While a picture is worth a 1000 words, small business website design can cost you big bucks unless you avoid these common mistakes. While every website design reflects the unique and distinctive qualities and attributes of the business, there are some rules website designers must follow. This is because a poorly-designed site can dent your business, especially when you’re starting out small.
Research shows that 75% of consumers judge the credibility of a business based on how good the website design is. You gain the attention of visitors by having a site that scores on functionality as well as design element. As you don’t get another chance to make a great first impression that lasts, here’s how small business websites should be designed and what you can do to avoid design mistakes the first time around itself:
#1 Don’t Miss Out On Understanding Your Market
A common mistake among small businesses is not considering market research while attempting the design. Knowledge of your product’s or service’s commercial viability is just one aspect. Understanding your market is equally crucial, when it comes to effective small business website design. Study competitors and understand how you stack up against them. Then, allocate cost and time to maximise ROI and design communication plans to maximise advantages. See the demographics and preferences of your consumers and how well your website design reflects this focus. Your website needs to ensure optimal user experience.
#2 Don’t Offer Too Much or Too Little Information, Avoid Outdated Data
If your business information is not updated on the site, you could end up missing a lot of customers and potential visitors. Not having content information further hurts your chances of ranking high on search engines. Contact information should match your domain data to give search engine rankings a chance to rise. When customers look at your site, they expect the right data. Too much or too little information can also scare away your readers. Most folks shopping online want quick answers and don’t seek to search through long paragraphs to get them. This does not mean you cannot have in-depth articles, though! You need to break up text with smaller paragraphs, images or even subheadings and headers.
#3 Don’t Forget About Captivating and Compelling Calls-to-Action
For any small business website design, one of the biggest mistakes is missing out on calls-to-action. Such is the online competition that you need to really stand out and a compelling call-to-action could well be the way to this. In marketing, calls-to-action are an essential part of the site, telling visitors what to do and where to go. It is essential to be clear and concise with your CTA. Make sure your CTA buttons are high on visibility. Use words that bring about emotion or enthusiasm. Show individuals where to go for additional information, and give them reasons to perform a specific action. Also make individuals feel they will miss out if they don’t buy from you. An essential fact is that creativity counts. So does taking consumers through the process from the start to the finish.
Most website designs are structured to grab the visitor’s attention, but contain no direction or calls-to-action. You need to work on this aspect, if you want to motivate visitors to become loyal customers.
#4 Don’t Opt for Low-Quality Images
For a small business website, having bad graphics or poor product photography on the web can be a massive mistake and cost in terms of traffic and overall search rankings. Additionally, images need to be optimised and resized as failure to do so can slow down the website and lower search engine rankings. Blurry pictures, poor lighting or grainy images can dent your small business’s credibility. Optimising your images is important and for this, ensure photos on the site are not gigantic. Resize images using photo editors like Photoshop or online sources. Name images with relevant tags. Study Creative Market, Envato or run your own search to find awesome pictures for the site.
#5 Avoid Slow Load Times
About half of the folks on the internet expect a website to load in less than 3 seconds and are ready to leave a page, if it does not! Research by Microsoft found the average attention span of a web surfer is lower than that of a goldfish, that is, around 7-8 seconds! So, you need to consider content delivery networks, remove plug-ins and use browser caching. A slow loading site is a sure-fire way to lose visitors and destroy search engine rankings. Avoid this mistake and your small business website design will be a perfect means to boost your brand.
#6 Inconsistency in Website Design Should be Eliminated
Poor or ineffective website design can be a major turn-off for customers. Your website design needs to be clean and consistent. The design of the site determines how people will judge the site’s credibility. If an amateur look and a flashy design are used, people will not take your site (or your brand) seriously. Check that your site has responsive design, for example. After all, your small business website should be able to adapt and respond to whatever platform or device a visitor is using. Whether someone is on iOS or Windows, desktops or mobile, visitors should have absolutely no issues loading or viewing the site. There are plenty of good website builders available. Consistency and excellent design are the key to effective small business web design.
#7 No Social Media Integration is Not Acceptable!
Your readers will want to share the site with others. This is why social media widgets and social sharing buttons are a must. Not providing users a chance to tap their favourite social media platforms to share your product or service information or content is a huge mistake that any small business will pay for in a big way.
Adding the capability to share via social media is simple. Website builders come with the capability to integrate social media into the site and others like WordPress come with plugins and widgets you can use.
#8 Give Poor SEO Strategies a Miss
Web design and marketing now go hand-in-hand. This is because marketing online is possible only through an active and vibrant web presence. So get on to the marketing bandwagon and adopt effective SEO strategies such as competitor and keyword analysis even before designing your site.
#9 Strike a Balance
Whether it is working on a website design for an ecommerce chain or a small business, universal principles of web design stress on striking the right balance.
#10 Use Negative Space Wisely
Another crucial pointer is to use white or negative space wisely, so that it improves the readability and navigability of the content.
Thus, these small business website design principles can avert adverse outcomes and ensure your small start-up has the best launch and staying power in the industry.