Did you know that 94% of first impressions relate to your site’s web design?

A website is one of the very first things many small companies need to make their business look “real.” In fact, a website acts as the main first point of contact, especially for businesses that do not have a physical storefront.

And if you have a physical venue, more and more prospective clients will connect with your company online before they do so in person. Good news is that the website will help you meet clients that you would never be able to reach in person. The bad news is, there are a number of ways you mess up your first website.

Here are 6 of the most common mistakes small businesses often make and how you can avoid them.

1. Not Having A Website At All

If you’re not online, most of your potential clients don’t exist. Perhaps the most critical engagement point with a new client outside of a face-to-face meeting is a website. And so, even before they ever have a discussion with you, you can bet your future clients are checking out your website. So, having a good website is imperative.

Some people assume that have a Facebook page is sufficient. But, that’s far from the truth. There are many reasons why Facebook is not an acceptable replacement for a website, not least of which is that you should think long and hard on whether or not you actually want to be absolutely at the mercy of someone else (i.e.: Facebook) to access your online presence.

2. Not Making It Easy For Visitors To Contact You

When people come to your website, there are a lot of things they’re looking for. They want to know who you are, what you do, and most importantly — how they should get in touch with you.

Make it easier for your clients and prospective customers to find you by providing a contact page with the easiest way for them to talk to a real person. A lot of businesses use contact forms, which is great, but you’d be shocked how much more open you are when you provide your email address and/or phone number (especially your phone number!).

3. Not Updating It Regularly

There’s nothing worse than a website that’s totally out of date. If the most recent entry on your list of “events” is 4 months old, you’re sending a message that you just don’t care about someone coming to the website. Or, if your blog hasn’t had a new post for more than a week or two, visitors will start asking what happened to you.

Make sure your contact information is up-to-date, and if you are a retailer, make sure your website has your current business hours. Think like a customer, and make sure that whatever material they might be looking to find on your platform is not only available but up-to-date.

4. Not Knowing Who You Target Audience Is

Your website is supposed to serve a purpose. The aim of most companies is to guide potential customers to collaborate with their business. Hence, you must forget everything else and just focus on what matters to your potential customers.

You already know your product, or business or whatever you’re trying to sell. So, you’re not your customer.  Don’t use a vocabulary that makes sense to insiders, unless the website is for insiders only. Consider any website, image, connect, and text on your web, and be merciless in making sure it is led to your goal.

This means that calls to action (CTAs) should be transparent and important to prospective customers. Note that anything on the web can have a purpose, which should ideally be connecting you to your future customers.

5. Building The Website Yourself

Yes, entrepreneurs and small business owners need to wear multiple hats. Which is why you might attempt to build the website yourself. Unless you’re a web designer or have some experience in that niche, this is a really bad idea.

Yeah, it’s easy — there are practically hundreds of cheap website building options — but that doesn’t mean it’s a successful idea for your company.

If your website really is the starting point for the vast majority of your clients, it’s worth spending more time, resources, and money to get it right.

Find a partner who will help you evaluate the message you want to send, and help you craft a concept who represents — and enhances your brand. There’s a saying, “You can pay now, or you can pay later.” You can pay a designer right now, or you can pay when your website fails to accomplish anything for your company later. Focus on what you know well and find someone who can help you connect with your target group.

6. Not Building A Mobile-Friendly Website

More than 52% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices, according to a new study. If your website template is not suited to smartphone browsers, you could lose an opportunity to meet half of your future clients.

At the very least, you’re showing them you don’t even care for their business because you can’t have problems using one of the gazillion mobile-responsive themes and plugins available from practically every content management network out there.

As a company owner, you may want to build your own web, but you may have to undertake other activities that make you more professional. It is sometimes better to leave those work to experts. They will turn your thoughts into parts and blocks of pages, help build matching CTAs, and tune your platform to your goals.

Ishan Vyas is a Project Manager at Citrusbug Technolabs having more than a decade of exposure in IT industry.Developed over hundred web and mobile applications, he is helping businesses to achieve their technology milestones.

Web design stock photo by Apik/Shutterstock