For many small businesses, a website is one of the very first things that make their business seem “real.” In fact, for the increasing number of small businesses that don’t have a physical storefront, their website serves as their primary first point of contact for new business. Regardless of whether you have a physical store front, an ever-increasing number of potential clients will reach out to your business online before they ever will face to face. The great news is, your site can enable you to grasp clients you could never influence face to face. The awful news is, you’re likely messing it up.
Here are 5 common ways small businesses mess up their website, and how to avoid them:
If you’re not online, you don’t exist to most of your potential clients. A website is maybe your most important engagement point with a potential customer short of a face to face conversation. Even then, you can bet your potential customers are checking out your website before they ever have a conversation with you.
Incidentally, a Facebook page isn’t a website. There are a great deal of reasons why Facebook isn’t a sufficient substitute for a site.
When users visit your site, they need to know your identity, what you do, and presumably above all – how they can get in contact with you.
Make it simple for your clients, and potential clients, to contact you by incorporating a contact page with the most ideal path for them to interface with a genuine individual. A lot of companies use contact forms, which is fine, but you’d be surprised how much more accessible you seem when you include your email address and/or a phone number.
There’s nothing worse than a website that’s completely out of date. If the most current entry in your list of “events,” is 4 months old, you’re sending a message that you don’t really care much about anyone who comes to the page. Or, if your blog hasn’t seen a new post for more than a week or so, visitors start to wonder what happened to you.
Ensure your information is current, and if you’re a retail business, make sure your site incorporates your current business hours. Think like a consumer, and make sure that any of the information they may be trying to find on your site is not only available but up to date.
Unless you’re a web designer it’s a really bad idea to design your own website. Sure, it’s easy–there are literally hundreds of inexpensive options to build websites–but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for your business.When your site is the beginning stage for most of your clients, it merits contributing some time, effort, and cash in doing it right.
Find a partner that can help you evaluate the message you want to communicate, and help you craft a design that represents–and reinforces your brand. There’s a saying, “you can pay now, or you can pay later.” Search for an ally that can assist you in creating the message you need to convey, and help you make a site that speaks to – and strengthens your image.
Over 52 percent of all web traffic is from mobile devices. If your website design doesn’t adapt to mobile browsers, you’re missing the chance to reach half of your potential customers. Much the same as it’s imperative to make it simple for potential customers to discover the info they need, or get in touch with you, make it simple for them to do both of those things from their mobile medium.
At a minimum, you’re telling them you don’t really care about their business because you couldn’t be bothered to use one of the gagillion mobile-responsive themes available from basically every content management platform out there.
Your site should fill a need. For most organizations, the idea is to manage potential clients into an association with your business. Think about the things that matter to them and ignore pretty much everything else.
Try not to utilize language that bodes well to insiders, except if your site is just for insiders. You are not your customer. You already understand your product, or your company, or whatever. Consider every page, graphic, link, and text on your site, and be ruthless about making sure it is geared towards your target. That means that calls-to-action (CTAs) should be clear and relevant to your potential customers.