With online sales continuously increasing each year, a website has become just as important for small businesses as a physical base of operations. In fact, during peak shopping times, some stores are seeing online sales even surpassing those seen in stores. Having an online presence is no longer enough – a small business needs to have a modern website with a great design. Fortunately, designing your business website is not nearly as difficult as people first think – it simply takes a bit of understanding about the various elements of a website as well as what is needed to encourage visitor engagement!
Planning Your Small Business Website Design
The planning begins with the first step – figuring out what you want on your website and what its purpose should be. From there you can then design an entire site around that purpose. Focusing solely on that purpose is essential because it ensures that users who come to the site know what it’s about and are clearly able to recognize the various elements of the site without being confused and overwhelmed. Below we have six various elements that are key to include in any web design for small business.
Purpose of the Site
The initial step for a small business website is to first determine the sole purpose of the site. Websites take many different shapes and forms depending on their purpose, so it’s critical to understand what you’re actually trying to accomplish before you end up halfway through the project and completely off track.
Should your purpose be to sell your businesses products online, you’ll need to create a site that’s e-commerce ready and appeals to customers in that respect. On the other hand, if you’re simply there to educate visitors about the services you provide and inspire them to contact you directly, then you will need to take a completely different approach to the site design.
Once you’ve got the purpose of the website firmly in mind, it’s time to begin mapping out the site itself. Much like a floor plan in a physical store, it’s essential to decide what goes where for a website. This pre-planning will help ensure continuity throughout your site and enable you to then begin going through each piece and filling it in with stunning content that is engaging and visually appealing.
The very first impression a user has of your website will be a lasting one and could make or break a sale in less than a second. If a user first enters your website and finds it bland or far too busy, they will likely immediately leave leading to a potential customer lost to your competitors. This is why any business website design first begins with creating a stunning and professional looking website with a non-obtrusive background, plenty of high quality and professional photos (especially of products and services), and an overall visually appealing color scheme that exudes trust and professionalism.
User Friendly Navigation
Once a user is on a site, they need to be able to effectively navigate through the content. Having intuitive menus will help guide a visitor around your site and ensure they are able to view your products, contact your business, or inquire about services easily. Ensure navigational menus are uncluttered and simple to use. Having breadcrumbs at the top also allows users to easily back out to a previous section with ease.
Engaging and Relevant Content
While the overall aesthetic appeal of the site and intuitiveness of the navigation play a large role in how a visitor will interact on the site, the most effective way to get a visitor to purchase your product or service is through your content. Having relevant content that is specifically tailored to your target audience is essential. This engaging content will ensure that they are able to read about your products, services, and business while instilling a sense of trust in your business. This sense of trust is not only crucial for a website to generate interest in a visitor, but it essential for the visitor to even consider a purchase!
Simple Contact Information
No one likes to be left searching for something, least of all when they have an urgent question about a product or service. As a small business, it is your job to ensure that your customers can immediately contact you with their questions and comments. One way of doing this is to put all of your business contact information on a “Contact Us” page. However, many small businesses are finding that a chat or call option directly on the site has led to far more conversions!
Tell us what you think
When it comes to designing a website, there are many different aspects that need to be taken into consideration. Additionally, since each business is different, a website needs to be specifically tailored to suit the needs of the targeted audience. While we’ve provided a general overview of the aspects for a small business website, we’d love to know what you think!
Have some suggestions about how to make a business website more visually appealing or easy to navigate? Or perhaps you can suggest some mobile optimization tips for other business owners? Let us know!