If you own a small business and are looking into getting a website built, the whole process can seem a little daunting, and may leave you feeling confused on where you need to begin. Don’t give up yet! These website design tips have been written to make the process easier for you.
Choose quality over quantity
When you first start searching for that perfect website design that will eventually come to reflect you and your business, it is very easy to get swept up in all the stylish functionality and flourishes that make a website sparkle. Many new website owners have a list with a number of features they want to launch their website, but sadly don’t have the budget to match. Often seeing all these extra widgets but not really knowing what they do for your customers can be very over-powering and cause you to lose focus.
When you’re just starting out designing a website for your business, focus on quality over quantity. It is by far a better strategy to start with a small, high-quality website than over-spending your budget and building a megalithic website that’s hard to maintain and navigate. Starting small and manageable means you save more money. It also gives you the ability to focus your time, energy and money on the more important aspects of the website, like:
- Making sure the website is optimized for a responsive design
- Making sure the whole website loads quickly
- Creating an engaging and valuable customer experience
Write simple calls to action and make them highly visible
In many cases your website’s primary purpose is to generate interest and then lead people to buy your products or services. The main way it does this is by offering a simple call to action, leading customers to know what their next step should be. The best calls to action give potential customers a reason to follow-through and buy what you are selling. Here are a few examples of simple incentive-based calls to action:
- “First-time customers receive 20% off their first purchase – contact us to claim yours today!”
- “Contact us today to receive your free consultation”
- “Print out this coupon and receive $50 off your next purchase. Bring it in and save!”
If you are unable to think-up, or use an incentive in your call to action, just make sure your customers can contact you, and your contact details are highly visible on your website. You could have a link to your contact form, phone number, or email address.
The right image is worth a thousand words
A successful and compelling website uses both persuasive content and a mix of media (for example: images and video) to help share your businesses story. Many small business websites get the content aspect right, but miss out on using a range of media, which is equally important. A well-chosen image can often sell your business better than if you had the best website text, ever written. Here are a few examples:
- If you own a café or restaurant, publish pictures of some of the meals customers can order to whet their appetite
- If you own a small legal practice, upload head shots and write a short bio to introduce everyone in the office and create a sense of trust
- If you own a sewing and alterations service, put up before and after photos to showcase your work
Images really do sell your product or service, when your customer decides on making a purchase, it might be one of the reasons they decided to buy from you.
Walk in your customers shoes
When designing your website, one critical question which will require your attention is: “What information or solution is my customer looking for from this website?” Answering this question is the cornerstone on which your website should be built. The best way you can check this is, is by asking your existing customers a few months after your website launches whether they found the information they were expecting. This will give you some insight into the type of content you need to publish on your website.
Design for mobile responsiveness and create a fast-loading website
When it comes to building a website you don’t necessarily need to understand how everything works from a technical perspective. However, you do need to be sure that the website design or template you have chosen is mobile responsive and fast-loading. Mobile website viewing is starting to surpass viewing on desktops, and although the user is reading the same content, the device they are using is much smaller and often does not have access to fast internet download speeds. This means your website has to be configured and designed to load quickly, or risk your customers abandoning your site altogether.
A recent study published by Adobe has shown that 39% of people will stop engaging with a website if images won’t load or take too long to open.
Using these website design tips to develop a site for your business need not be problematic; and an academic background in the mysteries of information technology or graphic design is not necessary. However, your website design is a key contributor to your business success and You! (as business owner) need to be a key contributor in the website design process.
Just try and understand what your customers want from your website and use your knowledge (and the five tips) to help create a cohesive website design that solves the problems your customers are looking to have solved. Keep strong and carry on!