The image above is an actual website. Not only does it give you a headache, it’s also a perfect example of what to avoid when designing a website for your business.

In today’s competitive business environment, an online presence is essential if you want to be able to build your brand, attract new business, and grow your brand. Soit’s important to not only know what to do but what not to do. There are common mistakes that businesses make on their websites and these mistakes can be detrimental to sales and profits. Don’t worry, most of these mistakes are easily avoidable if you know what you’re doing. These are some common and avoidable mistake made by many local businesses:

1. Not Hiring a Professional : Knowing how crucial your website is for business, why risk having one that is anything less than professional and user-friendly? Far too many people see their business website as an opportunity to try out their amateur site-building skills. While learning about web design is always a fantastic idea, don’t make a gamble on your future and your company’s success. Use the tools available to you and in this case, that’s a professional.

There are highly qualified and talented individuals who specialize in web design. They can help you optimize your search ranking, help you build reviews, and offer suggestions and guidance on basically every aspect of web development and upkeep. Hiring a professional is a wise investment in the future of your company. Having a non-professional construct a poorly working or mismanaged site is a mistake you can’t afford to make.

When choosing your web design partner, be sure it’s someone with a proven track record of success in your industry or for your size of company. Look for portfolio and read testimonials of past clients.

2. Not Being Mobile-Friendly : The truth is that every day more and more people are using their mobile devices to search for information. These are often times individuals on-the-go who are looking to make immediate buying decisions and this is a huge demographic you shouldn’t be missing out on.

Even if your website is technically mobile-friendly, if there are any glitches or inconsistencies in information, you could be losing out on valuable sales opportunities. We are living in an age where people are bombarded with information and easily distracted. Make sure that you aren’t losing out to competitors by ensuring your website is compatible with any and all devices. The best way to do this is by having a responsive website, where the layout is able to seamlessly adjust to the screen size of whatever device an individual may be using. Responsive web design is another key reason to hire a professional.

3. Outdated or an Excess of Information : Your website should convey who you are to potential customers while giving your existing clients the comfort that you are who they think you are! Not only should the design be professional, sleek, and user-friendly, but your content should effectively and accurately reflect your products or services. Keeping up to date on events, promotions, company news, etc. is crucial in showing visitors that you are constantly updating your site and have an active presence in your company.

Having too much information and content can also be problematic on a website. With so many distractions available online consumers want to be able to gather the information they need quickly. Efficient, straightforward, minimal content that captivates visitors while providing information can help turn site visitors into customers and increase your conversion.

These mistakes may be common, but they can all be fixed with a series of small steps in the right direction. And if a small businesses is feeling too daunted, there are companies devoted in helping them with their online presence, such as Hoola Marketing, a leading marketing specialist in making it easy for local businesses to stand out online.