Today, having a web presence is vital in almost all fields of business, especially in retail where e-commerce is a necessity. Unfortunately, many small businesses make simple errors in web design that compromise their online presence. Avoiding these common pitfalls can enhance your traffic, user experience and ultimately boost your sales.
1. Stick to your target audience
Decide what demographic you are trying to reach and cater to their interests. Consider what design attributes will keep them navigating through the pages and returning later. Some will prefer a website that is bright and flashy, others bold and simplistic. Some may enjoy impressive, interactive features, but others might want a simple page that can be read on their mobile devices.
Men and women, as well as teens, college students and middle-aged adults have very different web navigating preferences. As Open Me CEO Ilya Pozin writes, “Attempting to please the masses might leave you pleasing no one.” Keep it simple, specific and effective.
2. Ensure users can ‘move forward’
Don’t let prospective customers leave your website without completing the next step. If your goal is to have the user make a purchase, send an email, or submit a form, make sure the option is clearly available. Don’t let the “obtain a quote” or “contact us” button get lost in pages of hyperlinks. Ideally, have it on the homepage or in a side panel where it won’t disappear.
3. Communicate with your programmer
A good programmer can get your site functioning with lightning response and smooth navigation, but without good communication, they may misrepresent your company’s image and goals. As Tony Felice, president of TFPR & Management, told Phoenix Business Journal, “not fully communicating with the designer the ‘big idea’ or working with a programmer who is not a designer are the two biggest mistakes.” Designers and programmers, Felice explains, “speak two different languages.” Make sure communication is well-mediated, and that intentions are understood.
4. Pay for the website that does your business justice
Freelance web designers may be a dime a dozen, but hiring a non-professional comes with considerable risk. Not only do you wager the quality of your website’s facade, but you risk giving it a shotty, incomplete interior as well. Further, freelance designers may be less inept to fix bugs or upkeep once the project is done.
Established designer Steve Tamulewicz, who also spoke with PBJ, routinely sees small businesses plagued by cheap, inadequate web design jobs. “They have blinders on when they have a budget in mind,” stated Tamulewicz. Businesses too focused on a budget will decide based on the price quote, rather than a firm’s experience, communication, or talent for perception.
If your business is running on a shoestring budget but would like to enhance your online presence, consider applying for a business cash advance. National Funding offers a variety of financing solutions that can give you the resources you need to allow your business pursue the digital revamp it deserves.