The Beginner’s Guide to Small Business Web Design
An excellent web design is a necessity for your business, whatever the size. It expands your visibility into the virtual sphere and helps you widen your reach. It has always been a silent marketing tool but powerful enough to generate leads, lure in customers and cement relationships with potential business partners.
For small businesses, it plays an even more vital role. Small business websites make or break sales – designing it may require strategies that are more specific to rising enterprises. As a larger extension of your business card, your website provides information while validating your credibility as a business that strengthens people’s confidence to work with you.
We know that designing a website for your business is not a walk in the park. But we have a few tips that are bound to make the process much easier:
Target Market Over Design Urgency
Business owners might be too quick to assume that web design is all about finding the most attractive font face or pitching the wittiest tagline for your homepage, all in the fastest way possible. As a small business, you shouldn’t be so hell-bent on getting your website perfect in the blink of an eye. What is more important, rather, is to know the people you’re designing your website for.
Understanding your target audience is the key to creating a stunning yet effective web design. If your products are geared towards the youth, ensure your website is optimized for smartphones and mobile data. If, on the other hand, your target market is an older demographic, perhaps a larger font size might be most beneficial. Study people – the essential qualities of your web design will inevitably fall into place.
Making It Personal
One of the biggest advantages of small businesses is their close relationship with their public. As a team composed of only two handfuls of people, or even less, you are more likely to communicate directly to existing clients and even gain loyal customers.
Make that advantage apparent in your web design. Instead of relying on stock imagery, display images of your team or even an authentic portrait of how you guys work on a daily basis. Tweak your writing style to a more conversational and approachable tone to make customers feel more at-home. If you also add personal testimonials from yourself or from other executives, you put a face to your products and services, making your business more memorable.
Every page of the website should be an opportunity for visitors to meet the team, says Chris Hughes, owner of A Nerd’s World. Through statistics, he has discovered that customers are more likely to make a purchase if they see photos of the actual people behind the business. The more real a business seams, the more leads it gets.
Enhanced User Experience
Daniel Guimond, director of digital and content at a communications agency, emphasis the importance of communicating your message to your audience as clearly and quickly as possible. Since you’re focusing on raising revenue, the interest of your customers are integral to your success. The moment a prospect sets foot on your website, whether it’s from a desktop or a mobile device, your website should say what you need to say from the get-go.
One-stop shop website designs are popular nowadays. Position your most in-demand products on the homepage of your website to compel immediate purchases from your customers. Quick and concise call-to-actions are also another way to convince them to buy your products after browsing through your selections. The point is to make the customer find whatever it is that they’re looking for in just a few seconds and to convince them to pay for what they need.
Through your web design, accompany your customers throughout their purchasing process ‘to make sure the user is never lost and always has somewhere to go,’ says Guimond. As much as possible, have no room for dead ends.
Pay Attention to Trends
Web design is a fast-paced industry. You have to understand that what might have been all the rage in the early days of your business might not be in fashion anymore. Although designing your website with functionality in mind is a good way to start, taking note of trends will still help you stay ahead of the game.
In 2017, eye-catching introductory statements were common amongst business websites. The statement could be made through a photo, a video clip or an illustration. It has to be big and splashy while calling attention to a punchy tagline. Some web designers often complement intro pages with interactive animations to make it as striking as possible.
Web designers today are also more inclined to use bold colors when creating websites. Sometimes, they do so upon the request of their own clients. Neon shades and pastel tones are two of the most famous color schemes in web design. Color-blocking is also a popular technique, giving a business website a fun, vibrant character.
Another web design trend that businesses are incorporating into their websites are sharp, responsive features. When you open a website on a smaller screen, the layout sizes down to give the readers an optimized display of the desktop version. This makes your website viewable from any kind of device.
Your goal as a small business owner is to rise up the ranks. But before that, making your customers aware of your existence should be the first steps that you should take. Word-of-mouth is a great strategy but enhancing your visibility online gives you access to a bigger audience. In fact, the possibilities are endless on the Internet.
Google is everyone’s go-to search engine for almost anything under the sun – ranking high on the first page will be a big deal for your business. And there are ways to design your website for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes that will give you the traffic that you want.
When writing your web copy, be sure to insert important keywords that your clients are more likely to search on Google. Maintain clarity when writing but, at the same time, keep your words as relevant to your products and services as possible to boost your searchability.
Use fast-loading and appropriately sized images for your website to keep your users on the page. Anything that may slow down a customer’s viewing experience may eventually cause them to close your website. When Google picks up that downward slope, the lower your rank will be. Keep your design smooth and structured to encourage potential customers to come back to your website.
‘If you’re doing what’s best for the user,’ adds Maude, ‘then Google is going to love you.’
Maintain your website. If you can’t do it yourself, hire a team that can. Professional web designers and web developers are trained to help you get the best out of your website. They run tests every now and then to keep things organized, check if any links are broken, and to ensure things are generally running smoothly.
If you have a team of content producers, let them add blog entries or media features to keep things interesting. After a company event, add the photographs on your website that you think will leave a good impression on future customers. Visitors are always hungry for new and exciting information.
Rome wasn’t built in a day – your website won’t be either. Do research on the best web design techniques and be open to consulting with those who specialize in breathing life into business websites. The more time you invest in your website, the more likely clients will want to invest in you.