Is your business website doing its job? That is, is it doing whatever you need it to do for your business? Perhaps you want your site to sell your products, convert simple visits into some type of action, sell tickets to your fundraiser, or bring in new clients.
Whatever your goals, here are some basic design tips that will help make your small business website do a great job for you.
- Make it mobile – Americans now spend over 60% of their online time on mobile devices. According to Google, 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile website they had trouble accessing and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead. Your business website must have a responsive design that works well on all kinds of mobile devices as well as laptops and desktop computers. Responsive means it will detect the visitor’s screen size and orientation and adjust the layout, images, and other features to fit. So, whether your customers access your site by smartphone, tablet, laptop or TV, they should get a beautiful, fast, helpful web experience.
- Make it informative – No matter what industry you are in, your customers visit your website to get specific information. Talk to them. Find out what they want to know when they visit your website, and then deliver it! Speak their language. Provide information that is relevant to solving their problems and answering their questions. Don’t just sell your product or service. Including a blog that updates regularly with valuable posts will help. Content is key, so make it engaging, informative and shareable! First and foremost it should scream “This is who we are and how we can help you!”.
- Make it fast – The average adult attention span is 8 seconds. It takes top e-commerce websites 7.5 seconds to load. Most adults will abandon a site if it doesn’t load in 3 seconds. Really! Your goal is to have your website load on any device in 3 seconds or less. Any longer and it will kill your sales and your credibility. People who can’t get to a site in under three seconds, tend to never return and will tell their friends about their negative experience.
- Make your call to action strong and visible – What’s a call to action? It’s what you want your customer to do when they visit your website. It’s how you move them from visitor to customer: contact you for a free consultation, print a coupon to use in your store, provide an email address for monthly newsletter, follow you on social media, call for a price quote. Whatever it is, give them a small incentive to take that action.
- Make it easy to navigate – Nothing turns a potential customer off more than having to make multiple clicks to find the information they need. Make your navigation links and buttons obvious and simple. Put the most asked for information at the top of your page. Keep your pages clean and crisp, uncrowded, bright and open.
- Make it consistent – A professional looking website highlights your brand and maintains consistency in colors, fonts, images, look and feel throughout all its pages. When visitors click to another page, the website should feel the same as the homepage. Keep the navigation buttons in the same places and use the same overall design. Stick to one or two colors.
- Make it visual – Use excellent images. Avoid stock photos, but use high-quality professional photos if you can. Choose photos carefully to help get your message across. Include photos of your staff, examples of your work, and products you sell. A picture really can tell a story!
- Make it easy to contact you – Place your contact information in multiple places on the website and make it easy to find. Consider a contact form as well, but only if you are good at responding quickly.
- Make it social – You want your customers to share your content and to connect to your social channels. Don’t be shy with your social links – put them up front and center and add them to every blog post.
- Make it fun! – Today’s consumers appreciate a bit of humor, quirkiness and fun. Just don’t overdo it. From your logo to your tagline to just adding a surprise on the page now and then. Team Holly CPA’s How Big is Your Pig? tagline and theme are a perfect example – fun and memorable.
If you want to see what works, take a look at this Hubspot post with some examples of great business websites They explain what makes each homepage brilliant. Do-it-yourselfers can get started designing a website with one of these web builders: Wix, Weebly, Squarespace or get started with an excellent content management system by using WordPress. (Here are 10 reasons to use WordPress.)
Remember, designing your website is one of the most important pieces of your overall marketing strategy. Don’t skimp. Do it right. Best web design practices are evolving almost as fast as mobile devices. It pays to talk to a pro and get some ideas, even if you chose to do it yourself.