from logistics, to marketing to finance to business management. Whilst it is is not always easy to flit from one role to the other, it is essential that we are all investing time getting our heads around the different areas of our business and learning how to do it all effectively.
That is never more true than when it comes to our websites. As a small business, your website is one of the most crucial parts of your company. It represents your brand, underpins all your marketing and it positions your company to stand out from the crowd. Getting your website wrong can mean the difference between business success and business failure. There are many mistakes that small business owners are making due to the complex nature of getting websites right. Here are our list of three of the most common mistakes that small businesses are making when it comes to their websites, which can make all the difference between growth and decline.
It is natural to be slightly impatient to get all your hard work up online to show to the world what you are all about. However launching websites, due to concerns over time constraints, before they are ready to be launched, is one of the most common mistakes that small business owners make.
Any new website should be built from the ground up, starting with solid research and careful planning. So instead of worrying about getting your website finished, you must first be researching your industry, competitors and your target market. The design, structure and content of your website should then be constructed around your findings. If you are struggling to find the right design and content balance to reflect your findings then find a web designer who understands the needs of small business. It can be so easy to get the details of a website wrong depending on your target market as it is all in the fine tuning. Older demographics, for example require larger fonts, younger markets are becoming increasingly demanding and expect the best technology and browsing features. So make sure you are spending time getting to the heart of what your demographic want and need in a website and build yours around those objectives.
Confusing Design Elements
Another common mistake is to get carried away with the design of the website and end up with a style that is either too busy or a little bit too flashy. Online browsers rate ease of functionality and sleek, simple designs over over complicated and overly technical websites, so again make sure that you are not getting too carried away with your site.
When creating any website for the first time, it is easy to forget that you are going to need to create two different versions. One will be for laptop and computer viewing and the other will be a mobile phone version. As so many online users now search and browse from their mobile phones, it is essential that all websites are optimised for both versions. Flashy and over complicated websites with too many large photos or videos are not going to work well on more simple phone browser and will take forever to download. Meaning that online shoppers will get frustrated and go looking elsewhere.
No Call to Action
The whole concept of a ‘Call to Action’ can be somewhat reserved to marketing and copywriting experts. So it is natural and very common for small businesses, starting out, to oversee the importance of this feature. A call to action is a function that allows your visitors to do what you would like them to do once they have found your website. Whether that is to snap up that first time purchase 25% discount or whether it is downloading that free brochure to become part of your mailing list.
Therefore you must be spending time thinking about what it is exactly that you want visitors to do when they visit your site. The content of your site should always answer the consumer question ‘what is in this for me?’ and your call to action should always answer that by telling them what to do next. Your call to action will make all the difference between people clicking away, without taking any action, and between them making the action that you want them to take in order to gain new clients, build your reputation, boost sales and create a strong and long-lasting website and business.