To operate a successful business, you not only need to offer a great product or service, you also need a web presence. While most small business owners understand the importance of having a website, many don’t realize that their websites contain a number of flaws. Here are the most common mistakes SMB sites make and how they can avoid them to further increase their web presence.
Not being dynamic
A static website will soon become a dead website. In order to keep users coming back, your website needs dynamic, changing content. You can achieve this by adding a blog that you update daily or weekly, offering monthly coupons, adding new video content, or including a widget that provides product or company updates. Keeping your content fresh is also important for search engine optimization – just be sure not to reduce the density of important keywords if you’re tweaking content on an existing page.
The average user can’t tell good design from great design, but they will notice a poorly designed website. The overall look and functionality of your business’ website can instantly determine your credibility. If your site is unattractive and hard to navigate, then you’re likely to lose potential customers to a competitor. Regardless of how technically savvy you are, remember that you are a business owner first and a web designer second. We strongly recommend outsourcing your web design if you don’t have a designer on staff.
Too many hoops
This idea goes back to the functionality of your site. E-commerce is an essential component of most small business websites. Customers should be able to make purchases quickly and easily, without confusion. The ideal checkout process is straightforward, keeps users in-the-know on how many steps are involved in making a purchase, and limits the number of clicks required to complete a purchase. Checkout processes with 3 clicks or less tend to see higher returns, so keep this in mind when you’re building or evaluating your checkout. Shipping costs should also be easy for customers to determine, so consider offering flat-rate shipping or adding a shipping calculator to product or checkout pages. If users can’t assess what the total cost of purchase is, odds are they won’t buy anything. Lastly, don’t forget that what seems intuitive to you may not seem as simple to the users of your website. Soliciting customer feedback about the usability of your checkout process can be a great way to find areas for improvement.
Avoiding these commonly-made mistakes will improve your web presence and keep your website user-friendly. What features turn you off when you’re visiting a website? Share your thoughts in the comments.