In this day and age, even the smallest businesses need to have a well-designed and user-friendly website if they wish to keep up with the competition and, hopefully, stand out. That’s why designers are facing an increasingly challenging task of creating the best possible websites, especially since many trends overlap in the small business world.
Sometimes, the quality of the website can influence the situation so much that the company in question can either make it or break it. Whether you use a hosting site and need WordPress maintenance or prefer to hire a web designer, there are many options to choose from. To help you understand what is involved in the design of websites for small businesses, we’ve prepared the following list of things that can help you create a fantastic website for your company.
Don’t make it too complex
They say that simple solutions usually provide the best results, and we can confirm that statement when it comes to designing a website for small businesses. At least, you should start simple and perhaps add more complexity later, but you should never start with an extremely complex and elaborate design which you’d later try to make minimalistic. Pay attention to the contrast between the text and the background and use the font that is easy to read. Just make sure you don’t have too many colours on the page since most people find it off-putting.
Contact details should be visible
It’s vital for small businesses to have contact details clearly presented on their website. Visitors to the site should be able to find them quickly, so that they may get in touch with you instantly. Ideally, you should allow them to send you an email, find your phone number and see your physical location along with a map if directions are needed. You should also consider having contact details on every single page as you never know at what point the visitors would feel the need to get in touch. Having easily visible contact lists makes the experience of customers getting into touch with you more seamless.
If a small business has a website where the explanation of what it does is confusing, it’ll never grow. Customers feel frustrated and angry if they ready something and don’t understand it. Perhaps you offer exactly what they need, but unless to write it clearly, they’ll never refer to you. You can do this through imagery, a tagline on the page, headings or navigation links. For instance, when you use infographics, they should provide information that can either complement the text or completely replace it. Visuals are a great way of conveying information, and you should definitely exploit them.
Branding done right
No matter how big or small a company is, recognisable branding is of great importance. People need to remember your name, logo or something that they will associate with your business. The best way to do that is to use illustrations that all match the style of your logo since it’s a clear branding signal that creates a repetitive aesthetic on the website. Naturally, your logo should not be too elaborate, but rather simply and memorable. You should also use the colour choices and matching textures throughout the website. Another idea is to keep the top navigation fixed to the page as you scroll so that the logo is always visible.
Small businesses don’t employ many people, while those employed are usually locals. This feeling of belonging to a particular community should be present in the design of your website. One of the best ways to achieve that is to have photos of the team. Regardless of whether it’s family business or a company employing ten people providing services to a large metropolitan area, the approach is the same. Some companies have made a mistake by choosing stock images instead of the photos of people who actually work for the company. When clients realise that the people in the pictures are actually not those they’ll deal with, they feel cheated and lose trust in the company.
Show your products and/or services in their full glory
No matter how much you try to describe what you do, unless there are some photos of your products or employees providing services, you won’t gain the trust of prospective clients. Even if you don’t include pictures of people at work (you have to admit that seeing a plumber unclogging a pipe may not be visually pleasing), you can at least take photos of the tools and equipment you use instead. Going by what a progressive bachelor of arts degree in product design teaches, every business that wants to emphasise the quality of its products as a hallmark of its market positioning has to make sure that they clearly demonstrate the usability and emotional appeal.
Make it mobile-friendly
Since most people nowadays use handheld devices to browse the web, it’s important that your website is optimised for mobile devices. You don’t want people using their phones or tablets to have problems navigating through your website, because that would leave them frustrated and they’ll be likely to associate that feeling with your company. Instead, make a website that is really mobile-friendly, and you’ll probably notice an increase in the traffic towards your site. Finally, don’t forget to allow options for sharing the content of your website. If people are intrigued by the content, they’ll probably share it.
Enable quick loading
Most people get quite impatient if a site takes too much time to load. That’s why your small business website needs to have the right server infrastructure and bandwidth to support it. If the design is graphically intense, it could eat into the loading time and put off prospective clients. So, choose a good host for your website to improve the site load time. If your current one can’t provide the conditions you’re looking for, change it as soon as possible.
Generally speaking, the secret is to apply these tips, but also pay attention to the specific features of the business you’re in. Since no two businesses are the same, your website should also be unique, although it should include some features found on other sites. The most important thing is that the final product should be clear, understandable and visually pleasing so that people feel comfortable browsing your offer. Following all these tips can be your next step to securing lifelong customers.