Design, Small Business

4 Web Design Blunders Small Businesses Commit but Need to Avoid

Websites play a key role for businesses of all shapes and sizes in today’s competitive world. It is an integral part of every business’s branding and marketing efforts. But for a small business, the role played by the website is even more crucial as it usually has limited budget for advertisements and finds it difficult to compete with larger organizations.

Your website is the place where people come to know about you and things you sell. It provides a platform for 2-way communication and it is your responsibility to ensure that your visitors are satisfied with their experience. A simple mistake can turn your valuable potential customers away from you and you are likely to lose them to a competitor. Getting things wrong with your website design therefore can be a fatal blow to your business.

web design

Unfortunately, small businesses often commit certain web design mistakes that can cost them more than money. It is true that the process of website development is tedious and there are so many things you need to take care of, ranging from appearance and content to user experience. However, it is also essential for you to be diligent and avoid some common web design mistakes to help your bottom line flourish.

The following are 4 web design blunders you might be making:

1. Going Overboard with Your Design

Fancy flashy sites! It is perhaps not the best thing for your business websites. You need anything but a flashy design as a part of an effective marketing strategy. In fact, it is not just flash websites, over-designing your site is just another way to guarantee increased bounced rates as your visitors will be more than happy to leave your website and look elsewhere whatever they were searching.

Most small businesses commit this mistake in the name of “attracting users”. However, they fail to realize that attracting users is not just enough. While the website needs to be appealing to eyes, you need to keep your visitors on the site as well and make their experience as enjoyable as possible. This is where functionality comes in. Your website design should therefore be simple and clean, keeping functionality and easy navigation in mind.

Over-designing your website, on the other hand, usually confuses your visitors and as a result they spend very little time on it. It might help you bringing users there, but what about their experience? It is important to understand that while your visitors almost certainly know why they are visiting your site, you need to help them get to the right place from your homepage. In most cases, people abandon a website if they cannot figure out what to do next within three seconds.

Another reason to completely discard flashy websites is that they don’t look good on tablets and smartphones and large number of users these days are accessing Internet via these mobile devices.

2. Ignoring Your Target Audience(s)

While it is probably the silliest mistake one can commit, there are so many examples around us where small businesses owners tend to overlook their target market when designing their website just because they were rushing to make it go live.

In order to make your website successful, you need to first research your target audience(s) carefully in your particular domain. It is a foundation for your website development process. You need to answer several questions like:

Who are your target audiences?
What is their age group?
What are the thinks they like/dislike in terms of designing?
What is your competitors’ approach?
What could you do differently to stand out in the crowd, especially in terms of user experience?

For example, if you are catering to young women aged between 18 and 35 years, your imagery and color schemes need to be feminine, youthful and bold. Besides, it must be mobile responsive as people in this age group prefer using mobile over desktop computers. Likewise, if your target group is older men/women, you need to simplify the user experience and use larger font sizes to make kit readable for them.

Target audience research is must for almost all good web design companies as it answers almost all web design questions associated with your website. This is why any Raleigh web design company would first recommend a proper target audience research before they start with your website’s layout.

Remember, this is a must and not an option. Your focus should be on pleasing your most frequent users by providing them with the best possible experience.

3. No Clear Call to Action

What do you want a potential customer to do once he/she visits your site? Obviously, you want them to convert, but how? You need to show them the right step, guide through our website and make the navigation as seamless as possible so that they actually convert. But the question is: How?

Enters “call to action” or CTA buttons. They are designed to answer what your users are looking for – “What’s next?” It could be anything from buying your product, contacting you or sending a query to subscribing to your newsletter.

Using proper call to action you are helping your users to navigate through your site easily. For an effective call-to-action strategy, you need to make it a centralized point on your homepage and every other page on your website.

The design and positioning of the CTA button is key to its success. It must stand out against your background without disturbing thee continuity or hampering the readability of the page.

4. Committing Content Crimes

Why would you visit a site in the first place? Of course, its content or the quality of information it provides. Content encompasses everything that you see in a website, from text to images, infographs and videos etc.

Apart from being interesting, engaging and valuable, your content must be updated on a regular basis. In fact, people love to visits site that provide fresh, unique and latest information and so does Google. So if you haven’t updated your website content in ages or worst, decades, you are probably dead for the search giant and thee people too.

Things change too fast in the online world and if you fail to stay ahead of the competition by addressing the changing needs of your customers, you would probably be dead very soon. Update your website at least once a week and adding a blog is probably the best way to do it.

Another deadly content crime you must avoid is those silly spelling and grammar mistakes. There is a difference between “Your” and “You’re” or “There” and “Their”. And you don’t need a Grammar Nazi to recognize them. Such grammatical errors and/or spelling mistakes make you look unprofessional and ruin your credibility.

Conclusion

First impressions matter a lot when it comes to building a brand image and keeping your business afloat. And your website is key to both. It is therefore essential to have a professionally designed website in order to keep things clear and simple while ensuring that it is aesthetically appealing. Besides, committing the above mentioned mistakes and many others like these will only result in a poorly designed website. This, in turn, will encourage your potential customers to make false assumptions about you and your business, something you wouldn’t want or afford to do.

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Michael Georgiou is the CMO and Co-founder of Imaginovation a full service, turn-key digital solutions company serving Raleigh, NC and Charlotte, NC. He's a dynamic business professional with proven success in creative strategy, online branding, project management and communication projects.

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