The importance of first impressions can’t be stressed enough.

For small businesses, your website is your company’s first impression to potential clients and customers.

So, what sort of vibe are you giving off?

Professional? Playful? Something in-between?

Unfortunately, many SMBs manage to completely turn off their traffic by having a site that’s either spammy, generic or flat out difficult to navigate. Likewise, there are some snafus that make your website look like it’s straight out of 1999 and not what your clientele is looking for.

Web design isn’t about being flashy or fancy: it’s about delivering a visual message and letting visitors know that your business is it.

It’s time to stop making silly mistakes and start getting down to business. Rather than annoy or turn your traffic away, consider the following four mistakes and how to quickly take care of them.

1. No Calls-to-Action 

Think of your website visitor as a child in a candy shop. Without clear pointers and instructions, getting overwhelmed is easy.

Don’t wait for your visitors to figure out what to do; show them what to do. Invite visitors to contact you on all pages of your website, not just the Contact page.

Give people every opportunity to reach out to you and reassure them of your immediate availability.

One easy way to encourage your website visitors to contact you is by using vcita’s client engagement widget. Visible from every page on your website, this free widget prompts visitors to schedule a call with you, leave their contact details, or even share a private document.

vcita’s client engagement widget can be easily customized to fit your own website design and moves with your own site in a beautiful, non-intrusive way. Some small business owners who use it report an increase of up to 30% in incoming client inquiries, which sounds like something you would want to look into.

Customer engagement widget by vcita

Customer engagement widget by vcita

2. So-So Security

Regardless of what you’re selling, keep in mind that your customers are concerned about security. Given the constant flurry of hacks and cyber attacks, everyone wants to make sure that their money and information are safe during a time where fraud has become so rampant.

Security symbols such as that of Verisign or TRUSTe signal your site as a safe haven and gives your visitors peace of mind when it’s time to pay. Don’t lose customers because they’re skeptical of your site’s safety: instead, let them know that you take their concerns seriously.

3. Being Anti-Social

While social media certainly hasn’t replaced traditional websites, there’s no doubt that today’s SMBs should have a presence via platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. That being said, you’re shooting yourself in the foot if you aren’t making it easy for your visitors to find you via social.

After all, what better way to ensure that they see all of your shares, updates, and messages than turning your traffic into followers? Social buttons can be implemented in a snap and can fit in with any style of site.

As a secondary tip, make sure to only link to profiles where you have an active presence. For example, it wouldn’t make much sense to link to a Twitter account with 5 followers that you haven’t logged into for years.

4. Poor Photography

Sure, stock photography is a cost-effective way to get more imagery on your site; however, it can also be a huge spam signal to your visitors. After all, all sites are pulling from a similar pool of stock photos. Doing so yourself doesn’t do much to help your brand stand out, does it?

Thankfully, it’s perhaps easier than ever to take and edit your own photos via your smartphone. Likewise, platforms such as Canva can help you edit your existing photos to give them a personal touch. Also, make sure that your imagery is relevant to your services and not just something cutesy for the sake of “content.”

5. Fumbling Your FAQ

If you aren’t doing everything you can on-site to answer your potential customers’ questions, you’re missing the point of your site.

Similarly, there’s no excuse for not having an FAQ section on your site. Such a page can help lower your rate of support calls and simply serve as means of providing your visitors with more information about what you have to offer. FAQs break down the trust barrier for your traffic to let them know you’re the real deal and want to make sure that your customers are well-informed about your services.