Now, more than ever, businesses are represented through online websites. The good news is the visibility for a new business is astronomical. The bad news is, today’s society has come to expect a great deal from our website experiences. Below are a few of the common mistakes made by small business websites.

Interactive: Traditional websites once viewed on desktop computers are now viewed on iPhone, iPad, tablets and twelve new digital media devices before I finish this article. Which means your site must be built with a responsive design. Responsive means that your site is sized to fit the device it’s being read on. If your business is predominately Ecommerce, consider hiring a well-versed web designer.

Click Friendly: We live in an instant society. We want what we want immediately. That means your call to action (or sales) button must be quick and easy to use. If you make your consumer go through too many steps to purchase your products or services, you may lose the sale. I suggest a two click sale. Use a shopping cart, and use the security of a known payment method like PayPal.

Email Capture: Once you’ve attracted someone to your site, how will you communicate with them future offers, improvements and information? Many small businesses lack an email capture sign up. You can easily add these through one of several email capture programs. To motivate viewers to sign up for your newsletter, sending them a free gift such as a booklet filled with information they were searching for when they arrived at your site. Or you might offer a discount coupon for a product for signing up.

STATS: Failing to use an analytic program that can clearly demonstrate your daily, weekly and monthly traffic could thwart your attempts to entice advertisers to your site. Ads on your site is a good way to build residual income, share companies you like working with and equipping your customers with quality products. Look into Google Analytics, Heat Maps, etc. (Again, having a good web master on your team can be worth their weight in gold.)
Branding: Personalize your site so at a glance, consumers know who you are and what you are about. Did you know 75% of consumers get frustrated when the content on a website has nothing to do with promotions, sales, or offers. It’s irritating to follow a title “Princess Kate Stuns Audience with this Provocative Outfit” and discover that it’s the same tour of her clothing we’ve seen on the internet, and there’s no provocative outfit. Don’t do this to your customers. If you have branded yourself as a “fashion consultant” then make certain everything on your website has to do with fashion and consulting.

SEO: You might be tempted to forget this tool afraid it’s too techy for you, but don’t. SEO or search engine optimization helps your site rise to the top in Google and Bing rankings. When customers look up something on the internet, the higher your ranking, the closer to the top of the lists of responses to a search. Targeting specific keywords will optimize your site and make you more visible.

Widgets: Little things can mean a lot like: maps to your store front, easily accessible contact information, event planning , Hours of operation, online events or scheduling, a clickable email contact, Yelp reviews, Social Icons, Share Icons and blog posts. It helps your client see you as a professional.

Including these items puts you on the cutting edge in the market place and makes your website user friendly. Gone are the days where a simple one page website is enough. The current society is computer/website savvy and expects more. Get it right and your opportunities are endless!