Each year, a growing number of small businesses establish their web presence, and those who remain without a website are inevitably falling behind their competitors. Consumers have come to expect companies of all scales to have websites – it’s simply how business is done today, and a small business without a professional online presence (which is not just a social media account) inherently appears less legitimate.
Your website is one of your top salespeople and an effective marketing tool which will help drive growth, but only if designed to fulfill its maximum potential. Follow these tips to ensure your website design will represent your company professionally and do a great job of converting visitors to customers.
Optimize for mobile
With mobile internet usage having surpassed desktop 2 years ago, responsive websites (which are adaptable for viewing across different devices) have become normative. Not having a responsive website can seriously hurt your business. Users, the majority of which are likely to access your website from their smartphone, expect an effortless browsing experience – and if you don’t provide them with it, they know they have other options just a click away. That’s why you shouldn’t just stop at making the website responsive – have a mobile-friendly version that is optimized specifically for the mobile user experience.
Ensure fast loading speed
Modern day internet users have no patience for slow-loading websites – and by slow-loading, we mean a maximum of 3 seconds. The stats say it all: more than half of website visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than 3 seconds to load. A reliable web developer will ensure your website is constructed to meet these standards, but it’s important that you understand on your part that certain design decisions – such as making your site cluttered with heavy images and numerous elements – will impact loading speed negatively.
Keep it simple
A clean and uncluttered design doesn’t only ensure your website loads quickly; it also represents your business in a more professional manner. Just think about it – when you land on a graphically cluttered webpage that’s exploding with colors, text, images and whatnot, does it give off a professional feel or more of a “spam feel”?
This is especially important for small businesses that don’t have an online reputation built, so you have to monitor every design decision to ensure potential customers of your legitimacy and trustworthiness. On top of it all, a website with a clean visual aesthetic provides a more enjoyable and less confusing user experience, allowing you to guide their navigation effortlessly.
Establish a consistent brand identity
Expressing your brand identity on your website is crucial to capturing the viewers’ attention, getting your message across, and establishing the trust necessary to convert visitors to customers. That’s why website branding shouldn’t be taken lightly – everything from the choice of fonts to the color palette to the overall design aesthetic needs to be in sync and correspond with your brand message.
In order to achieve this and make your website authentic, you’ll definitely need the help of professionals, but you want to ensure you hire someone with whom you’re able to brainstorm and communicate effectively. Don’t rush the hiring process. You can search online directories of the respectable development companies to sift through their digital portfolios, compare them to each other, and find the one whose style you think will best suit you. After all, crafting a website representative of your company is a creative and collaborative endeavour so mutual understanding is key.
Make your CTA and contact details stand out
The call-to-action button is a key element to your website, and if you want visitors to actually click on it, you need to make it suggestive and guide them to it. First of all, placement is important, and an effective CTA button will be immediately eye-capturing because it follows the natural way people scan web pages. That’s why you’ll find that the majority of business websites have their CTA placed on the top right corner or on the very center of the page, depending on the layout – either way, it’s almost always above the fold. Providing plenty of contrast is also important in making it attention-grabbing and suggestive, and don’t hesitate to use strong, suggestive verbs that compel users to act.
Likewise, make your contact details clearly visible and easy to find – don’t hide them away somewhere beneath the fold and risk frustrating your site visitors. Top of the page is always a good, user-friendly choice.
With time, you can expand your website by adding more elements and features such as a blog as a part of your digital marketing strategy. But in order to make that possible, you first need to set strong foundations for your web presence. By following these 5 tips, you can ensure that you will be starting on the right foot and crafting a website aimed at growth. Most importantly, bear in mind that the work doesn’t stop there – always keep an eye out for possible updates and improvements to make sure everything is running smoothly.