Why Most Websites Fail to Deliver for Small Businesses - and How to Fix It

Why Most WordPress Websites Fail to Deliver for Small Businesses and How to Fix It

With a Website - Comes Great Responsibility!

For small businesses, a website can be the perfect solution to establish a strong online presence. However, many fall short of delivering the expected outcomes.In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind this and offer suggestions on how small businesses can change this trend.

know YOUR purpose

Lack of Clear Objectives

One of the most common reasons why websites don’t meet small business expectations is the lack of clear objectives. Many businesses create websites without a well-defined purpose or goal. It’s essential to outline specific objectives, whether it’s increasing online sales, generating leads, or enhancing brand visibility. Without clear goals, it’s challenging to measure success or make informed decisions.

Really think about what you need your website to do for you. No, REALLY THINK – it’s a business tool, but you need to know what exactly you expect it to do for your business, other than sit there and look shiny!

With a clear vision, you can create the right content to engage users and demonstrate your expertise. You can fine-tune the customer journey through your website and you can measure success through analytics tools, like Google Analytics.

“If you don’t know where you’re going,
how you gonna get there?”

Google… the GOAT?

Please the Google gods

Poor Design and User Experience

Aesthetics and user experience are crucial for retaining website visitors and converting them into customers.

Unfortunately, many small businesses opt for free or cheap themes, leading to uninspiring designs and poor user experiences. Slow-loading websites, cluttered layouts, and navigation difficulties can drive potential customers away and aren’t favoured by the G.O.A.T – Google search engine.

If you don’t want to invest in a professional web designer or choose a premium WordPress theme at least focus on creating a clean, visually appealing, and user-friendly website that aligns with your brand identity. Ensure fast loading times (use tools like PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix check for mobile responsiveness for the best user experience.

avoid costly mistakes

Neglecting SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is vital for increasing organic traffic to your website. Many small businesses underestimate the importance of SEO or overlook it altogether, resulting in poor search engine rankings and limited visibility.

Your website will take forever and a day to be indexed by a search engine without you implementing on-page and off-page SEO strategies to improve it’s visibility on search engines. This includes keyword research, optimizing meta tags, creating high-quality content, and building backlinks. Consider using SEO plugins like Yoast SEO to guide your efforts.

quality is key

Inadequate Content Strategy

Content is king on the internet, and a non-existent content strategy will doom your website. Many small businesses fail to consistently produce high-quality, relevant content that engages their target audience. Google likes to see substance and it thrives on helpful answers, expert positioning and great use of keywords.

Make your content engaging, relevant and useful enough to resonate with your audience. Create informative blog posts, engaging videos, and compelling product/service descriptions. Quality content not only attracts visitors but also establishes your authority in your industry and makes you appear far more professional.

focus on your website content
Mobile first

Neglecting Mobile Responsiveness

With a significant portion of internet traffic coming from mobile devices, it’s crucial for websites to be fully responsive. Failing to optimize for mobile can result in a poor user experience and negatively impact search engine rankings.

Build your website with the ethos of ‘mobile first’ and regularly test your website’s mobile-friendliness. Ensure that all elements, including images and forms, work seamlessly on various screen sizes. Mobile responsiveness is a must for small businesses aiming to reach a broader audience.

wordPress maintenance

Non-existent site hygiene

Website maintenance is an ongoing process that involves several critical aspects, and neglecting it can eventually lead to serious issues. A lack of it can adversely affect the performance and effectiveness of your website including,

  1. Security Vulnerabilities: Outdated themes, plugins, and WordPress core files are common targets for hackers. If these elements are not regularly updated, your website becomes more vulnerable to security breaches and malware attacks. This can potentially result in costly fixes.
  2. Performance Issues: Over time, websites can accumulate unnecessary files, plugins, and other data that can slow down loading times. A slow website can lead to a poor user experience and negatively impact search engine rankings. Regular maintenance includes optimizing code, compressing images, and cleaning up unnecessary elements to ensure optimal performance.
  3. Compatibility Problems: As web technologies evolve, browsers and devices receive updates that may affect the compatibility of your website. Without ongoing maintenance, your website may not display correctly on new browsers or devices, potentially alienating visitors.
  4. Broken Links and Errors: Links can break, and errors can occur as your website evolves. These issues can frustrate visitors and harm your website’s credibility. Regular maintenance involves checking for broken links, fixing errors, and ensuring that all pages and features work as intended.
  5. Content Staleness: An outdated website with old content can make your business appear less credible and less relevant. Keeping your content fresh and up-to-date is essential for engaging visitors and maintaining your online reputation.
  6. SEO Decline: Search engines reward fresh, relevant, and well-optimized content. Neglecting website maintenance can result in a decline in search engine rankings, making it harder for potential customers to find your site.

As a small business you should establish a routine website maintenance schedule. This schedule should include tasks such as updating plugins and themes, regularly backing up website data, monitoring website performance, checking for security vulnerabilities, and ensuring that all content is accurate and up-to-date.

Outsourcing website maintenance to professionals or using website maintenance services can also be a cost-effective solution for small businesses, as it ensures that experts handle the technical aspects of keeping the website secure, functional, and performing optimally.

Final thoughts

While WordPress offers an excellent platform for small businesses to establish an online presence, maintaining an effective and useful website requires careful planning and execution.

By setting clear objectives, prioritising design and user experience, embracing SEO, implementing a content strategy, and ensuring mobile responsiveness, small businesses can transform their WordPress websites into powerful tools for achieving their goals. Remember that a successful website is an ongoing effort that requires dedication and adaptation to evolving trends and customer needs.

If you need professional help and support, you can speak to Beknowin for helpful, no-obligation advice.  Beknowin is your partner of choice for creating a website that will work for your business, supporting you through the process.

About Beknowin'

Hey, I’m Sam Wakefield aka Beknowin’, a Freelance WordPress Web Developer passionate about helping small businesses get the most out of their website investment by offering business mentoring as standard with every engagement.

Hailing from a corporate career in the IT industry, I’ve also grown several small businesses myself. I draw insight from my own and my customer’s industries and my experience in solving all manner of business challenges, to offer advice, guidance and support.

If you’d like to have an informal chat about your website needs, get in touch. I LOVE helping others to be the best they can.