Common small business website mistakes
Too much clutter
No one knows more about your small business than you do, and sometimes to complete a sale, a customer needs to only know a certain amount of information in order to buy. Too much information and you possibly confuse, overwhelm or just simply waste their time. This same principle should apply to your small business website.
Clutter: images all over the place, links for days, novels for copy, or even worse a footer full of zip codes! You have a very small amount of time to capture the user’s attention. I know you want to give them as much information as possible about your product, but too much info could very well hurt more than it helps. You don’t want everything on the page to compete for this attention. Instead, you want to make sure the page is structured with the most important “stuff” first. A knowledgeable designer can assist with this placement.
Minimal SEO (search engine optimization)
If a small business website is not search engine optimized, they might as well not have a website. Sure, you can have a web presence for people to visit from your business card, but you’re missing out on potential customers who might have found you through search engines. Using the wrong keywords, not putting those keywords in the right places, or not using the correct tags, like h1’s, h2’s etc. can put your website on the 99th page of search results. How effective do you think that placement is? Knowledge in SEO and the structure of these tags is very important.
Not enough content
You can design the most beautiful website out there. However, if it doesn’t have great content or enough information for customers, how will they learn more about your products or services? And not to mention it being passed over by the search engines.
You should have the right amount of content when you launch your site, but you should also keep in mind that your website will never be complete. You will need to continually add more content to your site, like videos, how to’s, frequently asked questions, and most importantly… your blog.
Flash has its uses, and those applications on the web are becoming less and less utilized. Most of the small animations that you would use flash can now be done with jquery and html5. So our advice is to not use it at all. For one, if you’re using sounds or music outside of a video, then you are setting your website up for failure as this annoys most customers. So please stay away from the 30 second flash intro!
Websites that are purely flash have become almost invisible to all the major search engines as they have no content to spider or crawl through. It’s basically the same as having one big image on your site and that’s it. How is Google supposed to know what this image represents?
Another negative is load times. Flash can also be very big in file size and cause your website to load slowly. This not only frustrates users, who will ultimately click away from your site, but also your website’s load time is a factor in how Google ranks your site. Google does not want to serve their users a bunch of slow sites.
So make sure you use as little amount of Flash as possible. In reality, its only application should be video, and even that’s slowly coming to an end.
These are just some of the mistakes small business websites make and there are definitely more out there, and some of the correct things you do now can be considered mistakes 2 years down the road. The internet is constantly evolving and so should your small business website.