Small business website design; originality is best

Small business website design; originality is best

In the competitive landscape of the digital world, small businesses are constantly striving to gain an edge over their rivals. It’s tempting to take shortcuts, especially when designing a website. After all, if a competitor’s website is doing well, why not replicate their formula for success? Here are 5 reasons why not.

While copying a competitor’s website may seem appealing at first glance, it’s a strategy fraught with pitfalls and drawbacks. This article will explore why copying a competitor’s website is a terrible idea and why originality should always be prioritised for small business website design.

Lack of authenticity

Your website is often the first point of contact between your brand and potential customers. By simply mimicking another company’s design, layout, and content, you’re depriving your brand of its unique voice and identity. Customers are savvy enough to recognise authenticity; a copied website may appear disingenuous or uninspired.

Missed opportunity for innovation

Copying a competitor’s website may provide a temporary solution, but it stifles innovation and creativity in the long run. Building a website from scratch allows you to tailor it to your brand’s specific needs and values. It’s an opportunity to showcase your unique selling points, highlight your brand personality, and differentiate yourself from competitors.

Be the first, because nobody remembers who came second.

By copying someone else’s website, you’re forfeiting the chance to innovate and set new standards within your industry. Be the first, because nobody remembers who came second.

Risk of legal consequences

Copying a competitor’s website isn’t just ethically questionable; it can also have legal ramifications. Intellectual property laws protect original creative works, including website designs and content. You could face costly legal disputes if your copied website infringes upon copyright or trademark laws.

Additionally, being known as a brand that engages in plagiarism or intellectual property theft can irreparably damage your reputation and credibility in the eyes of customers.

Uninformed decisions

You don’t know if your competitors website is working well. You’re assuming that it’s a magnet for new customers, yet you have no evidence. They may have copied another companies website and made the same assumption.

You are also conceding that their marketing department is better than yours. That they have better ideas and marketing skills. Such an attitude can seriously damage the morale of marketing staff who may decide to leave and join your competitor.

Negative SEO implications

Search engines like Google prioritise original, high-quality content in their rankings. When you copy a competitor’s website, you’re essentially duplicating content that already exists elsewhere on the web. This can harm your search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts, as search engines may penalise your site for duplicate content.

In the worst-case scenario, your website could be relegated to the depths of search engine results pages (SERPs), making it virtually invisible to potential customers.

Small business website design summary

While taking a shortcut by copying a competitor’s website may be tempting, the risks far outweigh any perceived benefits. Authenticity, innovation, legal compliance, SEO considerations and lack of evidence all argue in favour of creating an original website tailored to your brand’s unique identity and goals.

By investing the time, effort, and resources into developing a website that reflects the essence of your brand, you’ll set yourself apart from the competition and establish a strong foundation for long-term success. Be confident in your marketing skills and lead, don’t follow.

Remember, imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but originality reigns supreme when it comes to small business website design. But before you brief your website designer read my article ‘3-point plan before you start building a website‘.