Credit: Web Design Image via Shutterstock
Creating the perfect website for your small business is about much more than simply picking the right domain name and pictures. Companies must instead be able to include practical information about their business while also avoiding common mistakes that often plague websites.
"Small businesses need to be represented in those consumer online searches even if they don’t actually sell products or services online," said LogoGarden.com, a web and logo design company. "However, just having a website isn’t enough. If a website isn’t appealing or functions poorly it could hurt a business more than help it."
Businesses looking to avoid those problems and make the most of their website can do so by avoiding these four common mistakes.
Avoid complicated Web design —"Don’t use every technical trick and all the bells and whistles you can fit into your website," LogoGarden said. "If your website doesn’t load quickly and accurately in a visitor’s Web browser or mobile device, they’ll leave and might never return. Choose design elements that enhance your site rather than damage the user experience. Less is more when it comes to Web design."
Avoid overflowing content —"Research shows that you have just three seconds to communicate your message on a Web page to visitors before they’ll click away," LogoGarden said. "Oftentimes the first thing you will want to do is fill up the page with text, photos and as much information as possible. By doing this you commit the deadly mistake of overkill and end up sacrificing quality for quantity. Instead, make it clear through your website messages that you specialize in one type of business, product or service. Determine your niche and become the go-to business for that niche. Complement this message with clean and relevant images. You want the website to be a simplistic guide, easy to follow and useful."
Don't look like your competitors—"Copying your competitors is dangerous," LogoGarden said. "You have got to find a way to stand out from the competition! Create your own messages, reputation and strategies, and allow those unique aspects of your business to shine in your website design, promotions and communications. You need to stand out from the crowd, not blend in."
Don't build it, and wait for people to come to your site —"Getting traffic to your business website is not as simple as the famous line, 'If you build it, they will come,'" LogoGarden said. "In order to drive traffic to your website you have several options, you can advertise on sites like Google or Facebook, or you can join online conversations happening on blogs, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. By publishing comments and sharing your own expertise, you can post links to your relevant content. It takes time to build credibility in search engine keyword results. It certainly doesn’t happen overnight and will take some proactive measures on your part. You can also join affiliate programs, send emails, newsletters, and partner with other sites and businesses to find traffic-sharing opportunities."