Small Business Website, Are You Doing It Right?
Having online representation of your business isn’t an option anymore. Every individual/small or medium business owner understands this reality and are looking to bring their business online. The fist step to online representation is to have a professional website for your business. But as a small business owner you find your self lost when looking for ideal website solution for you business, as there a thousands of digital agencies, designers, digital marketing experts giving variety of solution’s.
All of our clients face the same difficulties when they are consulting various industry experts looking to find an optimal website solution.
We have complied a list of most common mistakes small business owners make during the process of website development and provided solutions to all the mistakes.
#1 Not considering website as a long term business asset.
Most business owners have a generic view towards their website. Considering the website as merely something to have. This leads to taking casual decisions during and post development of the website.
The Fix :
Buying habits of the modern consumers have changed. With easy access to business information and reviews on the internet, all your customers look at the business online representation before considering to buy or visit your office/store.
Hence, small business owners must consider their website as an important asset and focus on their design and content presented on the website. Small business website must have accurate and updated information. Also the website design must reflect your business keeping in mind the ideal consumer. Once your website is online, you must keep it updated to stay fresh and relevant for your customers
#2 Getting intimidated by technology.
Ever small business owner while deciding to make a website always getd confronted with hundreds of choices, all presented with a confusing array of technical terms. WordPress? HTML? CSS? SEO? To a small business owner, these terms are as baffling as terms like “derivative” and “hedge fund” might be to an ordinary person who barely grasped mutual funds.
The Fix :
As a minimum, register your own domain name and host in your own name with your own credit card. That way, you get complete ownership of domain and hosting limiting the dependence on designer or agency.
Above all, steer clear of anyone who makes the project sound complicated. If you’re an independent professional, you don’t need an elaborate project management set-up. You don’t need a lot of bells and whistles. Often simple solution is all a small business needs for their online representation.
#3 Not having business promotion strategy.
Most small business owners initially have an impression that a website will draw visitors just by being there. But a comprehensive promotion plan is needed to effectively draw visitors regularly to your website.
The Fix :
Not just successful SEO or Digital marketing strategy, you should promote your website everywhere possible. You should publish your website url on every business promotion material like business cards, brochures, banners etc. Both online and offline marketing strategies should be considered while promoting your website, also the website design and content should correspond to the other business marketing material.
#4 Buying unnecessary features/services.
We all like good deals and we all like value for money. The amount of small business owners we talk to who have paid through the nose for their website is incredible. They think they need a new website for their business, so they go to their local web design agency who probably knows little if anything about marketing. They then get charged 1.5k to 3k for a brochure style website that does very little for them. All website development offers are initially impressive with features listed on some website development contracts. But upon reading your contract carefully you will realize some services that come with a big price tag will sound complicated but take five minutes to implement.
The Fix :
Always read the offer carefully, if some words sound too technical get someones help and deduce what services are needed and suits your business need before buying them. Particularly the services which have a technical name or big price tag.
#5 Choosing wrong CMS.
Most small business owners have never heard of WordPress. They assumed all web sites were created equally.
Some sites are set up with proprietary software that looks good until you need to make a small change. Then you’ll have to pay a techie who knows that software—if you can find one. Others come with subscription chargers which needs renewals. Choosing the right CMS is critical as it saves lot of time, efforts and money in long term when you decide to upgrade or add features to your business website.
Choose a platform that’s not locked into your development company or have a subscription charges. For most small businesses WordPress will be the best option.
It’s easy to get help quickly and cheaply, because lots of resources are available. Often you can get someone from Craigslist for a quick fix.
And WordPress is easy to use. Most professionals can implement their own updates or delegate to a high school student. It’s that simple.
#6 Not finding balance between design and content.
The object of website design should be to help people find what they need and get it to them with the least amount of difficulty or searching. Organizing the content should be the top priority of a website design. While that’s important to keep in mind, it often leads small business owners to cram too much above the fold. A crowded website is never a good thing. Websites with tons of images, text, and other things going on will take a while to load, and they’ll confuse your visitors. Avoid busy designs like the plague.
Website visitors want to know what’s in it for them,and they want to know quickly. Always write from the prospect’s point of view, and keep this at a high level. Website design and content and design must resonate with the prospective clients.
#7 Trying DIY website solutions.
When looking for website solution, you find lots of DIY all in one solutions available with lucrative offers which seems easy to set up. But these DIY solutions might not be the best fit for ever business website. since they are not open source the upgrades and scalability of the website is limited and often expensive. More often then not DIY solutions fail as there are limited design options available and most small business owners dont have enough time to work simultaneously on website development along with regular business work.
Hire an expert who will deliver the objectives within timeline and budget. This will help you save time, money and efforts. You can achieve more letting an expert work on your website while you focus on your business.
#8 Not thinking about SEO
Because your small business is not a household name, you need customers to be able to find you in Google search results when they are looking for the products or services you offer, but don’t yet know that you exist. Many small business websites are poorly structured for SEO, making it difficult or impossible for Google crawlers to understand the content and rank it accordingly. The result? You are invisible in Google searches, a deficiency that over time could cost your business hundreds or thousands of sales leads or online orders.
Being found online is the most critical element most business owners overlook while taking website development decisions. It is important to keep website SEO in mind while deciding upon website content and design. A keywords optimized content would improve your website ranking. Also certain website design decisions such as load time, mobile responsiveness effect your website ranking.
The Bottom Line :
Always keep your target audience and brand image in mind in every step of the design process – from planning to post-launch analysis. If you can reconcile the two, you’ll have a beautiful website that speaks volumes about your business. Being aware of required features and services will save you a lot of money – a good website doesnt need to burn a big hole in your pocket.