Nowadays, if you want your small business to do well, you absolutely need to give it some online presence. This will help you establish your existence and make it possible for folks who are interested in what you’re offering to find you.
A lot of folks settle with having their own social media accounts but it’s also a good thing to have a website. Your brand’s website practically gives your business an HQ online. This can serve as your base of operations where consumers can go to if they need to learn more about your brand. It’s also a very good way to prove your legitimacy.
However, building a good and effective website can be a challenge, especially for small businesses. Many don’t know what to do or where to start, mostly.
If you’re stumped with the design, let this checklist help you out. Here are a few tips that small businesses should know when designing their own website.
Establish your branding.
The most important thing about your website’s design is that it should visually interpret what your brand is and what your business is about. This is essential as it’s one of the first things that you can do to draw in clients and customers.
Building a website is the best opportunity for you to actually establish the branding of your business. It’s where you can elaborate on the styling and design of your brand identity so you can better present your business visually. It can help you better communicate the overall idea, feel, and the concept of your business.
While creating a good branding can be quite tricky, pulling it off will give promise you good results. It can certainly give you an air of credibility and reliability since you’re presenting your business in a polished manner.
To make sure that your branding will work for you, make sure to employ a design aesthetic that appeals to your target market. This should apply both on your brand identity and your website. If you fail on this front, it will be hard for you to captivate your target audience.
To get great results, working with an experienced graphic artist is recommended. They can help you consolidate the ideas you have for your brand and interpret them visually. They’re also the right people to help you tie together your vision for your brand and the things that will appeal to your market.
However, if this feels like too much of an expense for you, DIYing your website design might also work if you have the right skills. Make sure to do a good amount of research on branding, however, as this design task is easier said than done.
Ensure the user-friendliness of your interface.
How many times have you left a website just because you can’t find the function or information you need? As a consumer, you would also know just how frustrating it can be to use a website that’s hard to navigate. In many occasions, it can even make customers turn away from a brand because they just can’t figure out how to use their sites.
This makes it crucial that you employ a user-friendly interface on your website. Since they are tools that your customers and clients will use to get to you, it’s vital that they’re simple enough for fuss-free use. You don’t want your potential customers to close your website without catering to their needs, right?
In order to achieve this, your website should have a perfect balance between clutter-free and functional. Clutter-free websites can veer into the very minimal territory where the vital functions are sacrificed for the sake of good design. On the flip side, sites that are too functional may look cluttered and even overwhelming with all of the information and functions available.
Find the perfect balance between the two and you’ll get yourself an effective website.
Make the essentials about your business easy to find.
Aside from your product or service, the name, description, location, and contact details of your business are the first things that consumers would like to know about your brand. They’re probably the very reasons why they’ll visit your website so you should make sure that they’re easily available in your site.
This, however, doesn’t mean that you should put them front and center right on your homepage. While that will make things very easy for your site visitors, it might also make you miss out on the potential of each click.
What you can do is to create a specific page or space for your contact information then make your visitors work a bit to find them. This is why lots of businesses put them at the bottom of their homepage so guests will be compelled to scroll down and read more about the brand.
Do not give in to the temptation of squeezing in every bit of information about your brand that you want the public to know on the homepage, though. This will not result in a well-designed website and might only turn away the visitors that are only slightly interested in what you might offer.
Make sure that your website is mobile-friendly.
It’s no secret that it’s now more common for people to browse the internet on their phones rather than their computers. In fact, studies say that about 52 to 57% of internet users now do their online activities on a smartphone. So if you’re going to create a website, you should also consider the possibility that more people will be looking at it on a vertical screen than a horizontal one.
With this, you should also make sure that your website design is mobile-friendly. You should ensure that it can readjust its elements nicely no matter which way it’s being viewed.
Make sure that all of its vital components are easy to see and find on both vertical and horizontal layouts. This will guarantee that your website will still be easy to navigate no matter what kind of screen is in use.
Prioritize loading speed.
It might not seem like it but how your website loads directly relate to its overall design. How? Some design elements that are used in designing a website will affect the loading speed of your website. So if you need your pages to load quickly, you should make sure to embed smaller and maybe even fewer design files.
Doing this will help ensure that your site will be processed quickly and properly by all kinds of connections. It will help you avoid having missing information or vital design elements in your pages if your visitor doesn’t have a quick or stable internet connection.
It’s also recommended to avoid using image files to display crucial information about your business. Why? While they might be neater to look at, it can prevent search engines from indexing the information, for one. It can also prevent visitors from finding the information on your website if their internet connection is not choppy.
If you can’t limit the items that will have to load on your website, be strategic and prioritize which ones should load first. Most designers will tell you to load the base elements of the page first to give the visitors some time to learn about your site more instead of just seeing what they clicked for. By doing this, you might just entice the site visitor all the more to get to know your business and offerings.
Effectively showcase your products or services.
Since your website is your online ‘showroom’ of sorts, it should clearly and effectively display the very things that your business is offering. By showcasing the very things that you have in store for clients and customers will help you directly get the point of your brand across.
You don’t have to brandish each and offering of your business on your homepage but they should be a key element in your website’s design. This way, you can effectively communicate what your business is about to your visitors. It can also help you captivate the right market and maybe even convert visits to sales.
Make sure to remember that the design of your site shouldn’t impede on the presentation of your offerings. If you don’t feel like the aesthetics of your website and your products do not work well together, then you will need to rethink your design. Keep in mind that the latter shouldn’t take away from your product but should enhance and boost it instead.
Put in content that will captivate your audience.
Content is key when it comes to doing business online. It will help keep your website alive and afloat on the vast internet so it’s crucial that you create good and attractive ones.
Because of this, you can also treat your content as an extension of designing your website. If you’re going to use various design elements in your content, you should make sure that they meld well with the overall aesthetics of your website.
You don’t have to restrict yourself to the design style of your website but you should still try to avoid creating content that will distract from your site’s overall look. Sticking to your brand identity is essential even with the content you make so your promotional materials will always be distinct and distinguishable. This will help you further establish your brand and maybe even make it recognizable to the general public.
Your website’s design can make or break its effectiveness so you have to be very careful in this area. Be strategic and make sure to cover all your bases in creating a website as it can play a huge role in the success and growth of your small business.