A well-designed website is essential for any business in 2024 and beyond, because it acts as a shop front, marketing hub, and customer service centre all in one.
With so much power held in your website, building an attractive and engaging website is essential.
Below, we discuss nine small business web design tips that will help you create a website that helps your small business thrive. From keeping it simple to gathering user feedback, these tips will help you beat the competition and put your small business in a good place moving forward.
1. Keep it Simple
Society moves at a rapid pace today and the world is full of distractions, which is why small businesses should focus on simplicity and user-friendliness in their web design.
When a website is cluttered and the interface feels chaotic, visitors are more likely to leave and turn to a competitor as typically people judge a website in only a few seconds.
It may be tempting to overload the web page with graphics and animations, but all that does is distract from your brand’s message. Instead, use white space, simple typography, images that back up your message and a logical navigation menu.
All of these elements will steer customers through your website, ensuring they find the information they need and then make a purchase or get in touch.
2. Ensure Brand Consistency
Branding is the beating heart of a small business, which is why it needs to shine bright across all aspects of the business.
It doesn’t matter if a customer is browsing your small business website, talking to a member of your team, or reading your latest newsletter, your brand needs to be present at all points of contact. This brand consistency means that your business is more likely to stick in the minds of your customers.
You can achieve brand consistency by using your brand colours strategically, developing a brand style guide, choosing the right fonts, and maintaining persistent logo placement. While these design elements are important, a consistent brand needs to be present in all actions taken by the business.
3. Consider Format Before Uploading Content
When uploading text-based content to your website the majority will most likely be written directly into a content management system (CMS), whether that be WordPress or another reputable platform. However, if you expect users to print a document, then consider uploading it in PDF and giving user the option of printing that instead. Just remember, if you lose the original document, you will need to convert PDF to Word before editing. While Adobe can take care of this at a cost, we recommend using a free web-based pdf to word converter.
Uploading images enhances the overall aesthetic of your website, but images need to be uploaded in the correct format. Large images with a high resolution will slow down your website, frustrating your users and causing them to leave. To guarantee a smooth experience, consider using compressed formats like PNG or JPEG and optimising the actual dimensions of the images too.
Video content is essential these days as it keeps visitors engaged, but it calls for a lot of storage that can harm your website’s load time. To get the best playback experience, consider using codecs like VP9 or H.264, which provide high compress rations while keeping hold of quality. We would also highly recommend compressing your videos before uploading them too.
4. Think Mobile-First Development
Nowadays we live in a society of smartphone users, with statistics now telling us that in 2024 most people are using their smartphone for over 4 hours each day! That’s mad when you stop and think about it.
This is why Google prioritises mobile-first development when indexing websites as now mobile phones are generally the primary way people access information online.
This essentially means that when Google crawls your small business website, it’s looking at the experience it provides to users who would be viewing it on a mobile device – load time is also a critical factor here too.
So, with this in mind, your small business website must be quick to load and provide an amazing experience to users on mobile devices. That’s why many web design companies will carefully consider how your small business website will adjust and display information on mobile devices from day one of your project.
5. Remember Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
When you search on Google for a product or query, you’ll be faced with billions of results. Out of all of these, people only see the first couple of pages at most. This is why it’s important to focus on SEO, which helps to place your website higher up the search engine results page (SERPs).
Here are some general SEO tips to point you in the right direction:
- Keyword research: Identify keywords that your audience is using to find products or services like yours.
- Technical optimisation: This includes everything from page loading speeds to structured data markup.
- Local SEO: Target local keywords if your business has a physical location.
- Backlink building: Build backlinks from reputable websites to your own, which increases website authority and search visibility.
- On-page SEO: Optimise each page with relevant keywords, high-quality content, and meta descriptions.
- Social media integration: Link your social accounts to the website, allowing you to share content and drive traffic.
There are other actions you can take to improve your rankings, but these cover the fundamentals. If you’re using WordPress, installing a plugin like Yoast SEO will help you with on-page SEO.
6. Make it User-Friendly
A user-friendly website is essential for any small business, especially if they want to be successful. It makes finding information easy, which reduces the bounce rate and boosts brand reputation.
To make your website user-friendly, focus on a logical flow, simplicity, loading speeds, and calls-to-action (CTAs). By following these simple principles, you can build a website that drives growth for your small business and also ranks well on Google too.
7. Upload High-Quality Images
High-quality images are essential for creating a visually appealing website, but you need to choose them carefully to avoid compromising the overall user experience.
Make sure all images are compressed, uploaded in the correct format, and contain captions and ALT text. If you’re struggling with image placement and optimisation, there are plenty of WordPress plugins that can help you out.
8. Keep a Regular Maintenance Schedule
Consistent website maintenance is essential for ensuring security, optimal performance, and compliance with industry standards.
By regularly updating themes, plugins, and software, backing up data, patching security vulnerabilities, testing functionality, and monitoring performance, your website will maintain its smooth user experience and as an added bonus, it will last for many years to come too.
When you’re talking to web design companies about your web design project, make sure you ask them whether they have a website maintenance package.
9. Gather Feedback and Test for Issues
Gathering user feedback through A/B testing, surveys, and user reviews is an essential part of improving your website once it’s up and running. You can analyse feedback to identify common issues and the prioritise critical issues and make sure you act on feedback swiftly. Doing this will help keep customers on-side while beating competitors on the SERPs.
Web design for small business is so important…
A well-designed website is a critical part of success for any small business. By following the tips outlined above, your website will be visually appealing, user-friendly, and optimised for search engines. Remember, ongoing maintenance and improvement are key to remaining relevant, secure, and above the competition.
If you’d like to discuss how we can help you create a winning web design for your small business, please do get in touch – we’d be delighted to have a conversation and see if we’re a good fit for your requirements.
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