5 Things to Avoid on Your Small Business Website

June 08 2012

Authored by: Heather Hancock.US Team 3 Minute Read

About.us article

bad website example, via http://freehostingtips.com To help keep your website on track, .us has put together a quick list of 5 things to avoid on your website and why: 1. Lengthy copy: According to BeeHive Media, visitors have a 10-second average attention span on websites. This means that if they can’t find the information they need, they will quickly leave your website and you’ll lose their business. So, keep your copy short, concise and on point. Despite what you might wish, visitors will not read all your content. Instead, they’ll quickly skim for the information most relevant to them. Include your most important content at the top of the page and use formatting to your advantage. This might be as simple as leveraging headings and subheadings, bullets, numbers, colors and spacing to organize your information in a way that visitors can easily digest. Fashion magazines are great examples of effective copy and formatting that sells. This business truly depends on grabbing in customers at first scan. 2. Hyper fonts: It’s a best practice to use only two consistent fonts throughout your website. Any more will decrease the professionalism of your website and confuse your audience on where they should pay attention. In addition, steer clear of using fonts that are difficult to read. To ensure quick readability, it’s best to stick with Arial, Calibri and/or Times New Romans. Finally, use color and size variance sparingly. Dark colors are most effective for making headings and links stand out, limit number of font sizes used and keep consistent among sections (e.g. headings, subheadings and body text). When it comes to website text — simplicity is best! 3. Link soup: Have you ever visited a website with so many links that you didn't know where to click? By now we all know that including external links in your website has a positive influence on SEO; however, when your website is full of link soup — it’s sure to come across as unprofessional to new visitors and engagement will decrease significantly. Instead of overdoing it, streamline your call to action by being be deliberate in your linking goals and the value each will bring to you and your audience. When linking to external content on your site, make sure to set your links to open in a new window or browser. This prevents traffic from leaving your site when clicking on your link references. 4. Image overload: Visuals are powerful, but they should only be placed on your website with a distinct purpose. Pictures need to support your content rather than taking attention away from it. Scale photos to the appropriate size using photo editing programs like Photoshop, Microsoft Office Picture Manager or free cloud-based tools like LunaPic, FotoFlexer and Picnik. After you’ve uploaded your photos, make sure to include alt tags and descriptions for SEO purposes and those who are visually impaired. 5. Flash: A recent article published by The Wall Street Journal announced that mobile devices now comprise more than 20 percent of web traffic in the United States. Since Flash is not supported on most mobile devices, this translates to about one out of every five web users cannot view it. To small businesses, 20% of disengaged web visitors could cause a significant loss in revenue. Because of this, most web designers are turning to HTML5 as an alternative to create animation and engagement that is compatible with all internet-enabled devices. Through avoiding lengthy copy, hyper fonts, link soup, image overload and flash on your small business website, you will not only build your business’ professionalism and credibility but also increase customer conversions and sales. These simple but vital guidelines can make or break your web presence success.

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