website designIt’s a must-have for businesses, but a quality website is easier said than done. Pitfalls lurk around every corner. Whether it’s confusing navigation or an unsightly design, users don’t need much of a reason to leave your site. Research from the Nielsen Norman Group notes that the average page visit lasts a little less than a minute. That usually isn’t enough time for potential customers to purchase a product or sign up for a service, so businesses need high-quality sites to boost their face time. Attract more traffic and convert more leads by avoiding these common web fails.

Bad Navigation

Creative designs can attract viewers, but without clear navigation, users won’t know how to explore your business services. Functional navigation is a basic principle, but thousands of websites leave their users stranded and confused. As you develop a website, double and triple check buttons to make sure they all click through to the correct destinations. Shop around for the right web host before you decide who to go through. You need a host with the right tools, services and affordability for your business. Do an online comparison through a site like WebHostingBlueBook.com to find the right host. Maintain a consistent website banner throughout your pages and link it back to the home page. If you’re designing a website, start by outlining a structure for navigation, then add your aesthetic touch.

Poor Optimization

What good is a business website if no one visits it? Countless businesses miss out on potential visitors because their websites aren’t optimized for search engines. The higher your business website ranks in search engines for relevant keywords, the better chance you have to gain quality leads. A few quick tips can boost your Google rankings. Update your title tags with a short description of your business. Include keywords that users would search to find your products or services. Customize your meta tags with similar keywords. Google’s crawlers weight these two factors heavily. Take a few minutes to update your code and you’ll see a boost in your website search rankings.

Unprofessional Design

Bad graphics, ugly colors and low-resolution pictures don’t make a website scream, “Do business with us!” A website’s design gives visitors a first impression. Fail to impress and they’ll click back as fast as they clicked through. A basic principle: if you’re stuck in between two design elements, go with the simpler of the two. Avoid brightly colored, tough-to-read fonts. Professional websites maintain a common theme and feel on all pages. If your logo is blue, don’t prominently feature red, green or yellow. Modern users expect high-resolution images. Don’t settle for anything less than 70 pixel per square inch.

Hidden Information

Some businesses focus so much on design that they forget to include valuable information. SMB DigitalScape reports that 60 percent of small businesses don’t have a telephone number listen on their homepage. Many users visit websites in search of basic information. Don’t make them dig for it. List a telephone number, address (if applicable), email and hours of operation on your homepage.

Weak Security

Small businesses are often easy targets for hackers looking to swipe information. Weak website security threatens visitors’ information and your business’ reputation. Keep your cyber infrastructure secure to ward off malicious hackers. Start by bolstering your business Wi-Fi with encrypted protection. Change your password every year to reduce the risk that someone has obtained it and is waiting to strike.