Pen and paper, drawing of a website.

The Top 5 Deadly Design Sins of Small Business Websites

Grammar and Spelling

It seems like the sheer number of readers available for any given website would lead to getting a message just right, but we have all been to sites that just aren’t quite up to par in the grammar and spelling departments. Why editing and proofreading seem to be less critical in digital content than traditional mediums is up for debate, but it still matters to most of us. At best, it weakens the message and hurts the credibility and trust of whoever is promoting the message. At worst, like the unfortunate typo on a McDonald’s sign in Hartford Connecticut, failing to proofread can change the message entirely. Would you eat at a place that sells an “Anus burger” when what you really want is an “Angus burger”?

 

Responsiveness

Not responsive like vital signs or some other dangerous situation, but in the digital sense. In the digital world, your customers expect your presence on the web to be accessible across a broad range of devices, and they want an easy-to-use interface whether they are on their phone, tablet or computer. If you care about getting your message across to your customers as often as possible, with minimal effort on their part, you can’t afford to have anything less than a responsive website. Just like in those emergency room dramas with the nurse screaming “He’s not responsive!”, a nonresponsive webpage leads to pretty much the same result. RIP!

 

Consistent, Professional Presentation

Those flashing banners and cutesy animations are annoying and amateurish. Your graphics, fonts and other design elements must be consistent and polished, not something put together by your neighbor’s 13-year-old Instagram whiz. Your customers want things as easy as possible, and that means easy on the eyes and the brain. Don’t give your customers tricks and treats, just provide them with the message. Consistency in your visuals and your message make your company easy to recognize, easy to remember and trustworthy.

 

Relevant Content

The days of keyword stuffing, fluff and filler are gone. Google realizes this and frequently changes its search algorithms to reflect that your customers demand relevant, valuable content and won’t put up with anything less. Not only does Google and other search engines reward websites that provide relevant, original content, they also penalize sites that don’t. So if you want your customer’s attention and their money, then you better provide useful information in your content. If your content isn’t relevant, then neither is your website.

 

The User Experience

Successful companies make it as easy as possible for their customers to connect to and learn about a company, their services, and their products. Customers want to do business with companies that understand the value of their customer’s time and if those companies want that hard earned money. If I have to fill out a form just to find out if I want to do business with you, I’m already gone. Show me you care. Make it easy and I just might become your next customer!