9 Common Errors on Small Business Websites

A website is an important tool for every small business. Even if customers find your site through an entry point like Google Maps, the quality of your website impacts how potential customers see your brand. Here are some of the most common errors that we see with small business websites.

1. Outdated, incorrect, or missing information

When customers visit a small business website, they are looking for answers to specific questions like:

  • What does this business do?
  • Does this business solve the problem I need solved?
  • How much does it cost?
  • How can I get in touch?

All of the content on a business website should be crafted with the customer’s questions in mind. Outdated information on a website can make customers feel like the business may not be open anymore. Incorrect information can frustrate them. Key information like business hours, contact channels, location, staff, and pricing should be regularly updated.

2. Non-responsive website design

Today, most people browse the web on mobile devices, which means that it’s critical for your website to be responsive. Responsive websites are designed to display across all screen sizes while remaining easy to navigate. When we design a website, we ensure that it functions well across mobile, tablet, and desktop devices. If your website breaks when viewed on mobile, you could be frustrating customers and losing sales.

3. Dummy or default pages appear in navigation

Regardless of if you use a website building tool like Squarespace or Wix or a content management system such as WordPress to create your site, it will probably include a few default or dummy pages. Those pages are included as examples of what the site could look like, and they provide a scratch pad to test out design changes. But before the website goes live, it’s important to delete those pages or at least take them out of navigation. Leaving dummy or default pages accessible to visitors feels like walking into a house that still has exposed framing. The only pages that visitors should see are the ones you want them to see.

4. Non-clickable email and phone Links

Customers expect contact links to be clickable. No one wants to type in a phone number or an email address to contact your business. When we build websites, we ensure that all email and phone numbers are clickable, so that customers can contact you at the press of a button.

5. Not having a SSL certificate and improper site security

If you look in your search bar, you might notice a little lock next to the web address. That lock signifies that this site is secured and encrypted using a Secure Sockets Layer certificate. You’ll also notice that the web address begins with https:// The “s” stands for “secure.” If you collect customer information via a contact form or checkout process, it’s essential for your site to have an SSL certificate. If a website does not display a closed lock, it means that hackers could intercept data that customers provide on forms. Good website security protects customer data and shows your business is trustworthy.

6. Incorrect copyright year in the footer

An up-to-date copyright year is a small yet important signal that your business is still open. Many websites are built with the copyright date typed into the footer. A better approach is to code the copyright so that it automatically displays the current year.

7. Design that doesn’t match the brand

Everything that goes into the design of a website—layout, color, typography, imagery, etc.—should reflect and reinforce the style of the business. When a website doesn’t match the tone of the business, it makes the brand feel disjointed. Businesses with a cohesive brand presence stand out and appear more trustworthy.

8. Images not optimized for the web

Images have a major impact on page loading time. Images that are not optimized for the web can cause pages to load slowly—especially over a cellular data connection. Slow page loading can give the impression that your site isn’t working properly, which can cause customers to leave and search for other options.

9. Missing social icons

If your business has a presence on social media, icons with links to those profiles should be included on the website. Including links to your social profiles provides an opportunity to gain followers and stay in touch with potential customers after they leave your site.

Final thoughts

A website can be an incredible tool for marketing your business, building trust, and gaining customers. That’s why it’s important for business websites to be built with the customer’s needs in mind. When a website is well-designed, it will serve customers and help achieve business goals. How does your business website measure up?