Small business websites can be very, very effective – but they can absolutely go very wrong as well. It’s important to spend the time and attention to make sure you don’t make these common 5 small business web design mistakes – so that the budget you’ve spent on marketing actually creates a return on investment!
1. Using stock photos too excessively
It can be hard to get genuine, professional photos of your team taken – but just like a professionally designed website, the investment is truly worth it. If you create websites for clients, it’s extremely important to emphasize the importance of high-quality photos as early in the process as possible.
In some cases, utilizing a few very well curated stock photos may make sense. Just don’t make the mistake of not showing your team, and taking some photos that show of your actual personality as a company.
2. Failing to visually show your ‘Unique Value Proposition’.
Is your company quicker at what you do then all of your competitors? What do customers cite as the main reason they go with you when you were up against your competitors? We strongly suggest answering these questions before you make your new website – that’s why we actually build this into our process for every client (and if you’re a web designer you should too.)
Answering some of these simple questions will help you define your main headlines and the images you use. The main full-width images, and image backgrounds should evoke a positive emotion towards your companies key value proposition. How can you show it visually? How can you remind them of the benefit of your product or service, almost without them even reading the copy?
3. Not emphasizing compelling and targeted ‘call to action’s.’
A call to action is a button, an invitation to call, or a featured button to a product or to add to cart – that should take front and center of every small business.
An example is like this promotion right here that invites you to download our free audiobook:
Every small business website should be built around call to actions, and they should be central to every page on your site – including blog posts!
4. Not including enough visually clear obvious evidence of your trustworthiness.
Everything I do is about Trust factors – this means testimonials, social media integration, clear and obvious contact information – as well as certifications and guarantees. The more of these you have, and the more professionally displayed, the more prospects will feel comfortable with your service, and the more likely they are to take the next step and contact you.
5. Not having the website professionally designed and developed.
All of the above being said – we understand that not everyone has gone to school for years to learn professional website design and development – and even some that have haven’t created 100+ websites from scratch and marketed websites aggressively with SEO, analytics, A/B testing and tracking.
You don’t have to hire your cousins son, or your friends brother to create your website – in fact, when the fate of your businesses online presence is involved, it may be time to bite the bullet and hire a true professional.
Look for examples of previous work, case studies of what kind of results a professional website designer has received, and be clear that sometimes hiring a real professional is actually cheaper in the long-run, since a well-designed website can create serious ‘return on investment,’ when it’s done properly.