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Insights for Entrepreneurs

4 Common Web Design Pitfalls & How to Remedy Them

This guest post is by Alex Stetson, a web marketer for Super Web-O-Matic; Webomatic is a Boston-based business that brings high-end web design to main street businesses in an affordable website package.

So your business is up and running. You have customers, you’re getting calls but you aren’t getting as many leads from your website as you’d like. Is your website design hurting your business? Read on to see if your business is committing some of the most common small business website design faux pas, and get some gems of advice about how to rehabilitate your web design to help your business.

Common Mistake #1: “Pizzazz” gone wrong.

“Pizzazz” gone wrong is like owning a restaurant and hiring an over caffeinated clown as the hostess.  Think about how annoying auto scrolling sidebars, pop-up windows, auto-playing music, and flashy splash pages (think blinking words) are.

Why it’s a Mistake:

Words of Wisdom:

Stick to tried and true when it comes to your small business website design.  Your goal should be to make your design as reliable and user-friendly as possible. Be tasteful, transparent, and to-the-point.  Hire the girl next door to hostess, not the psycho clown.

Common Mistake #2: Weak call to action.

Not having a clear actionable button or header on your website is like having a store full of products with no place to check out.

Why it’s a Mistake:

Words of Wisdom:

Use big, bright calls to action in central locations on your website design.  Make sure the button looks clickable, and that it’s clear exactly what will happen when they click on it.  Use color contrast, placement, and design to make it easy for users to complete the desired site action or goal.

Common Mistake #3: Bad navigation and content organization.

Bad navigation (too much, too little, or just confusing) and content organization on a website is like giving a client directions to your office by dumping a file cabinet of maps on them.  There might be a great map or two in there, but how are they supposed to find it?

Why it’s a Mistake:

Words of Wisdom:

Your website should be designed according to the content you have to put on it.  Use your navigation to label site content in an organized, identifiable way. Users should be able to find all core content within just a few mouse clicks.  Make use of footers and top level navigation to accomplish this.

Common Mistake #4: The content blob

Ever been to a website where you felt immediately confused and overwhelmed because it had a ton of content “smushed” together in a big blob? That’s what I’m talking about here.

Why it’s a Mistake:

Words of Wisdom:

Your website design should provide a dynamic space to host and structure your content.  Use bold text, easy to read fonts, clearly contrasting colors, lists, and design elements like sidebars and header text to highlight the most important content on your website.  Use of images are also a great way to break up blocks of text.  Good design should make your content more interesting and palatable.

So what should you take away from all this? Two main points:

  1. Your small business website design definitely impacts how effective your website is as a business tool.
  2. When it comes to website design, keep it simple, uncluttered, and to the point.

Your website design is a huge part of your web marketing strategy so make sure your web design puts your business’ best face forward.

  • Luckyant

    Hire a web designer. It may seem expensive, but you wouldn’t open a store without an interior designer, why would you open a website without design? It pays in the short and long run.

  • Alex

    I couldn’t agree more!

  • Jamie Fairbairn

    Hi Alex, this is a very good list and well explained. I particularly liked the last point about the content blob.

    Too many business owners don’t appreciate how difficult that sort of thing is to read online and while they may have spent a small fortune having a nice looking site designed, it all goes to waste if people don’t want to read the content.

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