As a small business owner, you want to do all you can to promote your business and help it grow. This means being creative in an ever-changing market. One of the best places to start is with a company website. Believe it or not, nearly 30% of small businesses do not have a website, citing such reasons as 1) using social media instead, 2) that they’ve never needed one or 3) that most of their customers are not online. It’s time to join the other 70% and launch your own business website.
Ok, so now what? You discover there’s a lot more to creating and designing a website than you realized. Strong websites balance layout, design, and function to deliver a good user experience and convert visitors to customers.
That may sound daunting, but don’t worry, help is on the way. Read on for six small business website design tips to help you create just the website your company needs to take the internet by storm.
1. Pick a Domain Name and Hosting Platform
The first step to creating your website is picking a domain name. This is how your current and potential customers will find you online. You want it to be both simple and professional so it will be easy to remember and easy to search for online.
Once you’ve decided on a domain name, your next step is to choose the web hosting platform and content management system (CMS) that is best for you. With a limited budget, you will want a platform with good tech support (we like WP Engine). Choosing the right CMS for your company, especially if you don’t have a wealth of technical knowledge, is important. User-friendliness, extensibility, and budget are all key factors to finding the right fit. Companies such as WordPress, Drupal, Magento, Joomla, Wix, Squarespace, Shopify, and WooCommerce are all good options.
2. Keep It Simple
Next is all about website layout, design structure and page consistency. Don’t get carried away with the idea of images, videos, and how many cool fonts you would like to try on your page. It is important to remember to keep things simple and to use a clear information hierarchy to organize site content. Start simple! Create a website layout with a simple one-page design where important information is easily accessible on the first page merely by scrolling down.
Once you have your website layout, it is important to use a clean, unembellished site design. A cluttered, convoluted website will confuse your users. Create a style guide for basic elements like typography and color palette and keep things simple and consistent across your web pages. This will make your website a more engaging experience for users.
3. Make It User Friendly
Not only should your website be simple and consistent in its design but it should also have friendly navigation. People have predetermined ideas of how different page elements should be organized and work so it is important to have clear navigation menus on your website.
And don’t forget the search box. In a world with little patience, potential customers want a way to navigate your site quickly. Adding a search box in a prominent spot on your website is an easy way to accomplish this.
4. Be Specific
You are proud of the services and/or products your company offers. Create specific product or service pages on your website to show your visitors and potential customers what those products and services are and learn more about them. Once you have a potential customer interested in your site and the services or products you offer, you want to encourage them to take some kind of action. This call to action (CTA) can include such things as clicking on another page for more information or sharing their email. Do not be vague but make the CTA clear for your users. Avoid unclear phrases like “Get Started” or “Sign Up Now.” Users are more likely to respond to a “Try Now for Free” button or the chance to chat and talk. People prefer to be guided to the next step instead of left feeling confused.
5. Don’t Forget the About Us Page
Be sure to include an About Us page on your website so you don’t miss an opportunity to build a bond with potential customers. Tell site visitors all about what your company does and how your company came to be. Include pictures of your company and employees. Make it clear to visitors precisely what you do and your mission for doing it. And most importantly, do not forget your contact details. Clearly show your email address and social media accounts on your website so visitors can contact you quickly and conveniently.
6. Optimize Your Site
You’ve taken the time to ensure your website is user-friendly in its design, now focus on making it mobile-friendly as well. Since 93% of consumers leave a website if it isn’t optimized for their device, it is imperative your website is responsive to whatever type of device—mobile or otherwise—that your visitors are using.
Your website also needs to be fast. Living in a society increasingly reliant on instant gratification, long past the days of dial up, people do not have the patience to wait for a slow site to load. Make your site faster by shrinking images and minimizing features like hovers and animations. Also, look at site speed when considering web hosting platforms. The most inexpensive ones are also probably the most inefficient and unreliable.
Small Business Website Design Made Easy
Creating and maintaining your small business website is a central part of your business. With the right design and layout it can help your business be seen online and further its reach. Let us help you bring these tips to life on a new or upgraded website. Contact us to learn more.