Common Web Design Mistakes Small Businesses Make

Common Web Design Mistakes Small Businesses Make

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a professional Web design could be worth many thousands of dollars – if you can avoid the common mistakes of small business Web design that often drive customers away.

While every website design should reflect the unique qualities of the business itself, there are some universal rules of professional Web design that every online business should follow.

Web design mistakes can have a dramatic and lasting impact on your business, especially if you run a small business. Unfortunately, small businesses usually rely on doing things themselves, making the top web design mistakes common in small business websites.

There are plenty of web design mistakes to avoid, but here are six common web design mistakes small businesses make that you need to prevent for long-term success.

List of Common Web Design Mistakes Small Businesses Make:

1. Confusing User Experience Elements

User experience (UX) is how people interact with your website and the information you provide. To provide a good UX, you must ensure that your site is easy to navigate and that the different elements on your site provide the information people need without any confusion.

Unfortunately, this is something that many small businesses that do their web design fail to do correctly. While it may seem like a minor problem to the designer, it is a much bigger problem to users. These are some of the top web design mistakes involving UX design.

Lacking Visual Hierarchy

A visual hierarchy is simply the order in which you display certain elements on your website. It would help if you ensured that the essential elements are shown first and, therefore, easier to find.

Lack of Clear Navigation

There are basic design conventions that define how navigation elements should be used. If you stray from these conventions, it becomes more challenging to use your website. Many small businesses create navigation elements that are too difficult to use because they have too many options or are hard to use on specific devices. Navigation choices should be clear and easy to use so your users can efficiently find what they need.

2. Failing to Understand the Target Audience

As a business owner, you will be very familiar with your products or services, but a website visitor will likely know little about them. Therefore, before you design a website, you need to know who your target audience is so that you can design the site in a way that will appeal to them.

You will have to research to develop a profile of your target audience. There are online tools that can help with this. You can also explore yourself by finding similar companies, products, and services and analyzing their customers to see who is likely interested in your products and services.

3. Unoptimized Content

If you don’t optimize the content on your site, it will be difficult (if not impossible) for people to find the information they want. There are several things you can do to optimize your site’s content.

Create Relevant and Quality Content

The quality of the content on your site is the first thing people see. If it is unorganized, full of errors, or just plain irrelevant, you will turn visitors away. Therefore, always write quality and relevant content for your site.

Use Appropriate Keywords

If you want your site to rank well in search engines, you must include keywords that people are likely to search for. However, you don’t want to include so many keywords that you mistakenly sound spammy and unrealistic.

4. Incorrect Use of Color

Poor use of color can leave your site looking unprofessional and make your content inaccessible. Color choices must focus on more than just looking good. You need to understand how your viewers are affected by your color choices. There are a few things you can do to make sure you are using color correctly:

Choose Your Color Scheme

You need to choose the colors that your site will use. A good rule of thumb is to use two or three colors and make sure that they are used throughout the site. Sticking to this limited use of colors makes it easier to create pages that look good while being easy to read.

Use Color Theory

Color theories are based on simple concepts that help designers use color effectively. It allows designers to choose colors that work together. You need to make sure that you pair colors that contrast nicely with each other. Otherwise, the content and elements on the page will be difficult to read.

5. No Lead Magnet or Call to Action

A lead magnet is a piece of free content (such as an ebook or a cheat sheet) that you provide visitors in exchange for their contact details. Giving away something of value for free makes customers more likely to buy from you later when they need other things.

A call to action is a statement that encourages visitors to take a specific action. This could be purchasing a product, signing up to your mailing list, or any other action that you wish them to take.

If you don’t clearly state what you want people to do, they are unlikely to do anything. If you want to increase the number of visitors to your site, you need to make it easy for them to find what they are looking for and take the actions you want them to take.

6. No Responsive Design

A responsive design looks just as good on a desktop computer as on a mobile device. If your site isn’t responsive, it will appear small and difficult to navigate on a phone or tablet. This can result in people abandoning your site before they even have a chance to look at it.

You are turning away many potential customers by not having a responsive design. A responsive design doesn’t just mean that the site looks good on mobile devices; it also works well.

Also, try to avoid these mistakes in your small business web design

Don’t Be Too Flashy
Flash animation certainly has its place in website design – but it’s typically not on the home page of your small business Web design. Customers arrive at your website expecting to find helpful information about the products and services that interest them – not a slowly unfolding display of digital animation. Use flash wisely – and sparingly – in your professional Web design.

Don’t Strain the Eye
Keeping website design simple can literally save you – and your customers – from headaches. Use a tried-and-true font style, such as Arial, that’s sans-serif and proven to be readable. Background is another area of concern for professional Web design. Using patterned backgrounds or placing colored type against a black background may cause users to seek someone else’s more pleasing website design.

Don’t Make it Difficult
Use of navigation in professional Web design is akin to use of GPS on a road trip. Use it wisely and visitors will arrive at the desired destination – and even enjoy themselves along the way. Resist the urge to get too creative with this aspect of your small business Web design – a clean navigation panel is a user’s best resource. When you hide website design navigation in fancy flash animation or in images, your customers will get lost – and lose interest.

Don’t Waste Time
When your website design is full of graphics and images, it requires a greater amount of bandwidth. This increased bandwidth takes longer for the user to download. In the time it takes for your website design to load, your customer may very well decide it’s not worth the wait. Try not to forget the people using a dial-up or mobile Internet connection. Use the graphics and images that are absolutely necessary for your small business Web design and save the rest for your portfolio.

Don’t Overdo It
Everyone has come across a small business Web design that seems to include everything but the proverbial kitchen sink. Cluttered website design overwhelms your site’s visitors and can make your business appear unprofessional. A disorganized website design tends to reflect poorly on the very business it is supposed to promote, while a professional Web design speaks volumes about your attention to detail.


Your website design will become the “face” of your business, so you’ll need a professional Web design that not only turns customers’ heads, but also keeps them interested. Follow the simple guidelines of small business Web design and you’ll see the beauty in a more positive visitor experience.

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