Top 7 Small Business Website Mistakes To Avoid

Not all websites are created equally so here’s how to make sure yours makes the cut.

Small business is tough because you have to wear a thousand hats yourself. And in some cases, one of those hats is that of a web designer. But if you’re pressed for time or you aren’t a design aficionado, your website might not turn out the way you wanted it to.

So we pulled together a list of the top web design mistakes that cost small business owners time (and money). Here’s what’s inside:

  1. Not having a website at all
  2. Not hiring a pro
  3. Bad design choices
  4. Not designing for mobile
  5. Using a template
  6. Ignoring the needs of your customers
  7. Irrelevant images

Small Business Website Mistake #1: Not having a website at all

Nearly a third of all small businesses don’t have a website. That’s alarmingly high — and it’s incredibly bad for business.

Even if referrals, networking, or walk-ins generate revenue, if you don’t have a website, you miss out because:

  • Websites give small businesses credibility
  • Websites showcase your brand, products, and services to potential customers
  • Websites generate leads
  • Websites grow organic traffic
  • Websites save you (and your customer service team) time

Honestly, there are countless other benefits but those are the biggies. No matter how small your business is, or what services you offer, you need a website. Period.

Small business website design pro tip:

If you aren’t sure where to start, talk with a web design expert for advice.

Small Business Website Mistake #2: Not hiring a pro

Your website should be easy to navigate. It should show off your business. And it has to provide value to your customers. Unfortunately, all of this is hard to pull off if you take a DIY approach.

Not to mention, websites need maintenance:

  • Domain name renewals
  • Website hosting and maintenance
  • Debugging
  • Website hack prevention
  • Ecommerce support

The good news is that a team of web design pros can build you a next-level website. And in most cases, they can help you maintain it, too.

Small business website design pro tip:

Research web designers before you hire one. Check out reviews and browse their portfolio for work samples.

Small Business Website Mistake #3: Flat out bad design

We’ve all seen that website. It’s too busy, too colorful, and it looks like it was built in the early ’90s. Most of the time, bad design is obvious. But not always.

That’s because an average web designer makes a website that works and is “good enough.” But expert web designers take your brand and your customers into consideration to make something that’s great.

Small business website design pro tip:

Just because something looks great doesn’t mean it’s effective. Your website should look great, and serve a purpose at the same time.

Small Business Website Mistake #4: Not making it mobile-friendly

There are more than 6B smartphone users in the world. And 270M of them are in the United States. So if your website isn’t optimized for mobile use, you will lose business — there’s no way around it.

Your small business website has to be easy to navigate and use on a smartphone. And the good news is if you work with a quality web designer, they’ll do this part for you.

Small business website design pro tip:

View your website on different types of mobile devices. Try an Android, try an iPhone, try a tablet. Make sure it displays optimally across all devices.

Small Business Website Mistake #5: Using a template

Templates are a great way to map out how you want your website to look. But the design process shouldn’t stop there. When you opt for a template design instead of a custom one, this is what you get:

  • Templates limit your options
  • Templates diminish the customer experience
  • Templates make SEO and CRO much harder
  • Templates are generic (it’s easy for your competition to copy you)
  • Templates aren’t always compatible with mobile use

You wouldn’t rent a one-size-fits-most studio apartment for your family of five. Instead, you’d likely prefer to buy a home with multiple bedrooms, a big kitchen, maybe a backyard.

The same applies to your small business website. When you use a template, you choose the studio apartment. But when you customize, you choose to build a home from scratch that meets all your specs.

Small business website design pro tip:

Take the time to customize your design to match your needs as a business, and the needs of your potential customers — it’ll pay off.

Small Business Website Mistake #6: Ignoring your target audience

No matter how big or small your business is, your audience is everything. They’re who you need to attract, nurture, and convert. And your website has to do a lot of heavy lifting here. So when it’s time to design a website, it has to meet your audience’s needs and provide value. Here’s what your website needs:

  1. The way your website looks and feels should attract your target audience
  2. Your website’s content should speak directly to your target audience
  3. Product descriptions, contact details, and other info should be easy to find

In short, make your website work for you. Because if it doesn’t, it hurts your small business.

Small business website design pro tip:

Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and take a walk around your website. If it doesn’t feel right to you, it won’t feel right to your potential customers.

Small Business Website Mistake #7: Irrelevant images

Your website has two main parts. The content, or what’s written in text. And the visuals, or the images, graphics, color palette, and so on.

Even if you nail everything else, strange or irrelevant images will turn your customers off. They’re confusing, they feel out of place, and it makes potential customers feel like you don’t understand them.

Small business website design pro tip:

Invest in quality stock images and consider partnering with a design firm to develop custom graphics that make sense for your brand.

Final thoughts on small business website design

There you have it — the list of top small business website mistakes to avoid. For reference, here’s a quick summary of everything we’ve discussed:

  • Prioritize getting a website if you don’t already have one
  • Work with a design pro to get your website to the next level
  • Small business websites should look great and provide value
  • No matter what, make sure your small business website is mobile-optimized
  • Ditch templates and invest in a custom website instead
  • Don’t ignore your target audience. Instead, put them at the center of everything
  • Invest in quality graphics and images

Learn even more about small business website design services here. You’ll find even more guides, tips, and resources on your favorite marketing topics.