In this article we address the top 5 challenges for small business websites and provide some recommendations to get you started off on the right foot.
There are a lot of challenges when it comes to building a good website. It’s not just a simple case of buying a domain, throwing up a few pages with text and graphics on a Weebly or Squarespace site and you’re done! So let’s dive in and talk about each of them in detail.
Top 5 Challenges for Small Business Websites
1. Pages that look unprofessional
As a small business, you probably don’t have the means to afford a graphic designer, or your very own web designer. Graphic design services can be expensive and spending oodles of time creating a professional website may be out of the reach of many business owners. So what they end up with is usually either a cookie-cutter website, or worse, a cookie-cutter website with elements that are out of place, not aligned properly, or have pixelated images.
One quick thing you can do to make your website look more professional is to use high quality images. This can set you apart from most other websites. Use high quality graphics from royalty-free stock photo websites like pixabay.com and pexels.com. There a bunch more. Use your neighborhood friendly Google search to find them.
2. Bad content alignment
This is one of the things that I see most often, specially when using a website builder like Weebly, Squarespace, or Wix. It’s easy to get in there and start with a base template, but once you start moving stuff around you can break the site and more often than none, it starts looking like amateur hour.
So be careful about aligning your content and making too many layout changes to whatever template you’re using. Sometimes it’s difficult to get things back to the way they were originally and you could end up with a bad looking site for weeks until you bring someone in to fix it. Make a habit of making a change, saving your work and testing to make sure nothing is broken. Baby steps is the name of the game!
3. No elements of credibility
One of the first things visitors gravitate towards is signs of credibility. They want to know that they can trust the website they’re visiting to provide the results they need. Visitors want to see some sort of evidence that your products or services are going to meet their needs effectively.
There are several ways you can do this. You can start off by adding customer testimonials right on your home page. If you are able to get video testimonials, those are the best kind, but if you can’t, at least try to get a name, title and head-shot of the person providing the testimonial.
Other elements of credibility include any organizations that you belong to such as the Better Business Bureau, your local Chamber of Commerce, or any other certification or accreditation your business has. Display those proudly and upfront. They’ll go a long way towards establishing your credibility.
4. Failure to add Calls to Action
This is usually a massively overlooked item for most websites. If not given some guidance, your visitors will simple read over your content, and exit stage right. You’ll never see them or hear from them again.
To prevent this bleeding, one of the most important things you need to do is to establish Calls to Action on each of your pages. This can be a simple “call me” or “email me” button, to a more complex, “download a free guide” or “schedule an appointment”. These are crucial in getting engagement from your visitors. Failure to implement these will make it seem like only ghosts are visiting your website!
5. Typos & errors
One of the things I see often with new websites is typos and grammatical errors. It’s not a lot, but there are usually a handful. And if I can spot them, you bet your visitors will see them. This will kill your credibility and have a negative impact on your visitors.
Most modern website builders will have a spellchecker built in. Make sure to proofread for grammatical errors and you’ll be good to go. Make sure you do it right the first time even if it takes a little bit longer, so you don’t have to go back and fix things later. You’ll also prevent losing any clients because they can’t trust your attention to detail.
Focus on these 5 areas when starting your first website and you’ll start off strong. You’ll look like an established business and you may even start getting some customers.