Your website is what gives your potential customers their first impression of your business. Unfortunately, many business owners are making costly mistakes that could affect their sales and their reputations. Many entrepreneurs decide to create their own websites in order to save money, but before you go this route you should keep in mind that making web design mistakes can cost you.

Here are the top oversights made on countless small-business websites and how you can avoid them:

1. No Call to Action - Without telling your customers what to do, they simply won't do it. In fact, a staggering 93 per cent of small business' sites don't display their email addresses while 49 percent don't share their phone numbers on their homepages. Want them to buy a product? Tell them to! Want them to contact you? Make your contact information the first thing they see when they land on your site.

2. Poor Design - If your website is poorly designed, what do you think your customers will think of your service or product? The design of your site is the first thing consumers see. Make them feel confident by giving them an organized, attract first impression.

3. Time-Consuming Updates - When you run your own website you're wasting countless of billable hours on updates, just as 64 percent of business owners do!

4. No Metrics - A whopping 75 percent of small-business sites don't use analytics to measure their website performance. Another 60 percent don't think they have the tools needed to make sense of their site's analytics or take action when an issue arises. Professional website designers know what to look for in order to ensure your site is not only attracting the right audience but is maintaining their interest.

5. Poor SEO - If you're not helping customers find your website, you might as well not have a website. With 26 per cent of small business sites not found in search results because of poor SEO, it's important to ensure you're not one of them! When you know the best keywords for your business to be found and incorporate them into your site's titles, meta information, and on-page content, you are on the right track to standing out amongst the competition.

6. No Social Media Links - You want your customers to share your brand with their friends. To help make this happen it's important to include social media widgets for Facebook and Twitter for easy sharing.

7. No Mobile Optimization - Since most people check out websites on their mobile devices it's important to ensure your website is optimized for their phones and tablets. Unfortunately, 60 percent of small- business websites aren't mobile optimized.

8. No Designation IT Person - Have you ever clicked on a website only to be brought to a completely different page? That site was likely hacked and is now facing costly and time-consuming headaches that could have been resolved if there were a designated IT person to prevent such a security breach from happening in the first place. With a single cyber attack costing, on average, $8,669.48 and 44 per cent of small-business websites having endured a cyber attack, it's important to put an IT person in place as soon as possible.

Have you made any of these mistakes? If so, we BHIVE can help. Let us know when you would like to schedule a time for a call, so we can take you through our SEO/Social Media Packages.

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