It is easy for small business to create websites that are not in line with their branding. And the culprit is always bad, outdated and unsuitable web design. Avoid these web design mistakes on your business's website for a better return on investments.

In this highly connected world, your website is undoubtedly a core part of your business’s online presence. While it is easy to have a basic website setup these days with free web design tools, many small business owners did not pay attention to their website’s design. This results in websites that look unprofessional.

And seriously, for any small business website to have a bad design is to risk losing visitors as well as potential revenue. Remember – visitors = revenue!

To help retain your visitors and maximize revenue, here are some web design mistakes you should avoid on your company website.

3 Web Design Mistakes SMBs Should Avoid

1. Going with a design that is too flashy

It’s tempting to believe that a flashier a design will catch people’s attention more, but in reality it turns visitors away. What’s more important than getting your users’ attention is being able to direct them to where they want to go. Unlike common believes, flashy websites can actually distract your visitors!

Solution? Add animation only when needed. The less flashier the design, the easier it will be for your users to find what they’re looking for. It is a rule of thumb that if a user can’t find what they’re looking for within three seconds, they won’t stay on a website any longer. Instead of spending time on animations, spend time on website layout and structure!

2. Designing without knowing who your user is

Designing a website isn’t just about how it looks. Rather, it’s also about understanding the user. It’s vital to perform market research before designing your website so that you know who will be using it.

One way to design for your target audience, for instance, is to consider age. Color, in particular, can play a very important role in setting your brand’s identity. Website layout and font types can also greatly affect how visitors perceive your company’s corporate image.

Example of bad web design

Taking the above site as example (with the branding masked to respect the creator), while it’s very clear from the text that the website is touting “modern and comfortable living”, the web design doesn’t look modern at all. Although their target audience is “young house buyers, young professionals, young families”, there is very little evidence that the website is designed to be young. It looks very 90’s at best!

PS:/ This is a website from a Malaysian company. And while we are talking about small business websites, this company is not “small business” by any stretch!

3. Not incorporating clear copy with your design

Along with designs that show users where to go next, using calls-to-action texts for buttons is a good way to make sure users know how to find things on your website.

Call-to-action is those prominent buttons that ask for immediate action from visitor. Below is an example of a call-to-action button:

Example call-to-action button

It is usually a good idea to be straightforward with your call-to-action text. If you want them to log in or subscribe, for instance, your buttons should clearly say what they do. One of the most important call-to-action button for all small business websites is the “Contact Us” button. Make sure your “Contact Us” button are easily seen throughout your website.


Remember – the main purpose of a website is to eventually generate revenue for your business. And a well-designed website can easily put you ahead of your competitor!

Here are some more resources in case you want to go deeper.