5 Most Common Mistakes on Small Business Websites

Web Design

Picture this: You’ve recently begun serving as a vendor at a local event and, amazingly, your business table immediately receives dozens of visitors. You begin discussing a few of your services with a group of prospects when, suddenly, someone asks for your business card. Realizing you forgot to put them out, you stop your conversation and scramble through boxes to find them. Another person immediately asks how they can sign up. You remove a few table displays and show them where the sign-up sheet was hidden. A few visitors, noticing your disorganization, grow impatient and walk away. Now, let’s correlate your vending table situation with your website. Is your website similarly disorganized and confusing to visitors? This is one of the most common mistakes small business owners tend to make. We’ve developed a list to help you identify, avoid, and correct:


1. Disorganized Homepage

According to Hubspot, over half of the visitors spend less than 15 seconds on a webpage. If your site doesn’t capture their attention or looks too confusing, they’ll leave. As we’ve demonstrated using the vending table scenario, visitors can get pretty impatient with disorganized content, especially if they can’t immediately find what they’re looking for. Let’s analyze these 2 homepage factors:

  • Appearance: Is the content cluttered, such as having too much text, images, and videos in one area? Is all of your content relevant or necessary? Is your business title and logo visible?
  • Navigation menu: Is it comprehensive? Does each link send visitors to its corresponding page? Is the menu visible and in one place? Can visitors find your contact information?

When we revamped the website of our client, Center for Physical Therapy, we made sure these two elements were incorporated on their homepage.

One key factor to remember: Less is more. The easier it is for visitors to recognize your brand and navigate to other areas of the website, the longer they’ll stay.

2. Inactive Website

Have you ever visited a website that looked abandoned? For example, it had no recently added photos or blog posts, had old contact information still displayed after having relocated or changed business hours, or simply hadn’t updated the copyright year? It’s like they made the website to have one, then never returned. Some small business owners don’t even realize their website or server is down. You may have a busy schedule, but try your best to find time to visit your site at least weekly. This way, search engines will know your site is still active, and so will visitors. (And if you need any help with managing or updating your site, we’ve got you covered.)


3. Unappealing to the Target Audience

This is important when determining your marketing technique. You don’t expect shades of pink, baby animals, and glittery designs to attract middle-aged men. The same aspect goes for your website. You have to know your target audience and what appeals to them. Color, images, and word choice all factor into this decision.


4. Unclear Call to Action

There’s nothing more frustrating than receiving bad directions and getting lost. Apply this concept to your website. What is it that you want visitors to do after coming to your page? Should they sign-up for your newsletters or email list? Should they call or message you for a consultation? Make sure your call-to-action is clear and visible on multiple pages. Remember our average 15-second attention span. Make every second count!


5. Poor Use of Content

While it’s easier to focus more on web design than words, keep in mind that the text is extremely important. Even tech-genius Bill Gates once admitted, “Content is key.” Visitors need to read and understand who you are, what you offer, and how it’ll benefit them in the long run. Also remember that search engines use the keywords and phrases to crawl your site. If your website isn’t properly worded or structured with content, it’s harder for visitors who don’t know your website to find your business on Google and other search engines.


Already discovered a few mistakes on your business website? No worries. We’re glad to help. Visit our blog for helpful small business tips, as well as our contact page to get in touch.

Emerge is a digital marketing boutique firm that helps you grow your business through affordable website designs in Richmond VA. Our website designs are built to be Google-Friendly to give you the best possible chance of success.

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