7 Web Design mistakes small businesses make

Hows your website doing?

Is it working for you?

Are you getting website visitors?

More importantly are you getting sales conversions?

Whilst it’s easy to get a website up and running, it’s not so easy to make a good website.

One that brings in visitors, makes them stay on your website, keeps them coming back and converts them into customers.

This is a challenge for any website but an even bigger problem for small business websites.

Small business websites don’t tend to have the resources or the luck that a large scale online business does to make a website sticky, successful or even sexy!

Or does it?

Resources and cash flow certainly help to make a great website but what’s just as important is knowledge on how to make a great website.

That’s what a lot of small business websites lack.

The knowledge on what works and what doesn’t.

The knowledge of online marketing and the digital landscape.

And the knowledge of web design and deployment.

Have no fear as I am here.

I run a web design studio in the Romford & Hornchruch areas of Essex and I’ve built websites for global companies and dozens of small businesses just like you.

To be honest, the size of the website or company doesn’t really matter.

Whether its a large scale corporation or the sole trader down the road, they both make the same mistakes when it comes to designing their own websites.

Here’s 7 website mistakes that small businesses make. Be sure to avoid them.

1. Don’t create a boring website!

Just becuase you’re a small business that doesn’t mean you have to have a small website, a drab website, a basic website or even a boring website.

You can do anything you want with a webpage!

Whether it’s a contact page, about us page or shop page, you can make each page a pleasure to land on.

Why is that important?

It’s been recorded that a user will spend as little as 10 seconds on a website before leaving if it doesn’t hold their attention.

And to hold their attention you need to entertain them.

Content is king!

But what’s just as important is how you structure and present that content.

A drab webpage full of unformatted text will hold no ones attention, even if the content is good.

A well designed page will structure copy and content, and use imagery to keep a user on the webpage for 10 times longer.


They were entertained by the overall design and they were compelled to read more and take the exciting journey that your website laid out for them.

Photos, images and good design have a great impact on the userability of your website.

Theres no reason not to invest in it.

Custom web design or bespoke photography may be expensive but cheaper alternatives such as stock photos and website templates are pretty cheap these days and do a better job than a shoddy job.

Don’t make the mistake of not investing in the content of your website ie, Photos, graphics, user interface, web design, copywriting.

They’re all their to convert users into customers.

Now, you may be asking “How do I create this magnificent, compelling and exciting webpage?”

To begin, learn how to write engaging website copy to take users on a vertical journey down the page.

Then take a look at how to create a beautiful website.

2. Not doing any website SEO or keyword research

If you really want to make more of your website then its a must that you do some SEO (search engine optimisation) and keyword reseach for your website.

To put simply, search engines pretty much search and rank websites by the keywords used in any given webpage as well as the keywords that the website wants to be found for.

You can’t expect a search engine to show your website when someone looks for it if you don’t tell the search engine what keywords you want to be found for!

However, it’s not as simple as picking keywords and just using them.

There are things to consider such as the state of your website, is it mobile responsive, is it relative to your keyword choice and all of this compared to one of your competitor websites.

Search engines don’t just display any given website.

They have choice.

There’s always more than one website trying to come up in any given search.

Search enegines have to decide which website to show and when.

And they may chose to show your comeptitors site above yours if your competitor did some SEO to claim it’s higher position.

SEO is pretty complicated stuff so if you need help, it’d be ideal to get help from a Leading Freelance SEO Consultant. In doing so they can reveal a lot about your website position in the online marketplace.

SEO can show you how much competition there really is, how hard it might be to be found online but most importantly it can reveal alternate ideas on how to market your business within a search engine.

These ideas are based on things called niche keywords or longtail keywords.

They equate to searches that people are making which are popular or specific but without a huge demand of websites answering it.

Lets says for example that you’re looking for a logo designer in my home town of Romford.

That’s a pretty specific search but still has a lot of competition locally and if you google it, my studio website comes up at 2nd or 3rd place.

Now, I can push to get to first place but I can also target niche keywords or longtail phrases to target a different set of search requirements.

Lets say that you searched for Brand Identity Designer Hornchurch.

If you do, my webpage https://conceptstore.co.uk/brand-identity-design.html comes in at first place.

It’s not as popular of a key-phrase as logo design but it still gives my website visibility and will be the best choice for someone searching for a more specific service than a logo designer.

Don’t make the mistake of not doing any SEO and keyword research for your website.

To get a more detailed look at how SEO works check out section 2 & 9 of my article 14 startup mistakes to avoid when opening an online shop

3. You don’t have a website blog

Investing in a static brochure site may be what you think you need for a small business website but unless you’ve got some other form of solid marketing to promote your website, you’re going to need a blog in addition to your brochure site.

You see, your website allows you to talk in general about your services and maybe even go into a little more detail about specific services but people online want specific answers to specific questions so why not give it to them.

This could mean adding hundreds of additional pages to your website in which case you’d then have to categorise the pages and restructure the site so that content is easy to find and manage.

This would increase the costs of your website as you’d need a web designer or someone to add every new page to your website.

This is where a blog comes in handy.

If you don’t know what a blog is then read What is a blog, how to create one and why.

To put simply though, a blog allows you to create a multitude of content that’s specific to a subject.

This makes it incredibly easy for you to create new, useful and relevant content that can be shared across multiple mediums to create refferals back to your website.

If you do your SEO as well, then that content can have great impact and be ready and available to be found by anyone, anytime to create a sales referral.

Don’t make the mistake of not having a blog.

4. Your website pages are landing pages

Many small businesses still treat websites like they did in the noughties.

The entire focus of their website is on the homepage because they think that’s how a user will enter their site.

The truth is that most users won’t enter your site through your homepage.

If you’ve done your SEO, keyword research and implemented it across your website then it’s highly likey that your visitors will be entering your site through a secondary level page or any page that you’ve shared and promoted.

This is down to the way that online marketing works.

People who are looking for a web designer may not be interested in looking at my studio website homepage, conceptstore.co.uk because it’s an overview of all the services I offer as a design studio and its not specific about web design.

People who are looking for a web designer may be more interested in the secondary page on my website conceptstore.co.uk/web-design.html and it’s more than likey that they’ll find that page instead of my homepage.

However, if they’re looking for something even more specific like an e-commerce web designer then they may well find this page on my blog instead: How to create and market your own beautiful online boutique.

The principle is that users are searching in a much more specific way today.

Website addresses are pretty much just referrals as to where they may begin to look for what they need or a solid reminder as to what address they can come back to.

Overall, users will always still start their search on their own, using their own keywords and online search methods.

They may not land on your homepage unless you’ve managed to promote it to them in some way.

And with that in mind, they’re likely to land on any given page of your website that has content which is close to answering their questions.

These are the pages that they will land on ie. landing pages.

To take full advantage of this random access to your website, you need to give as much attention in terms of design and copy to all of your website page templates.

Make every page content specific and use good copy and graphics so you can compel to sell with a sales journey.

To get a head start on creating landing pages, download The Ultimate guide to landing page design.

5. Not making your website mobile responsive

Most small businesses think that a mobile site is one that works on a mobile device.

It’s not.

Almost all websites will work on a mobile phone without changing a thing.

What’s important is how the website works and reacts to a mobile device.

ie. How does it become mobile friendly.

To be mobile friendly, your website basicially needs to respond to a users device.

This means that the website has the ability to sense that it’s being looked at on a mobile phone, measure the screen size and restructure itself to fit.

Its doesn’t “shrink to fit”.

It resizes to make the most optimal experience for the user.

Some things like headers may get smaller but other things like paragraph text may get bigger.

This is all so the website continues to be a seamless and easy experience to browse on, regardless of the screen size.

It’s astonishing to see how many people are browsing websites on their mobile phones and its worth noting that most people are taking action on mobilefriendly websites as well as navigating away from non-mobile friendly websites.

Being mobile-friendly adds value to your website and keeps visitors on the site.

It also increases conversions.

Five years ago you could have got away with just a desktop version of your website but now you really do need a responsive website design so don’t make the mistake of not having one or having a bad one.

6. Not getting website support

Many businesses invest in websites but then invest nothing in maintaining it.

Most startups we work with realise within a year (if not months) that:

  1. They need new content
  2. They need new graphics
  3. They need new pages
  4. Their site has been hacked
  5. They need support

Theres no point in waiting it out.

This may well be the number one reason why your website stinks.

Get website support to make the most of your investment.

7. You didn’t put enough effort into your website

I know that you’re busy.

You may have other responsibilities in life apart from building your business website.

You may have a family to take care of or other employment to deal with.

You may even have other businesses and business websites to manage as well.

But, what you put into the website is what you’ll get out of it.

If you lose traction of your website development or simply ignore it then you should expect it to slump or fail because building it and letting it sit won’t help you in any way.

If you really want to get something out of having a website, work on it weekly if not daily.

Make changes, even a small change and in doing so you’ll reap the rewards of having an active and dynamic website for your small business.


If you’re websites not doing much for your small business then get in touch to see how I can help.  I’ll review your website for free and advise on what you can do to make it more of a business asset.

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