Whether you choose to hire a professional website designer or do it yourself, you will want to know the following tips to ensure your website looks fabulous and accomplishes its purpose.
Keep the following tips at the forefront when thinking about designing or re-creating your small business website:
This is what identifies you and your company throughout your website. Brand identity will allow your website to look professional and inspire confidence with your potential customers. Intelligent branding and a logo that is appealing and placed prominently on your website will make you look much bigger in the cyber world than anywhere else.
Using the same logo on all of your marketing material, other printed material and communications will create a familiar and consistent brand.
It has been proven over the years – people do not like websites that require too much clicking just to find one thing or too much clutter on the page. They want to see a well-organized, user-friendly site that they can get on, find what they want, order and get off.
- Fonts | Even though you might like a fancy font and think it looks really cool, readers usually don’t like it. They want something that is easy to read and easy on the eyes. Fonts are not where you want to use your creative abilities.
- Graphics | Do not be tempted to use too many visual images. Too many images can also cause a site to load very slowly. A good mixture of some graphics and text on each page will be better for search engines to asses your site’s relevancy.
- Text | Depending upon your particular business regarding how much text you need to use, a good rule of thumb is to have at least 250 words of text per page including keywords. One idea to break up the monotony of just reading paragraph after paragraph is to break up your text by using bullet points, numbers and/or bolding/italics to lure your viewer’s eye to the key points.
3. Transparency – Contact Information | Can your viewers find your contact information quickly and easily without clicking several times? Put your quick contact info in the upper right hand corner of every page of your website. Have a link to your full contact page on your home page and wherever appropriate on other pages.
4. Business Information | What is your small business all about? Viewers want to know this instantly on your home page. Make it very easy for them to find other answers, such as pricing, ordering, etc.
5. Navigability – Site Map | Very important to have a site map listing all of the pages a viewer can click on to find out further information. Be sure this is updated whenever you add or delete a page.
6. Search Function | Great idea to have a search button on your home page where potential customers can search your site easily to find what they are looking for without having to peruse every page of your site. This may even help those potential customers from looking elsewhere if they can’t find it quickly and easily on your site.
7. Icons and Navigation | For your small business, it is best to go with standard web icons and navigation rather than having a funky layout.
8. Photos | Use professional photos if you have products you are trying to sell. You want them to look as beautiful as possible and sometimes a smartphone photo doesn’t always cut it. Remember, the image will be the first and only thing they see before deciding to buy something or not.
9. Content | Of course, you will want to have the most interesting and informative content for your viewers visiting your site, especially for the first time. This may be their first impression of your business. However, always, always make sure your website is current, especially if you have time-sensitive information. Nothing turns off a potential customer more than seeing a website that is out of date or a deadline date that has long passed. You will also want a call-to-action. Meaning, ensure your content is encouraging your customers to take action.
10. Interactive Content | If your small business depends on interaction with viewers, such as taking a survey, reviews, etc., please ensure you can take the time to monitor those communications on your site, such as, being able to approve a review before it’s posted in order to avoid possible abuse.
That’s it. Hope these tips have stirred your creative juices in thinking about how you want to present your small business website to the world.
If you need assistance in designing a small business website or even a redesign of your DIY website, we can help. Contact us and we’ll make it happen!