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Six Mistakes Small Businesses Make When Creating Their Website

19/04/2012

Six Mistakes Small Businesses Make When Creating Their Website
Written By: Brian Newton
Posted In: Business

This month’s blog is about how to create the right impression. It’s about marketing and finding your niche and using words to help you.

 

I’ve noticed an emerging pattern among small businesses. They tend to make the same six mistakes when creating their websites.

 

1. Trying to appear bigger than you are

It’s never a good idea to tell porky pies. Fair enough, you want us to have confidence in you, but don’t make out like you’re a multi-national when it’s just you in your back bedroom or a shared office at the local business park. As well as being a bit deceptive, you’re failing to play to your strengths. The fact that you’re small and versatile will attract as many people as it repels.

 

2. Me, me me

I do this… We’re expert at that… I specialise in… We offer…

 

Of course you have to tell us what you do and what makes you different. But, just like in normal conversation, if you drone on and on about yourself without acknowledging the other person, you’ll soon find yourself on your own. Every now and then please show us you realise we’re here and demonstrate that you understand us. It all boils down to using one little word. The same word you would use if you were speaking to us in ‘real life’: you.

 

3. Writing about what you do, rather than what you do for us

This is such a common mistake. But it can make a huge difference to your business so it’s worth getting it right.Think about it. Who would you buy a blue shirt from when you’re in a hurry? Someone who sells blue shirts, or someone who promises next day delivery of as many blue shirts as you like so you can try them on in the comfort of your own home and return the ones you don’t want at no additional cost?

 

4. Doing a Howard Hughes impression

When we click on the ‘About Us’ tab we generally expect to find out about the people – or person – behind the business. At the very least, we like to see something about your ethos and what we can expect when we choose to do business with you.

As a rule of thumb, the smaller you are, the more appropriate it is to go personal with a pic and a bit of blurb. You don’t have to give away your inside leg measurement or your deepest, darkest secret, but do inject a little personality into the proceedings.

 

5. Examining luggage – the ‘case study’ section

This is one even the big boys get wrong. If your website has a section full of examples of how your customers’ lives have improved after doing business with you – and it’s a great idea to have one – why on earth would you want to give it a boring title like ‘case studies’? What does it mean, anyway? I much prefer ‘success stories’. It’s warm and positive and it does what it says on the tin.

 

6. Leaving the words ‘til last

Let me ask you – how can you possibly design an effective website that demonstrates what’s special about your business if you haven’t first worked out what you want to say?

 

Unless you’re going to do something avant garde and communicate everything through images, you’re going to need some words. Sadly, an alarming number of small businesses leave it until the last minute to write the words, long after their website has been designed. Even if you ARE only using images, you should choose them before you even begin designing your website.

 

 

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