Does your website attract customers or turn them away?
A good small business website is a critical part of your marketing. It helps you:
- attract target customers
- demonstrate your knowledge
- generate leads and build a sales pipeline
- build great customer relationships
However, it’s easy to make mistakes which will do the opposite and send prospects running for the hills.
Here are ten mistakes to avoid.
Mistake #1: No Focus
Your website must answer the visitors question “what’s in it for me“? Show the visitor the benefit to them and how you meet their needs before they click away to another site.
Add a tagline to your header that shows at the top of every page.
Use your tagline to quickly explain what you do and who you help.
Not every visitor will start at the homepage. It’s important that visitors can quickly understand if you can help them or not. If they can’t decide they are much more likely to look for someone else.
Mistake #2: No Personality
The first step in building customer relationships is helping people get to know you.
Use pictures of yourself and your staff so that people can start to build a connection with you as soon as they visit your website.
If you work on your own don’t try and hide it. Don’t use “we” – large companies won’t be able to show their personality in the same way which can give you a massive advantage.
Mistake #3: No Purpose
What specific action do you want people to take when they visit your website?
Sign up for your email list, download a whitepaper, call you to discuss your services?
Ensure that you know exactly how you want to start the relationship with a new customer and design your website around this purpose.
Mistake #4: No Call to Action
To accomplish the purpose of your website you need to ask people to take action.
Position your “call to action” prominently throughout the website.
Mistake #5: Unprofessional Design
Your small business website projects your image to prospective and existing customers.
An unprofessional design, unfinished pages and bad graphics make you look unprofessional and leaves people wondering about your services.
A professional small business website doesn’t have to cost thousands. You’re better to start with a small website that looks professional than have twenty pages of poorly designed, poorly written content that creates a bad impression.
Mistake #6: Ignoring Conventions
We all get used to certain conventions that give us a feeling of comfort when we visit a website.
Call your about page “About” and your contact page “Contact” – it’s what your visitors are used to and will help them find these two important pages.
Mistake #7: Poor Navigation
Website navigation is like a map to your best content. It’s pointless writing excellent content if no one can find it.
Use a simple navigation structure so that visitors can get straight to their destination.
You’ll notice that on the Fresh Eyes Consultancy homepage I use one menu for the page titles and a secondary menu for each of my blog categories making it quick for visitors to find posts of interest.
Mistake #8: No Regular Updates
This has to be one of the worst mistakes. Taking the time to create a small business website but letting the content go stale.
Google favours websites that have regularly updated content and your readers will be more engaged with you and return to see what else you have to say.
Mistake #9: No Optimization
Google wants to give it’s searchers the best content for each search, the best answers to their questions.
No amount of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will help you build a long term business if you don’t have good content – but if you’re creating good content it’s a mistake not to pay some attention to optimization.
Optimizing good content is like spoon feeding it to Google and ensuring that it’s indexed in a way that will get your content noticed in relevant searches.
Mistake #10: Bad Use of Twitter Feed
I’ve seen several small business websites where a Twitter feed is added to the sidebar of the website – every tweet is shown in this feed.
Whilst this can be fine, I’ve seen many where the website owner tweets about topics such as their opinion on the latest TV talent show hopefuls after a few beers at the weekend – it might be fun at the time but doesn’t create a professional image when these tweets are on the front of your website for your next prospective customer to read.
Either remove the feed or use a private Twitter account for tweets you don’t want to share with everyone.
Small Business Website Critique
Are you making any of these mistakes? Is your small business website helping you generate leads and fill your sales pipeline?
My Small Business Website Critique service can highlight all of the areas you can improve on your website and use it to help you grow your small business.
For more information and to order the service please check out the Small Business Website Critique page.
What Mistakes Would You Add?
Can you think of any more mistakes that I haven’t included in this list?
Please join me in the discussion by leaving a comment.