Websites are extremely important for modern small businesses. At the very least, a website is an important tool for providing information about your business to potential customers, but most websites do much more. The connectivity and web presence provided by a good website can launch a business past their competition. But due to the technical nature of website development, many small businesses are plagued by errors and poor optimization which drag their website down and prevent it from operating at peak efficiency. Here are a few common areas where small businesses fall short.
1. Weak Calls to Action
When developing your website, CTA’s should be one of your top priorities (maybe even your #1 priority). The call to action is what prompts visitors to take action (as the name implies) and without it your odds of making conversions will be severely limited. You need to build the page with the CTA in mind, making it visible, attractive, and easy to interact with. Visualize how different content will funnel people into it, and ensure it is placed and designed accordingly. All websites should have some kind of CTA, whether that is to make a purchase or simply download a free brochure.
A good call to action sums up the benefits of whatever action you are recommending, and makes it very clear how to proceed. Any doubt or confusion from the user at this stage will put a big dent in conversion rates. Don’t make it complicated! Make the CTA easy, make it appealing, and you’ll get good results.
2. Poor Analytics
Analytics are the most valuable tool you have for objectively monitoring and evaluating the performance of your site. The better your analytics, the better your ability to draw conclusions about the website and respond appropriately. Websites need to be constantly tuned and tinkered with to reach peak performance, and analytics will reveal where the website fails and where it succeeds.
Without good analytics, it is impossible to make good, informed decisions about the future of the website; improving the website becomes a guessing game. Don’t gamble with the success of the website. Get high quality analytics implemented!
Recommended Reading: Remarketing with Google Analytics – Tips & Tricks
3. Low Effort in SEO
Search Engine Optimization is still an important field of web development. The changing nature of search algorithms means that a lot of practices are no longer relevant, while other practices have become necessities. Learning what you can about SEO and consulting with a specialist should be a priority to make sure the website is modern, well-built, and meets the standards & best-practices of major search providers.
Recommended Reading: How to succeed with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
4. No Mobile Optimization
Mobile optimization is an absolute must-have in today’s web environment. Mobile browsers represent more than 30% of all browser traffic, and yet (depending on which study you read) anywhere from 60-90% of small businesses have no mobile optimization! That’s equivalent to ⅓ of their potential customer-base being turned away at the door.
The craziest part of all this is that mobile optimization is not some sort of expensive, difficult to manage operation. Modern website development favors Responsive Web Designs, which use a single URL to serve adaptable assets to any kind of display—smartphones, tablets, computers, refrigerators, and all.
Recommended Reading: Mobile Website Design and Mobile Marketing for Small Businesses
5. No Blog
Blogs are very valuable resources for a number of reasons. Blogs help you disseminate news, provide information on topics that are relevant to the business, and generally provide a place to keep producing new content for readers. Allowing readers to subscribe to the blog means your blog can start to build a community of readers. Blogs are also good for SEO, because they can be found through organic search, bringing new visitors to your business. Social media also benefits from these blogs, as each one you write can be linked and shared extensively on social platforms.
6. No HTTPS
HTTPS is the secure protocol for websites using an SSL certificate. Having a secured website will give you a boost in search ranking and ensure that your site is more stable and trustworthy for visitors. If your site involves any kind of customer information, payments, etc. then the HTTPS protocol is an absolute must, and in today’s world with security risks making headlines all the time, it can be an important addition to any small business website.
7. Distracting Ads and Pop-ups
Your website might have ads, and that’s generally OK. You might have special CSS to promote your CTA. In theory, none of these things are bad, but it is possible to overuse them, to the point where the website becomes too difficult or frustrating to use. Every user’s tolerance for these kinds of elements will be different, but just be aware that going too far will limit your website’s success.
Conclusion: Don’t Settle for Less
Many of these common and costly mistakes stem from settling for low quality solutions, or taking the easy road out. Doing things right requires an investment of time and money, but not as much as most business owners expect. In truth, when it comes to value, there are few investments that can match a simple, quality-built website.Developing a better website means building a better business, and fixing these mistakes is a good way to get started.
This article is written by Sakshi Sharma. She is a mobility strategist for Software Developers India, which offers Mobile & Web App Development Solutions. She really enjoys helping round out your innovative ideas. Follow her on Google+ or Twitter.
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