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Stay ahead of your competitors by following this small business website checklist

Whether you built your small business website yourself, hired a pro, or are about to embark on a brand new site, use this checklist to avoid some of the most common mistakes that (understandably) non-savvy small biz website owners make.


1.  What is it you do again?

You've heard it before. You've got 3 seconds or less to convince a website visitor to stay and peruse your website and, hopefully, follow the call-to-action that you've carefully crafted into the home page. If the visitor to your site has to wonder for more than a second what it is you're offering, you'll lose them. Take the time to figure out how to make your offering clear and appealing to potential customers (e.g: focus on the benefits), and then show that "above-the-fold" of your site in clear, simple, language.


2.  Is your "About" page all about you?

The About Page is one of the most viewed of any website. A fatal mistake is to create an About Page that is all about you. You'd be forgiven to think otherwise. What your potential client is really looking for is what you can do for them. When you write your About Page, make sure you're answering the question "how will these skills/expertise/accreditation's benefit my potential customer?" and answer the question within the written text.


3.  Background music

This is so blatant that I shouldn't have to mention it but if anyone out there still thinks background music is a good idea on a website...well, don't come to me to design your site please!


4.  How do I contact you?

You've got to make it easy-peasy and super obvious when it comes to displaying your contact info. It doesn't make any sense to make visitors work hard to figure out how to reach you, so don't.


5.  Ghastly color combinations

Just like people, some colors simply don't work well together (yellow or red text on black background, for example). Too many colors are overwhelming. There's an art and science to using color on a website but don't let that worry you, because there's also some great tools you can use to find good color combinations. Here's a couple to get you started:

Color Scheme Designer

Adobe Color Wheel


6.  Cluttered Pages & Bad Layout

Website pages that are loaded with information, ads, images, and flashing things completely distract the visitor from whatever the point is that you are trying to get across (and you should be trying to get a point across). People are busy. Make it easy for them to find exactly what they need on each of your pages. Lay the page out with plenty of white space and speak only to a few points per page.

Next week I'll be giving some pointers about DIY SEO. Check back soon!

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Six Small Business Website Mistakes That Will Drive Your Customers Away

Posted by Lulu on March 3, 2014