When it comes to small business marketing, a great website can be one of the most effective and cost-efficient marketing channels. Here’s how you can create a visually appealing website that represents your business in unique way.
1. Keep the design simple, fresh and unique.
As the first thing potential customers see when they visit your website, the homepage is typically the most important part of a small business’s Web design. Make sure your homepage answers the critical questions new visitors will be asking, including who you are, what your business is and what can they do on your website. Consider the impression you want to make and the message you want to communicate to your customers and potential customers.
Limit the use of fonts, colors and animated gifs, which can distract and pull the eyes away from the focus of the webpage. Short paragraphs and bullet points also make the information more scannable and likely to be read.
2. Your website should have responsive design.
The responsive design approach says that a website should respond to the user according the device, screen size, and orientation. As a result, websites created with responsive design method are designed to display optimally at the ranges of sizes, no matter what device or screen resolution the user is using.
3. Make it easy to find.
You need to have a domain name that describes your business or is your company name. You can even have multiple domains that point to the website.
4. Start with clear navigation.
Organize your pages into logically-named categories and use standard terms on your menu. Visitors don’t want to guess where to go. They don’t want to analyze what you mean.
5. Consider site load times.
People are often impatient when browsing websites, and slow load times can determine whether people will be willing to buy your products or services or want to learn more about your company. Make sure that you audit your site’s performance on a regular basis by checking load times, site speed, correct formatting and continuity with the text and images.
Make sure your website runs smoothly by keeping the software updated, optimizing videos and images for quicker downloads, and using a website host that can handle your bandwidth demands.
6. Provide all the relevant information.
When people search the web, they’re seeking answers. If your site doesn’t provide the facts, the visitor will move on to the next one in the search results.
Don’t be afraid of sharing too much, and that includes prices. Transparency works. Studies show information-rich websites are the most effective in converting visitors into serious prospects. And the search engines favor sites that provide comprehensive information, ranking them higher than sparse sites that lack subject matter depth.
7. Have a call to action.
Each page on your website should entice the reader to do something – call, sign up for a service, buy a product. Be sure to have a clear invitation to do just that: a button or link. Keep it above the fold if possible so that readers do not have to scroll before finding the call to action.
8. Make a pricing easy to find.
You may worry that competitors will just try to undercut you, or that your pricing is too complicated to show on your website, but in reality, you should worry more about properly educating your prospects on why your pricing is the way it is and the value you offer.
If someone’s simply looking for the cheapest price possible, regardless, they are likely not a good fit for you anyway.
9. Organize your site to provide a great user experience.
Keep in mind that when your prospective customers visit your site, they’re typically looking for specific information. They’re rarely going to read entire pages, and most people will skim pages quickly. A well-structured site that presents information in an orderly and organized way will be much more successful than one that appears chaotic or that is not intuitively arranged.
10. Content is critical.
Poorly written content can quickly cause a visitor to leave your site. Don’t disregard the importance of well-written headlines; they can be very powerful and can mean the difference between a visitor reading the rest of the content or choosing to leave your site. Be sure to keep the content relevant—fresh and current material such as updated product information, business hours, price changes and new articles and white papers will keep users engaged and active.
Bonus tip – Don’t forget Search Engine Optimization – SEO.
The best website in the world is a waste if no one can find it. If Google ranks your website high through your use of optimized copy, you immediately get fabulous exposure to prospects searching for your product or service.