In today’s competitive market, the difference between getting a client, customer, or deal oftentimes comes down to your business website.

Even if someone calls you on the phone, you can rest assured that they have already checked you out online (or will).

This is great for those people that have a professional looking website, but even people with great looking websites can have some serious flaws.

Here are seven mistakes you don’t want on your site…everand the solution.

Problem #1 – Flash Opening or Intro

Flash intros were all the rage…years ago. It seemed like a good idea; create a cool animated looking site the second the user gets there. In reality, you end up with not being seen at all on some popular computers and mobile devices.

Solution: Lose the Flash. Create a stunning looking site using original graphics or even a slider. Something that loads quickly on any platform.

Problem #2 – Animated Gifs

These are usually smiley faces jumping around or a bouncing ball. It takes up bandwidth and generally looks like a 6-year-old runs your site.

Solution: Simply get rid of them. Static looking graphics are not only more professional, they look better.

Problem #3 – Free Email Accounts

If your email address is or you are looking like an amateur.

Solution: Have your web person set up your email to match your site as in

Problem #4 – Looks the Same On Mobile Devices

If you site looks the same on a iPad or phone as it does on the computer, you have a problem. No one likes to zoom in and out on a site on a tablet or phone – just because you don’t have a “mobile responsive” theme. If people see an site not optimized for their device…they move on to the next site.

Solution: You have two choices here. 1. Build a site that adapts to the viewing device (this is called a ‘mobile responsive” web design). Or 2. Build an M. or .mobi site (a small separate site built just for mobile devices). These days most small businesses are better off with a mobile responsive website.

Problem #5 – Lorem Ipsum Text

Got this on any pages? “”Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation”

You know, that sample text that is there as a ‘placeholder’ until you get around to writing the real stuff. Time to move on.

Solution: Either replace the Latin with the correct text or remove the page. Your choice.

Problem #6 – Extra Wide Sites

Does your site have a scroll bar both for up and down and side to side? No one has a “side to side” issue anymore – and neither should your site.

Solution: Redesign the columns of your site so the side-to-side scroll bar is no longer needed. If this is being caused by an improper background size, fix that.

Problem #7 – Cumbersome Navigation

Do you have 20 links off your home page to a variety of pages? Do people have to hunt for information? How fast can someone find your ‘about’ or ‘contact us’ page (tip: should be less than two seconds).

Solution: Clean up the navigation bar to include only items that help you move around the site. Be sure your phone number, address, and hours are easy to find!

Problem #8 – Old Content (so I added and extra one)

Does your site contain lots of old articles that date back years? Are those articles still relevant but show “January, 13, 2004” or something like that? Time for a refresh.

Solution: If the content is still relevant, consider removing ‘post dates’ on your articles. The user does not need to know when the article was written if it is still relevant, but they will judge you if the date is old (even if the content is good). Add articles to ‘archives’ where appropriate and keep your site (and content) fresh. Plus there is an added bonus. Adding new content makes your customer happy and gives you a boost with the search engines. Never worry about over-delivering – like 8 tips for the price of 7!

Having a website for your small business is certainly important – but maintaining it is just as important. If you find any items from the list above on your site – it is time for a refresh.