5 Critical Mistakes Small Businesses Make On Their Sites

It’s a sad fact that 1000’s of small businesses are throwing money away, by making the following 5 mistakes on their website. Don't be one of them.

In this post, I’m going to explain these 5 mistakes, and what to do about them, to seriously improve the effectiveness of your website, turn more of your visitors into customers, and increase your sales.

The problem arises because it is commonly presumed that what’s on your site doesn’t matter too much as your visitors will buy if they like what you’re offering.

However, online marketing experts with years of experience (including us!) know that nothing could be further from the truth. The internet provides people with so much choice, you must convince them of your value immediately and repeatedly. They are not going to stick around if you don’t.

Correcting the following mistakes has been proven to drastically improve results for most websites, over decades of split testing and visitor research.

In fact, there are online companies who specialise in website conversions and the best in the business charge £1000’s to improve results for business websites around the world. These are the type of things they will start with to improve your website conversions.

Our 5 crucial mistakes offer you this insider information free of charge.

Apply them to your website, stand back and watch your results improve, as if by magic.

1: No prominent contact details

You need to offer visitors an obvious way to contact you.

The problem with many online businesses is that visitors have no way to contact you immediately. Email is great, but people get sick of slow response times.

Traditionally (meaning in the offline world) a phone call is the fastest way to contact a company. Your potential customers may have doubts, questions or just want to know you’re ready to help immediately.

Without this, they may click away and you’ll lose them. Is it worth it?

If you’re a local business with premises customers can visit, this mistake can be really costly.

A quick phone call usually precedes an in-person visit, so ensure you give them that option and include your business phone number prominently on all your pages, where possible.

2: Not using effective headlines

4 Stand Out Headlines which say, Huge Discounts!, Low Prices!, Awesome Deals!, Super Sale!.


Sorry, but “Welcome to our website” is NOT an effective headline. It means zero to your visitors. It offers nothing of value and in no way encourages them to read more.

You need to grab them and draw them in with an effective, benefit-based headline.

As an example, which headline would make YOU want to read more?

“Welcome To Our Website”

“Expert Small Business Accountancy Services That Won’t Break The Bank”

Don’t ever presume your visitors are on your site to buy. They are, almost always, checking you out first and still need persuading to take action. So, always choose persuasive words throughout every page of your site.

Decades of marketing have programmed us to respond to headlines. When you read a newspaper, which articles do you read? The ones that have headlines that appeal to you.

Also, we are all unbelievably impatient in the internet age and we click in and out of websites super-fast after just a cursory scan.

So, if you don’t offer something of value immediately, you’ll lose more than you gain.

3: No call to actions (CTAs)

It’s not impolite to tell your visitor what to do next! 

A call to action (CTA) is simply a link or line of text telling the visitor what to do next. It could be telling them to call for a quote, click to buy, or complete an online contact form. Whatever you want the visitor to do, tell them!

CTAs are super-effective when added to the end of each info page, product page, price list, order form etc and they’re proven to increase conversions.

A simple CTA in bold at the bottom of your homepage, for instance, can make a huge difference:

“Click the button below right now to place your order with 24-hour delivery”

“Phone the number below today to book your stress-free appointment”  

The first part is what you want your visitor to do and the second part is why they should do it. It’s a simple formula and works perfectly. Try it and see the difference.

4: Not sending ad visitors to a specific page

The image shows the items you need in order for traffic conversion.


This is so common it’s frightening. Many businesses who use Google advertising link their ad to their home page, not to a specific page directly related to their ad.

If you sell multiple products and your advert mentions one specific product, you must send visitors from your ad directly to the specific product page on your site.

If you send them to your homepage, forcing them to search for what you mentioned in the ad you can lose a large percentage of them. No one wants to be messed around or have their time wasted.

So, a specific ad to a specific page, please. Obviously, if you offer one product or service and all the details are on your homepage, it’s fine to send them there.

5: Not building trust

Your new website visitors have never met you before, they don’t know anything about you, and so, they arrive with zero trust in you. Would you buy from someone you don’t trust?

So how do you quickly build trust?

By including ‘trust elements’ throughout your site. It’s as simple as that. Trust elements include:

•    Full contact details including a phone number, as mentioned in the first point above
•    Photos of you, your team and your premises
•    Photos of people using your product
•    Testimonials from customers happy with your service/product
•    Any industry awards or certificates
•    Industry qualifications
•    Any positive coverage in the media
•    Your guarantee details

All of these elements will help to build trust quickly. The worst thing you can do is be ‘anonymous’, meaning there is nothing on your site to show who you are.

A quick summary

A Lady sitting at a desk celebrating success with her arms in the air.


These are the things that can take years of trial and error to learn and profit from. Some of the biggest online brands rely on these techniques to consistently keep the tills ringing and profits rising.

However, you can now improve your results within days from now, if you simply begin correcting the common mistakes that appear on your website.

Don’t try and second guess these because they work, end of.

And as you’ve probably noticed, the only cost is the time it takes to correct them. And, once you have corrected them, the benefits last forever. 

Phil Coleman
As a Copywriter with 25 years experience I have written squillions of words, writing for all sizes of business, both online and off including The Chamber of Commerce, the NHS and of course Adzooma. I'm a not so secret UFC fan, I live in the heart of Sherwood Forest and I have 2 pet cats called Copy and Spooky Dave.