You’ve put blood, sweat, and tears into starting and growing your business. Now that you’re ready to develop the most critical component to your marketing and branding efforts—your website—how can you ensure your success?

When it comes to web design, one seemingly small item can make or break turning a visitor into a potential customer. Here are a 3 common mistakes that you can avoid when you design your site or hire a web design company to design it for you.

1. Missing a clear call to action.

While it may seem like your website should just exist to list all your services and products, that actually isn’t true. A successful website will drive your visitors to take specific actions. It may be that you want potential customers to call you, fill out a form, get on a mailing list, order a product, or request a free download. No matter what it is, you need your visitors to take action based on visiting your site.

Successful small businesses have websites with clear calls to action.

2. Going with personal preference over what is captivating to your target audience.

While a clear call to action is probably the number one most important piece to your website, a close second is designing your website for your target audience. You may love beige, blues and photos of sailboats, but if your target audience is women ages 18-30, you might find that a more youthful selection of colors and imagery is necessary.

Your business website is not there to make you happy. It’s there to help you connect with your potential customers in a way that is meaningful and attractive to them.

Successful small businesses have websites that put their target audiences preferences over their own.

3. Choosing a web designer by price

Strange as it may seem, landing a great “deal” for a web design isn’t in your best interest. There are thousands of people who call themselves designers and are willing to build websites for pennies on the dollar, but they don’t have a clue about what needs to happen to make you an online success.

Your website is one of the biggest impressions you give about your business, so it needs to be as professional as you are. If you don’t invest in high quality design, layout, and copywriting, you’re writing a check to make less profit. And no smart business owner wants to do that.

Successful small businesses realize that a website is an investment in business growth, so they choose their web designers by quality and experience, not by price.