If you’re a small business owner, then your website is one of the most important assets you have. This is going to be the first impression that many people get of your business, and may define their entire buying experience. Though we all know how important a website is as a marketing material, many entrepreneurs make various slip-ups when designing their site. Here are a few big ones you need to avoid.
When designing a website, a lot of people fail to make navigation a priority, which can have a massive impact on the user’s experience. Brush over your navigation, and you may accidentally create an extremely frustrating experience for the very people you’re trying to attract. People are going to visit your site in the first place to find some information. If you’re making it tough for them to find it, then they’ll quickly go somewhere else, thinking that your venture is disorganized and unprofessional. The want to make your website unique and interesting is understandable, but there are much better ways of doing this than messing with the navigation too much. Established navigation conventions are popular for a reason: they work! Make sure your navigation is seamless, and defined by an emphasis on usability and accessibility.
Lacking Clear Calls to Action
This is an unfortunately common thing that slips through the net for many entrepreneurs. There are countless business website designs out there which are great, except for this one detail. Your product or service may be the best thing to happen to your industry in decades, but if you’re not clearly guiding visitors towards paying for it, then you’re going to lose them. Even if you’ve thought about your call to action, make sure it’s effective. That means something more than a bland “click here” link buried in a mass of bland, descriptive text. Attractive, prominent call to action buttons can be an excellent way to snare the user’s attention, and can be a defining key to a great conversion rate. Investing time and consideration in the way you integrate your call to action can help you achieve the perfect balance between being an informative brand and good salesmanship. It can take some trial and error to reach this ideal, but that one little button can really make all the difference.
Not Having a Content Hierarchy
People are going to visit your website in the first place for its content, and the way you structure this is a massive factor in your site’s overall success or failure. Far too many small businesses get caught up in burying the user in information that they overlook the way they’re presenting it. Most consumers won’t read the text on a website unless it’s necessary, which is why it’s so important to plan a strong visual hierarchy, allowing users to scan your site swiftly, and pick out the information that’s relevant to them. A great content hierarchy also provides a guide for each page, and is conducive to a more enjoyable experience for the user.
Photo by Igor Miske