2017-12-05 00:00:00 Website English Learn about the most important elements to include in your business website and major pitfalls to avoid to ensure it's user-friendly. https://quickbooks.intuit.com/ca/resources/ca_qrc/uploads/2017/12/Woman-Wondering-Website-Harming-Business.jpg https://quickbooks.intuit.com/ca/resources/website/small-business-website-harm/ Is Your Website Harming Your Small Business?

Is Your Website Harming Your Small Business?

4 min read

Most businesses need a web presence to be taken seriously. Thinking that any website will do, some small business owners might rush and launch a poorly designed site that their customers just don’t like. Should you launch your website without careful planning, it might do your business more harm than good.

Elements of a Well-Done Business Website

The most important element of a well-designed business website is ease of navigation. If visitors to your website can’t find what they’re looking for easily, they may get frustrated and leave. This immediately makes your business look bad in the minds of consumers. In the mind’s of many consumers, a poor-quality website means poor-quality products and a poor customer experience. Don’t let a user-unfriendly website hurt your chances of new businesses. Ensuring that people can easily navigate around your website can keep this from happening.

Next, you should clearly state what products and services your business offers, and if you choose, the pricing of these items. Potential customers visit your website to learn more about what you do or sell. They don’t come to look at fancy logos or nice pictures; they want to know the benefits of being your customer. If you don’t have a section describing your products and services on your website, you likely aren’t getting the full benefit out of it.

Also, make sure that you have one or more ways for your website visitors to contact you. You can include your company’s physical address, phone number and email, but you might also want to include a web-based contact form. These forms are easy to setup and can forward messages from your website to any email address you choose automatically. A user-friendly website describing what your business does is great, but you still might lose potential customers if they can’t reach you easily to setup an appointment or ask questions.

Signs of Bad Business Website

It’s common for website visitors to have similar questions about your business. A sign that your website’s design is lacking is that it doesn’t have a frequently asked questions section. Having this section on the site saves hours of needless back-and-forth emails with prospects. Make your website better by having an FAQ page.

Next, if your website is missing credibility elements, visitors may not trust you. To gain trust from people who visit your website, you might include testimonials and details about actual projects you have completed or resources you’ve created. Your satisfied customers should be happy to write you one to post on your website.

Another sign your website needs some work is that it’s not mobile friendly. When you consider how much browsing people do on their mobile devices, it only makes sense to be mobile friendly. A website that looks terrible on a mobile phone, no matter how great it looks on a desktop computer, leaves open the possibility of losing more prospects.

Avoid Poor-Quality Content

Poor-quality content also makes your website look bad. Everyone knows a cheap, inauthentic website when they see one. If your logo looks sloppy, there are typos or the website’s typography looks too amateur, the overall user experience suffers. It’s a good idea to avoid free clip art and stock photos, which also make your website look less than professional. Make sure that the content you put on your website shines as much as possible. The extra effort you put in to these details help make the overall customer experience more enjoyable.

Resources such as the Canada Business Network provide businesses with information about website development, mobile-friendliness, and interactivity.

Getting Your Website Done Right

There are many things to consider when deciding how to design your company’s website. You have to decide if you’ll develop the website on your own or hire an website developer to do it for you. For a basic business website, the main question is whether or not you have the budget to hire someone to design the website and launch it for you. If you do, then you absolutely should pay for it. The main reasons for this are that you’ll get the website done very quickly, it’ll have a better design that you could likely do yourself, and it’ll be mobile-friendly.

If you choose to learn how to make the website yourself, keep in mind that it may require a significant time commitment; creating a website isn’t something you can do over the weekend. There’s a middle-ground option, though. You can pay for a template-based service like Squarespace, Wix, or similar sites. With these sites, you get a beautiful template design for your website, which you can setup yourself, for a small monthly fee.

Overall, a bad-looking website or a poorly designed one can have instant negative consequences for your business. Consumers these days can be fickle and have so many options that if they don’t like your website, they just move on to a competitor who has a good-looking one that’s easy to use. Make sure your website avoids the negative pitfalls and has all the right elements it needs for a great user experience.

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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