5 Deadly Website Mistakes Small Businesses Make

Did you know that every additional second of website loading time drops the conversion rate by an average of 4.42%? Or that it takes less than a second for users to form an opinion about whether they like your website? Of course, should they dislike the design, the chance of them bouncing off right away grows at lightning speed.

So, to put it simply, website design is crucial for business success nowadays.

However, being a small business, you likely don’t have the budget to build and maintain a fantastic custom-tailored website. Therefore, you have to compromise. And while doing that, many small businesses make some drastic mistakes that bring down their sales.

See the list of the worst website mistakes below to be sure you haven’t fallen into one of these traps. Then, inspect your own site and see if something there needs fixing ASAP.

Building a website without a definitive SEO strategy

The number one mistake you could make is designing a website before having an SEO strategy for it.  You are wasting your time and resources from the start by doing this. There are dozens of points that must be considered for an effective SEO. Everything, from the placement of content blocks on a page to the content itself, and the site map as a whole, must be optimized. Factors like internal linking and types of media files on the website all affect your SEO.

Therefore, you must know how to achieve the best level of search engine optimization and then design for it.  This way you’ll avoid paying double to redo some website elements.

So, always start by investing in an effective SEO strategy. Then, use it as a guide for your website design.

Not optimizing media for fast loading

Same as access to high-speed internet can boost small business, fast website loading speed boosts your conversion rates. In fact, Portent data shows that conversion rates are the highest on pages that load in under 2 seconds.

However, it’s also a well-known fact that high-resolution images and videos are must-haves for website design nowadays. Making your website visually attractive is a must, but not at the cost of loading times.

Most small businesses host their websites on WordPress. So, they can use plugins like EWWW Image Optimizer, Optimole, reSmush.it, etc., in order to compress and optimize media files. As for videos, hosting them on third-party platforms, like YouTube, will help reduce the load on your website’s bandwidth.

It's essential to understand that compression will lose you some measure of media quality. However, small businesses must compromise and work with files that are easy to compress. For example, choosing vector graphics over .PNG and .JPEG files will help keep the image sharp even compressed to under 100 kb.

Also, note that using poor-quality images is a mistake in itself. Therefore, you must never choose a lousy image just to boost loading speeds. Instead, it’s better to avoid pictures entirely and stick to basic ‘lightweight’ vector graphics to keep your website fast and attractive. Luckily, minimalist design with lots of whitespace is among the top website design trends.

Not setting up website analytics right away

Small businesses often choose not to use specialized paid tools like Moz for website analytics. That’s understandable when your budget is stretched thin. However, there is no excuse for not setting up your website data tracking through free Google Analytics tools.

Set up your Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager to track the traffic on your website and understand the performance of each page. If you have no idea where to start, go to Google Academy to take free courses that explain everything.

You can collect tons of valuable data using nothing but free tools. Then, use these reports to get insights that will help you make changes and improve.

At the very least, GA will allow you to see:

●   Where your traffic is coming from

●   What devices your visitors use

●   Where people spend time on your website

●   What keywords your pages rank for

Analyzing these basic metrics will enable you to understand what you are doing right and what areas need fixing. You also get an opportunity to understand your target audience better and can use this to improve the targeting of paid ads.

Designing a website without content

Mistakes in website design are an area of their own. They range from not maintaining equal spacing throughout the page to choosing a poor color scheme. However, there are web design issues that are much more profound. And they won’t be as easy to fix as changing the shade of color orange on the page.

Many of these issues are caused by not connecting website design with the content right away. Therefore, it’s imperative to remember that to launch a great website, you need to not only use quality UI/UX design services, but also have optimized content ready.

As mentioned above, you must have an SEO strategy prepared to build a website that has a chance to rank high on Google search. Content is one of the critical elements of search engine optimization. So, you must have it prepared and optimized with keywords when designing the page.

Also, any experienced UI/UX designer will tell you that it’s much easier for them to work with a copy on hand. This way, they can place the text, images, and links carefully to avoid the aforementioned spacing issues. In addition, a designer with a copy will make sure that your website looks great on all devices.

But if you add the content after the design is done, you will likely get uneven blocks. Text and images shifting all over the place look unappealing and unprofessional. In the end, you’ll have to pay the designer once more to fix the issues.

Not planning for scalability and content updates

Small businesses must plan for scalability in everything, including website design. First of all, you need to envision how the site will grow while still at the design stage. It’s necessary to ensure that you can easily upgrade it as soon as you have the opportunity.

You also need to build it with precautions for a sudden surge in traffic. For example, these happen during the holiday season or when you run special offers and ad campaigns. An increase in traffic is an excellent opportunity for making sales. However, if your website crashes, you lose your chance and likely a lot of money as well.

Also, SEO requires constant content updates. Therefore, a small business needs a website that’s flexible and makes it easy to add content like new pages and blog articles. In addition, you should design it in a way that will allow you to make these changes yourself. So you won’t have to hire a developer every time you need to make an update.

All these things, as well as your website’s SEO and even your small business’ digital marketing plan, need to be a part of one cohesive strategy. Therefore, the most important thing to do in order to avoid deadly website mistakes is to plan the entire digital strategy before you start taking action.

About the author

Abhishek Jain is a seasoned leader with 25+ years of business transformation expertise, digital marketing, and technology solutions for the US and global marketplaces. Abhishek continues his journey of innovation, bringing insights and creative ideas to various businesses worldwide.


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