Need to design a website for your new business? Start here.
A website is the online hub of your small business. A website is the first thing a customer thinks of when he hears about your brand or business.
A professionally designed website makes you easily approachable and creates convenience for your customer to reach you.
Whether you are in the process of designing a website, have already launched it, or optimizing your current website, this guide will provide web design tips for our small business.
We will explain who needs a website, why we need a website, and ten web design tips that can help your small business thrive -- more engagement, more clients, and more sales!
Let’s get started!
Who Needs a Website?
Anyone who has a business, a personal brand, or a product would need a website to improve its credibility and brand awareness.
- An independent contractor
- A small business owner
- A consultant
- A retail business
- A freelancer
- Or anyone who has a product/service
NOTE: Not Every Business has a Website, Here’s Why
With the rise of social media, some businesses do not rely merely on a website. Statistics show that approximately 28 percent of small businesses claim that they do not have a website because they use social media.
With the rise of shoppable social media posts, stories, and reels, the trend of having a website has significantly decreased. People can quickly go over to Facebook, Instagram, and Tiktok, check reviews, place orders, and make major buying decisions.
Together this leads small business owners to choose social media over a website.
The following statistics show the major reasons for not having a website.
The data chart is sourced from PC Mag.
Why YOU Need a Website
A small business that does not have a website loses 80 percent of its customers. That’s just one of the reasons why it is important for a small business to have a website, and there are myriads of others as well.
Here’s a list of reasons why your small business needs a website:
- Improves trust among its target audience
- Proves your brand credibility
- Provides you with an incredible growth opportunity
- Is a great way for advertising your business
- Gives your business an online presence 24/7
- Provides you with consumer insights so that you can make great business decisions
- Gives you information about competitors' online
Let’s discuss some of them.
1. Boosts Credibility
A professionally designed website with detailed information about services, your mission, vision, and products helps to boost your credibility.
Building contextual backlinks also increases your brand's authority in the eyes of your prospective customers as it counts as a vote of confidence from other websites.
If you don’t have a website, your potential customers will question your legitimacy as a business. Therefore, they will buy services/products from your competitors with a website. And, you will lose business opportunities.
2. Optimizes your Business in Search Engine
68 percent of customers start their online journey with a search engine query. A visitor always lands on a website that ranks higher in search engines.
It makes search engine optimization a big-time success for small businesses. If your website is optimized you will reach customers that you never think were existed.
Let’s look into this example:
A person who is looking for ‘Child insurance in the USA’ will always choose the first website that ranks well in the search engine.
10 Web Design Tips For Small Business
1. Prioritize the User Experience
Whether you are designing a website for your personal brand, eCommerce, or service/product-based business, all your website design tips efforts should be directed towards creating a great user experience.
A user-friendly website with easy navigation assists in finding what a customer is looking for. As result, he stays longer on your website to learn more about your business, and its services.
Alternatively, a poorly designed website will push a visitor to return back to the main menu of SERP. Approximately, 68 percent of the users give up on brands and businesses that do not care for them.
Create a website in a way that a user can quickly, easily, and seamlessly navigate through to meet his search intent. This will result in improved dwell rates, and assist the visitor to move forward in the sales funnel.
2. A Domain for Better UX
Ddomain research is a rigorous process and it is part of UX designing. Take time to do the research to choose a domain name that’s easily memorable, and that matches the user’s intent.
While the typical tasks of a designer vary but the responsibility of a web designer is to also conduct research, design interactive prototypes, and test designs that meet the user intent to engage a visitor.
This Los Angeles Web Design company is a perfect example of a domain that matches users’ intent.
Its domain has two main keywords; Losangeles + Webdesign which makes it memorable for anyone who’s living in Los Angeles and would be interested in hiring web designing services.
Doing so will make the website easily identifiable, and it will reach the target audience quite easily.
3. Choose the Best Web Hosting Platform and CMS
A seamless content management system allows you to easily create a website and manage content. If you would like to create a website without a CMS, you will have to learn a programing language and develop your website.
A custom CMS makes the whole process easier and you can create your website without learning programming languages, or writing codes.
How to choose a CMS?
Make sure you pay attention to the following features as you choose a custom content management system for your website:
Ease of use - The CMS you choose should provide ease of creating and editing content using its drag-and-drop options.
Design options - It should have heaps of design templates to choose from, giving you freedom. Avoid choosing a CMS with limited design options.
Data portability - It refers to the ease of data migration and exporting data elsewhere.
Help and support options - As a small business owner, you will always have questions when building a website, particularly if you are creating for the first time. Make sure the CMS team you choose is quick in responding to any queries that you might have.
Extensions and add-ons - They are life savers if a particular CMS you choose lacks some features. Think of the extensions and add-ons as the apps for your website.
4. Right Website Layout & Use Responsive Design
Human-centered designs always win. The right website layout will help you to keep your customers staying longer on your website. Your website layout should have the following three elements;
A website with the right layout needs to have the following 3 features:
- Easy to navigate
- Simple in scope
- Focused on providing a memorable user experience
Create a responsive design that works well on all devices with various sizes including desktops, tablets, and phones. You can choose images that right fit each device. For example, if you use HTML and CSS your website will resize, hide, shrink, or enlarge, a website on each device automatically.
5. Focus on the Design Structure
It’s important to focus on the design structure that is carefully crafted. Keep in mind the following three aspects when choosing the design structure for your website.
(1) End-user-centric design
Focus on how the website feels to the end user. Always think from a user’s perspective. If you think from a designer's point of view, it would be totally different. You might choose to have bright, light colors if your target market is women aged 18-35 because that’s what attracts them the most!
(2) Keep your site pages consistent
Keep consistent branding throughout the website that includes similar brand colors, logos, or tone of the content.
(3) Typography and Color Palette
Choosing a wide range of designs and mixing up too many colors from your palette won’t help. This might sound too attractive to you, however, it will become too messy. Again, keep your target market in mind when choosing the typography and color palette.
Here’s a perfect example of it:
6. Add Search Functionality
Adding search functionality will help your visitors quickly and easily find the information, thus resulting in a great user experience.
Often small business owners miss out on this feature. Let’s look at the Ardas website which is a custom software development company. It lacks search functionality, a user will fail to find the answer to a specific query he is looking for. As a result, he will have a bad user experience.
Adding a call to action on your home page entices your visitors to take action. It nudges the visitors to take an action. A CTA should be simple and effective. You can use multiple calls to action just make sure that multiple buttons would balance on a single page.
Mailchimp, the popular email service provider has added a ‘Sign Up’ button to entice the visitor to move forward in the sales funnel to convert into a customer.
8. Balance the Right Visual Elements
Choosing the right visuals can make a lot of difference. Add visuals that clearly showcase your brand. Make sure to keep the same theme colors all across.
Some of the branded visuals that you can use for the website include:
- Hand-drawn illustrations that speak volumes
- Creating infographics and placing them on landing pages
- Making videos and placing them on your website
- Images of the products in the context
- Creative animations that deliver the message
White space is one of the underrated elements of web design. Leave a lot of white space around the text or the images, it allows the elements to breathe.
9. Add Contact Details
This is a key element of your small business website. You can put a phone number, an email, or your physical office address. This will make you more approachable as a business. Your customers can easily contact you via phone, email, or visit your office in case of any queries.
If you are actively using social media platforms, you can connect them with your website for better communication.
This pet grooming business has placed all it’s contact details right at the top. It makes it easier for the visitor to contact you instantly thus making you easily approachable.
10. Optimize Site Speed
Optimizing the speed is essential given that the attention span of the customers is significantly decreasing. Today, the attention span of a customer is less than that of a goldfish i.e 8 seconds, which is lesser than 9 seconds.
The first three seconds are important. Studies show that a visitor starts to lose focus roughly from 0.3 to 3 seconds. And, if your website doesn't load in the first three seconds, the user closes the browser and hit back.
He then lands on your competitors' websites, and you lose business opportunities.
A website that loads faster has several benefits. It ranks the website higher in the search engine, results in a lower bounce rate, and improves conversation rates.
Together these will result in a better user experience, thus allowing the small business to have higher retention rates.
Implement the best practices to optimize site speed. The following could be the reason for low site speed, make sure you avoid:
- Adding large image sizes
- Installing too many widgets and plugins
- Choosing a poor server/hosting plan
- Hotlinking images and other resources from slow servers
- Using older browsers
- Slow network connection (mobile devices)
Web Design Tips For Small Business: Wrapping Up
A user-friendly, well-designed, and easy-to-navigate website can engage your customers better, and bring you sales. Make sure you implement the above design tips when creating a website for your small business.