If you’ve got a small business you can’t afford to neglect your website. In this day and age you aren’t going to get anywhere if you don’t have an online presence. To truly thrive, your website needs to be well thought out, beautifully designed and give customers exactly what they’re looking for.

However, there are many mistakes that small businesses make with their web design, most of which could be easily avoided. Business2community recently shared some advice on how to avoid the most common pitfalls when it comes to designing a website for a small business.

One of the website’s top tips is to hire a professional web designer to work on your project. However, it stressed that this doesn’t mean you have to go and hire a huge design agency with international clients.

Instead, focus on finding web designers in Kingston, or wherever you’re based, who have experience of working with small businesses and who you feel happy to work with.

One area that often requires work is the content featured on a business’ website. The news provider points out that you need to be ruthless with your copy and only include the information people need to understand your business, as well as avoiding a crowded design with too many elements.

In fact, leaving plenty of white space in a website’s design was actually one of the top ten web design trends identified for 2019 in a recent article for The Next Web.

Using more white space than is necessary also makes it become a “focal point or a more noticeable part of the design aesthetic”, the news provider commented.

Content isn’t something you should write once and forget about. It needs to be constantly updated to ensure it continues to reflect your products or services effectively, and is relevant to your customers.

Regularly updating your content has the additional bonus of improving your performance in search engines too.

When you start working with a web designer, make sure you give them clear guidance about your target audience. Resist the temptation to target everyone. “Try figuring out who your most frequent users are and focus on creating the best possible experience for them. Pleasing the masses simply means you will end up not pleasing anyone,” the news provider noted.

Failing to address UX problems with your website follows on from this. According to Business2Community, many small business owners get caught up in trying to understand the difference between UX and UI.

What’s important, however, is that your site gives the user the best possible experience, regardless of the device they’re viewing it on.

That means you need to consider making it responsive so that it can scale properly on mobiles and tablets, as well as laptops and desktops. Given that more than 50 per cent of people now look at websites on their smartphones rather than PCs, it’s vital to get this right.

Take the time to test every element of your website on multiple devices. Make sure that anyone who visits your website will be able to achieve what they’ve set out do to, whether that’s checking your opening hours, making a purchase or signing up for updates.