Posted in Business, Technology

The number one problem at small business web sites

Every business has a web site, right? That’s what I thought until I stayed in Southern Europe for awhile to work on an assignment. Many small businesses only have a telephone number listed in a business directory on the internet. If your local language skills are lower than 7-year old kid’s skills, phone number doesn’t help.

Let’s focus on small enterprises that have a web site. What is the most common problem with their home pages across the world?

Design?

No, design is not a key problem. It doesn’t matter how a web site looks like if you only want to find a piece of product information and prices. Nielsen Norman Group has collected ten critical mistakes in web site design here.

Usability?

No. A simple small business web site is fine with a few pages that only tell the essential information about the company, products, services, and its contact points. Mobile web site usability may be a problem for a site that has been running for many years without functionality updates. TechRepublic reports that small enterprises are deploying cloud-based technology, making also mobile functionality readily available.

Lack of information?

Of course, every web site could provide more information, because it is good for search engines that help people to find pages they want. If the essential, basic information is provided, a web site is good to go.

It is the lack of fresh content

Fresh content on a small business web site can be a blog post, column, photograph, article, interview, video clip – anything that adds to the basic company information already provided. New content should be added at regular intervals to the web site during years, not only for a month or two.

If you read about successful bloggers and social media influencers, they usually regard once a week as a minimal update cycle for their blogs. The same applies to businesses. Search engines like new content.

Many freelancers and small businesses trust that maintaining a lively presence Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Youtube alone does the job. The company web site is the most important asset a business has on the internet. Everything that goes into social media channels should go on the company web site as well.

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