Web Design for Small Business: You Need These 5 Tips
It can be tempting to try and do your web design yourself in the early days.
After all, there are plenty of ‘do it yourself’ hosts that offer drag-and-drop templates. Wix.com have over 1.23 million subscribers.
But web design for small business doesn’t need to rely on cheap solutions. Your business deserves more than a website that looks like hundreds of others.
These 5 tips will give you plenty to think about when it comes to your first – or next – small business website!
1) Think about why you need a website.
And we don’t just mean the fact that most businesses have a website. What do you need the website to do?
- Are you trying to capture email addresses?
- Advertise your product range?
- Host a blog?
- Get prospective clients to enquire about your services?
Whatever your goal, take that to your web designer. It’ll help them to design a website that serves that specific purpose.
After all, there is no real ‘one size fits all’ web design solution. Every business has a different goal – and a different design.
But this goal can feed into your design in other ways.
Who you are, what you do, and how you can help should be front and centre. But bear in mind visitors already have a problem in mind.
They want to know how you can help them solve it – not how many awards you’ve won.
So include your why. Simon Sinek points out that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Tell the story of how/why you got started.
2) Do your research into the admin side of web design for small business.
Even if you’re a small business now, you need to keep the future in mind.
Don’t try and use a free domain name like businessname.weebly.com. Go for businessname.com.
It’s easier to remember, and it’s yours. Plus it makes you look a lot more legitimate.
If you haven’t already launched your business, check the domain is available first. If you have launched and someone already has yourbusiness.com, then consider other extensions like .biz or .xyz.
Just remember to set your domain to auto-renew. You don’t want it to expire and have someone else buy your domain name.
Hosting is another issue to bear in mind. Free web hosting services are limited in the amount of storage space you’ll get, and security features will be basic.
Choose a reputable hosting service that offers support. You’ll pay a monthly fee but it will be worth it as your business – and website – grow.
Check if they also provide email hosting or services like CloudFlare.
3) Plan for the future.
Think big! If you have plans for expansion down the line, work with a designer who can scale your site up accordingly.
Even if you don’t have plans right now, your designer can create a website that easily allows for more pages, or more users.
It’s worth checking with your designer if you’ll be able to make updates yourself. If you have to rely on them to make changes, then the bill might start racking up.
So discuss ongoing maintenance with your designer. If they host your site on a platform like WordPress or Squarespace, you’ll be able to make changes relatively easily yourself.
But web design for small business doesn’t need to mean ‘basic website’. The design can be simple but professional.
Work with your designer as if your website was for a bigger company.
And hire a copywriter to craft your copy. There’s nothing worse that a beautiful website filled with spelling mistakes and typos.
Your website should create the absolute best first impression of your company.
4) Spend time working on the actual design.
It goes without saying that your website should match your branding.
Visitors will expect consistency across your online presence.
So make sure you equip your designer with your company fonts, colours, and even images.
If your business is active on Facebook and Twitter, you can include widgets for both platforms within your design. It’ll help provide more social proof that you’re a real business.
Make sure your website is easy to read – and it should be custom built for you. You don’t want the designer to use the same template they use for everyone else.
Don’t neglect space within your site. Your footer can be used to host social media icons, a short bio, and links back to other important pages.
Not everyone will make it that far, but visitors who do are more invested in your content. They’ll be more likely to click on whatever they find there.
5) Get to know every page of your website.
At the most basic level, your website needs to communicate your contact details, who you are, and what you do.
The pages need to have obvious names. You might think ‘The Legend of Business X’ sounds cool, but visitors are used to clicking on ‘About’ to read a bio.
Feature your contact details. Not everyone likes to send emails – some customers like to pick up the phone. Others like to physically visit your premises.
But include contact forms for visitors who might not have the time (or the ability) to fire up their email provider.
Actually ask them to get in touch! It sounds strange but web users need to be told to click on something – and they will.
Make sure you test your design thoroughly as if you were a first-time customer.
- Do the links work?
- Is content easy to find?
- Have you included testimonials to provide social proof?
- Does it take more than 3 clicks to find anything? If so, rethink the navigation.
- Are there are 404 error pages?
- Does your website work on mobile devices?
Your website has got to be mobile responsive. 70% of internet use now comes via mobile devices.
Minimalism works best for mobile sites. Users want to find information – they’re not interested in prolonged browsing.
Obviously all of this is moot if Google can’t find your site. Make sure your website is optimised for search engine visibility.
Follow these 5 tips when you talk to your designer. Really focus on the fact you need web design for small business.
And you should end up with a beautiful, responsive and user-friendly website that’s ready to win you new business!
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