A business website back then was a luxury and an option. Only highly profitable businesses and those who were eager to adopt new technologies had their own websites.

In recent years, however, the intense digitalization of the commercial landscape has made a business website a necessity instead of an option.

Before the pandemic, experts estimated that only 34 percent of small businesses in the United States did not have their own websites. That number would surely have gone up during the health crisis as millions of physical stores had to transition into e-commerce platforms to protect customers and employees from the virus.

Just because you have a business website, however, doesn’t mean that you are good to go. If you want your website to be an effective aspect of your company, it needs an excellent design.

Here are four most common website design mistakes or issues a small business might encounter as you build your first site:

1. No FAQ Pages

Customers often visit your website not just to browse through your products and services but also because they have questions about them. As a small business, you can’t be expected to have a customer service representative by the phone 24/7 to answer their questions. This is why your site should have a well-written frequently asked questions (FAQs) page.

A great FAQ page goes beyond answering basic questions about your business. It also provides solutions to common issues encountered by your customers. If you have a small robotics company, for instance, your FAQ page could contain answers to questions such as, “what are cobots?” and “what are your product warranties like?”

2. Disorganized Website

A website serves as your digital storefront. You need to design it with a logical flow.

Similar to how you carefully place the shelves and tables in a brick-and-mortar store, your business website must carefully guide visitors to their intended destinations. You don’t want your online customers spending precious time figuring out which tab on the menu to click or where to find information about a certain product.

Map out the flow of your website, starting from your homepage. Make sure that each page cascades into the other in a logical fashion. Avoid endless pages nested into each other, as well as dead links that could frustrate visitors.

3. Overusing Stock Photos

The right pictures on your website can be a major contributor when boosting sales. Unfortunately, too many small businesses rely on stock photos found on the web to decorate their websites.

This can be a problem in many ways. First, stock photos can never truly capture the spirit of your services and products.

Second, they can be copyrighted, and you may have to pull them from your site if the owner of the photo demands it.

Finally, many visitors can quickly recognize stock photos. The credibility of your website could suffer simply because you got a stock image from a Google image search.

You should strive to take original photos for your business website. Thanks to advances in technology, smartphone cameras can now take photos of exceptional quality. With some light editing, you can populate your site with high-quality, original images.

If push comes to shove, you could hire another small business to take photos and edit them for you. They will be a great investment in improving your site.

4. Website Not Mobile-Friendly

More people now access websites through their smartphones and other mobile devices like tablets. This is because it’s much more convenient to browse through a business website on your phone, which you can take anywhere.

If you don’t optimize your website for mobile users, you risk alienating a substantial percentage of online users. They may even have bad user experiences and discourage other people from patronizing your business.

Mobile optimization focuses on making your site easier to access and use through phones. First, you must streamline it to allow the entire site to load quickly thanks to the reduced capacity of phones.

Next, you should make sure that all interactive elements on the screen can still be easily accessed on a small screen.

Finally, the text has to be large and clear enough that people don’t have to squint at the letters to understand what your site is saying. Optimizing for mobile users can be a great investment as you open the doors to countless would-be customers.

Website design is as essential to a small business today as a great marketing plan. Thanks to your company website, you can establish a web presence and have the chance to rake in online customers.