There are many more than three reasons why a website could be considered unappealing to visitors. Really, there are a lot of bad websites out there with serious mistakes. And to make it worse, most of the website errors I’ve seen are on small business websites.

I have seen mistakes that range from poor, outdated designs on do-it-yourself sites that show only the ineptitude of the programmer and not the products, services or brand of the small business behind the site, all the way to confusing navigation that makes it impossible for the visitor to find anything.

Since this post would become a novel if I listed every small business website mistake I’ve seen, I’ve chosen three things that I see most often on small business websites. All three of these things are easy to fix. After you finish reading, go and check your own site, and if appropriate, fix the mistakes today.

It’s hard to find social icons/links.

You have taken the bold step and created a Twitter account. And you have a Facebook business page, and maybe even a YouTube account. Wonderful!

How about actually telling people that right on the home page! Don’t be shy about it. After all, you set these accounts up so your customers and prospects could actually connect with you. Display the icons for your social networks on your home page with links to your accounts so that your customers and prospects can do just that.

It’s very unclear what you actually do.

A website that doesn’t tell the visitor in the first paragraph what it is your company does is fairly pointless. Your website visitors may not know anything about your company when they first land on your website. There are any number of ways that they may have arrived on your page — a link from somewhere else, a referral from a friend, or even a search engine.

Regardless of how they found you, here they are, so you need to tell them what you’re all about. If they can’t see immediately what it is that you do and how you are going to solve their problem, then they won’t be staying on your site for very long.

There is no easy way to get in touch.

OK, so you have a “contact us” page. That’s great, assuming it actually has more than one way to get in touch. Some people still like to use the phone, so give them a phone number. Some prefer email, so make sure you have one listed. Some people don’t mind filling out a form, so use a web form that is simple to complete. The bottom line is that you should make it very obvious on the home page how someone visiting your website can get in touch with you.

If you are using your website to try to generate new leads, then have the phone number right next to your banner at the top of the page. Yes, I’m sure your designer will have kittens from that request. But what’s more important, a visitor who thinks: “Nice logo. Now how the heck do I get in touch with these guys?” Or one that says:”Oh, great! There is the phone number I need. I’m going to call them right now.”

So go check your website, and fix these things today. Your visitors and prospects will thank you for it.

Image credit: gunnar3000

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