Have you ever been served by a rude salesperson at Walmart or dealt with a food chain that constantly gets your order wrong? It's a colossal headache to go through and can forever tarnish your opinion of a certain store or brand. All it takes is one employee to cause that damage, but we can usually give that person the benefit of the doubt; who hasn't had a bad day, right?
Those excuses drift away when people have a bad experience with your website, though. A website is the online face of your company and it's extremely hard to justify website errors to customers. In fact, a study from Stanford showed that 75% of people will judge a brand on the design of their website.
Creating a website for your business doesn't have to be difficult, but it requires careful planning the whole way through.
Using dark backgrounds – There are plenty of websites that can get away with a dark background and "night modes" for websites are increasingly common. However, a dark background is a risk that can easily go awry.
For starters, light text can be hard to read for some people - and if they have to squint to read your website, they aren't exactly absorbing your message.
Too many messages – Sign up for our newsletter! Give us a call! Check out our social media pages!
Are you asking your readers to do multiple things? Too many calls to action will have people clicking off of your website. Your goal should be to provide all the information your readers need and to provide one specific call to action: a clear next step.
Poorly written copy – Some folks try to jam words in, thinking it will help to draw traffic. But if your text doesn't actually help people and provides the information that they need.
With those pitfalls in mind, there are plenty of ways to get creative and unique with your website design while also giving your customers an awesome experience.
Small Business Website Must-Haves
Your website should:
Clearly describe what you do – Focus on what sets your business apart from the competition. Explain to your customers why their business matters to you.
Specify how to reach you – Place your contact information in a prominent location so site visitors can easily find it. Most websites will list contact information in the footer of their websites, and users have gotten used to looking for an email, address, and phone number there.
Highlight testimonials – Customers are much more likely to trust a peer review over advertisements. If you are in the business of creating happy customers, let them help spread the word for you!
Have a personal touch – Introduce users to the faces behind the business with the help of brief bios. For small businesses, this is a huge factor in competing with national companies; a large corporation has no chance of matching the personable feeling that a small business can provide.
What About Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a way of leveraging the information on your website to raise your online profile. Search engines will naturally look for value-rich content on your site and return your site on its results pages when people browse for companies like yours. As a result, more people find your website. This is just one of the reasons why taking the time to plan your website is so important; with a good website design and engaging content, you might just find yourself with a lot more customers.