As a small business, it’s important that you follow website design practices that not only work well but look visually appealing.
Imagine your customers landing on your site and shuddering at the mere sight of your Frankenstein-esque designed home page.
Or what if a customer tried to navigate your website on their phone only to find that nothing worked properly as a result of poor mobile optimisation?
You would be horrified!
These are the types of scenarios that you want to avoid at all costs.
In this post we will cover some of the best practices that you should follow to design a website as a small business owner.
Best Practices for Small Businesses
Web design best practices are essential for small businesses to create effective and engaging websites that drive traffic, convert visitors into customers, and support business growth.
If you want to let the experts take control of your web design, get in touch with our team to see how we can help you.
Or if you want to give it a go yourself, here are some key web design best practices tailored specifically for small businesses:
Everyone is on mobile nowadays.
I bet you’re currently reading this from a mobile.
If you aren’t we apologise, we don’t normally like to generalise but we just wanted to make our point clear.
Mobiles are now an integral part of our society.
People use them for absolutely everything. Including going online and buying something.
Your business’ website needs to be optimised for mobile.
That means having a responsive site and ensuring your website design is compatible with mobile and tablet screens.
Simplicity and Clarity
Fancy designs and complex visuals may seem like a good idea for your website.
You might think that it will make you stand out and be different.
While this could be true, on the flip side you could overwhelm visitors with over-the-top design visuals.
In most cases, you want to keep things clear and simple.
When you do this customers will know what your business is about and if you can help solve their needs.
All within about 5 seconds.
Any struggle for them to understand what your brand is about will put them off.
That is why you also need to have the right information ‘above the fold’.
This means that all the information your customers need about your business should be at the top of the webpage so they don’t need to scroll too far.
Do you ever land on those annoying websites that are hard to navigate because the designer thought it would be a good idea to put the menu button in some obscure place?
Well, don’t make the same mistake for your website.Navigation is key to making a successful website.
If someone lands on your site and is interested in your brand they will want to find out more.
Don’t make this difficult for them.
If they want to find your contact details, show them the way.Have menus clearly shown with all of the appropriate options available. Nobody wants to scroll a website for minutes trying to find what they’re looking for.
The world is too fast-paced now.
People want information fast…it’s just what we’re used to now.
So you need to make sure you’re the one doing all of the work to ensure they get what they need.
Otherwise, your competitors will be waiting for them.
Call to Action (CTA) Buttons
Call to action is one of those marketing cliches that you hear all of the time.
There is a reason it is a popular buzzword though; it’s an essential part of marketing.
Therefore, it needs to be on your website.
You need to tell potential customers what you want them to do. Don’t leave them to figure it out themselves.
It sounds so simple but it makes total sense.
When you’re at one of those local old-school markets you’ll hear the market stall owners shouting at the top of their lungs.
Shouting things such as ‘Buy your box of strawberries right here, 3 for a pound’.
This is their call to action.
The same thing applies to your website.
So pretend your site is one of those market stalls.
Only you don’t have to get up at 4 am and stand in the freezing cold sipping a badly made cup of tea from Dorris at the local chippy van.
Fast Loading Speed
‘A slow website will give you slow results’.
Yes, this is a terrible quote that we just made up, but it happens to be very true.
You can’t really afford to have a slow website.
Your site needs to load fast so people can consume your content and decide whether your site is worth investigating further.
Slow-loading websites can drive visitors away fast.
Optimise images and minimise the use of heavy graphics to ensure fast loading times.
As well as driving customers away you’ll also drive Google away from your site.
The algorithm will see that your site is slow and penalise you by ranking your site lower.
It knows that slow sites aren’t good for customer experience.
Read more about loading speed in our article – ‘How to speed up your wordpress site’.
A website is a place where people will interact with your brand and learn all they need to know about your business.
So how can you keep people coming back for more?
Give them free stuff.
And no, it doesn’t need to be a physical item…that would be very costly.
Unless it was paperclips you were giving away.
Which isn’t exactly going to inspire repeat visits, let’s be honest.
The free stuff you can give away is in the form of high-quality information that is extremely valuable to them.
You can do this by having a blog section on your site which is where you will publish high-quality content every week.
If your content is good enough people will come back for more.
Another way you can get repeat customers is by capturing their email and sending out weekly emails such as newsletters and product launches.
As long as you provide valuable, informative, and well-written content that addresses the needs and pain points of your target audience they will most likely keep coming back for more.
Social proof is one of the single most important ways of enticing someone to do business with you.
If your company has social proof in the form of positive reviews, testimonials and a big social media following then it gives you huge credibility.
People want to do business with credible businesses.
They trust them more compared to businesses that have little to no credibility.
It’s similar to when your friend asks for any movie recommendations you have.
You could tell them about a recent movie that you enjoyed so much that you cried for hours after (tears of joy BTW).
Thanks to your stellar recommendation they will grab a bowl of popcorn and engross themselves within the movie in no time, with tissues at the ready.
Which will save them from scrolling endlessly through the Netflix abyss waiting for something to pop out.
Thanks to social proof your friend gets to enjoy a great movie and you get to look like a movie critic extraordinaire.
Local SEO Optimisation
If your business serves a local area, optimise your website for local search by including location-specific keywords and creating a Google My Business profile.
Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is essential for your website if your business primarily serves a local or regional audience.
It helps you reach a highly targeted audience that is more likely to convert into customers.
When people search for products or services near them, they are often in a buying mindset, making local SEO crucial for capturing these potential customers.
Many businesses still do not fully optimise for local search.
By investing in local SEO, you can gain a competitive advantage over rivals who have not prioritised their local online presence.
Social Media Integration
Social media is a huge part of the business world now.
Companies rely on their social media to get new customers, keep existing customers up to date and promote new products and services.
When you look on websites nowadays there are always links to the company’s social media profiles.
These allow easy access for people to visit these profiles.
Make it easy for visitors to share your content on social media and include social media icons and links to your profiles.
I think this point goes without saying but it’s also worth including.
Contact information on your site is essential.
Make sure your contact information is prominently displayed on every page of your website.
Include a phone number, email address, and physical address if applicable.
Building Websites that Work for Small Businesses
Following these best practices is a sure way to ensure you’ve got a site that will work optimally for your small business.
We know that not all businesses have the luxury of putting time and effort into these best practices themselves.
That’s why we have helped countless businesses with their websites.
With our expertise, we save businesses time and money by building a fully functioning website that covers all bases.
Ensuring they are equipped to handle more business and continue to serve their current customers.
We know how to make your business stand out, so contact us today for more information on our web design services.
Would You Like To Talk?
Find out how our range of digital marketing services can help you grow your business online.