Ten Common Mistakes that SMEs make with their websites
Running a business is a full-time job so keeping an eye on your online image can often get forgotten. But things change quickly in the wonderful world of the web and it’s important not to fall behind. So we’ve created a list of the most common mistakes that SMEs make with their websites. Have you got these covered? Or is it time to put your website back on your to-do list?
Have you checked that your website functions well on all devices? With more than half the world’s web traffic coming via mobile phones, it’s important that your content is accessible on different screen sizes. Your website is potentially a customer’s first impression of your business, so make sure they don’t go elsewhere because the layout, content, and images don’t smoothly adapt to the screen size they’re using.
- Colour and contrasts:
Pick colours that complement each other. Too many bright colours are straining on the eyes, while dull ones make for uninspiring viewing. Using several shades of one colour for text can be effective. But make sure there is a strong contrast between your background (no patterns here please!) and your text – it’s easier to read. And don’t forget that a good image will bring lots of colour to a site so a rainbow approach to text and backgrounds in usually uncalled for.
- Too many different font sizes:
It’s best to have set font sizes for page titles, headers, and the main body of text, and then stick to them throughout the website. Your design choices really shouldn’t overshadow your content, rather, they should complement them.
- Too much content:
A website is like a shop window; you want to include enough to tempt people in, but you don’t want to make it so they can see everything you’ve got without stepping into your store. Make sure they have a reason to contact you and start a dialogue.
- Cluttered Homepage:
Try not to bombard potential customers with all the information on one page – spread your content across the whole website. Avoid unnecessary bells and whistles and for me that includes your Twitter feed. Controversial I know but Twitter should be used to drive traffic to your website – not the other way around. And leave plenty of white space so visitors to the site can focus on the messages you want to convey without distraction.
- Slow speed:
A little bit techie but make sure you’re using high-quality images, as heavy, low-quality ones will really slow your site down. Also, the site needs to be hosted on a high-speed server to make sure that pages and images upload quickly and before customers lose patience. I think we’ve all clicked off a site because something has taken too long to download!
- Call to action:
What do you want visitors to the site to do next? If it’s contact you, then have you made that easy for them to do, with a clear button or link to a contact page or questionnaire form? If you don’t know how to do this, and want more advice … then you should … contact us? (See what we did there? Easy!)
- Poor Navigation:
Hansel tried to make it easy for him and Gretel to find their way back home by leaving breadcrumbs, but he didn’t think it through and they got eaten by birds. Don’t be Hansel! Make sure there’s a proper flow of related information, making it easy for customers to navigate their way back through your website without having to press that big ugly ‘back’ button in the top left-hand corner.
- Pop-up windows:
They’re just really irritating! And without wishing to sound too much like a marketing person – it really disturbs the customer experience if they must break off from reading your beautifully worded and relevant content to close a pop-up. Plus they can be fiddly to get rid of if you’re viewing on a mobile.
- No social media links:
Have clear links to your social media platforms so people can go and check them out if they want to. But if you do this then please make sure you post regularly on those platforms. Untended social media doesn’t give a good impression.
So, how did you do? Does your website fall into any of the technological traps outlined above? If something here has struck a chord then we’d be happy to have a no obligation chat about how we might give you a helping hand. Just get in touch.