"Your website is your opportunity to showcase the value of working with your business, as an employee or as a customer. It also allows for you to project your product offerings and messaging exactly as you wish them to be seen."
Eek, sounds important! It is important, and it's worth the investment to build up a website that represents your mission, gathers potential customers and propels the business to a new level.
One of the biggest mistakes that small-business-owners-turned-web-entrepreneurs make is trying too hard. Simplicity is a value here, making sure pertinent information is clear, concise and easy to find.
Other than that, there are some pretty common complaints when it comes to first-time sites. Don't fall victim to the dreaded 'Back' button and make sure you keep people on your page by avoiding these mistakes:
- Too much content. Both visually confusing and over-complex, filling the site with text is a no-no. The 'back' button is the internet equivalent to flipping the page - keep it relevant!
- Not being mobile friendly. Essentially, this means that any time a user attempts to view your site on a tablet or smart phone they are not getting the full experience. There are businesses devoted to converting your site to be mobile-friendly. Just look around - not being accessible via tablet? That eliminates half your potential customer base!
- Burying the lead. In this case, your contact info! This should be the most prevalent information, not some after-thought stuck at the bottom of the page. Reorganise with the idea that you have less than thirty seconds to get your customer to contact you, before they get frustrated and click 'back'.
- Failing to utilise Search Engine Optimisation. Snazzy sites are not really that snazzy if they do not drive you any business. Make a list of the 25 best industry buzz words or phrases that relate to your business and go from there.
- Too many gadgets and gizmos - most importantly, logos or banners that flash, spin, sing, dance or any other of these obnoxious unnecessary elements.
Nit-pick and be precise. People dislike typos, grammatical errors and misspelled words. It implies that you do not care enough to take time to edit for perfection. What does that say about your brand or your product?
Stale content, dead links, outdated or sparsely filled calendars are also deal breakers. They are simply signs to potential customers that you lack follow through and attention to detail and may be in turn the way you handle your customer's affairs.
Ever heard of KISS? Keep it simple, stupid! A commonly uttered phrase, KISS is important when things start to get a little bit too complicated. With small business website design, KISS is paramount.