Web Design Tips for Small Businesses

Your business website can make or break your credibility in an instant. Why do users love certain sites and avoid others? A lot of factors go into designing a smooth and engaging experience, and we’ve been designing sites long enough to know exactly what those factors are. From this experience, we’d love to share with you some web design tips for small businesses!

In a nutshell, we think good design is all about simplicity that doesn’t compromise on quality. Let’s dig into the details of what that looks like with some handy small business web design tips.

Small Business Website Tip 1: Clarity and Purpose

Lead with purpose. Have you ever found yourself helplessly scrolling through a site, trying to figure out what the company does? Yeah, we hate that, too. Your visitors should be able to grasp quickly and easily what your business is and what it does. 

Keep it clutter-free. Don’t overwhelm your site with unnecessary images or text. There’s no need to be wordy, so take Einstein’s advice: “Everything should be as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

Showcase products and services. Whatever your business offers should be front and center, with well-placed products and services that are easily identifiable. Be intentional about whitespace to prevent crowding or bad alignment. 

Have a call to action. Include a strong and persuasive call to action that’s prominently displayed. Whether you’re inviting visitors to contact you, shop, schedule an appointment, or learn more, you should minimize guesswork and guide users to the next step. Look at it like this: every page on your site that doesn’t have a call to action is a wasted business opportunity. 

Display your contact info. Your business number, email address, and physical address should all be easy to find, so don’t bury that information. When people take the time to reach out by calling or emailing you, take it as a huge compliment and make sure that they get a prompt and friendly response from a human being. Nobody wants to talk to a machine. 

Our 2nd Tip for Small Business Websites: Quality

Choose color wisely. An attention-grabbing neon green background might be appropriate for certain brands but will turn off most visitors. Color should complement, not detract from, your message, so be strategic about it. Before adding color, ask yourself: is it necessary? Is it balanced? Does it align with my brand and audience? Here’s some bonus tips on how to create a color palette.

Image quality matters. If your images are blurry or off-center, it sends a powerful signal to your visitors about your competence and expertise. Make sure your images are crisp, interesting, and relevant. If needed, here’s where to find great stock images.

Keep branding professional. Your site should be consistent with your brand. That means logos, fonts, colors, layouts, copy, and the overall feel of the site are all there to show who you are and connect visitors with your story. 

Simple and unique design. There’s that word again: simplicity. It’s not easy to design with innovation and purpose, and keep things streamlined at the same time. Many professionals make the mistake of designing for themselves, assuming everyone has the patience and know-how to navigate elaborate visuals and animations. However, the best sites are easy for anyone to use. If a visitor has minimal experience with computers, they should still be able to explore your site with ease. 

Don’t play hard to get. If Google can’t find you, neither can your users. Make sure your content is optimized so that it ranks higher in search results.

Add testimonials. Word-of-mouth is still the most effective method of spreading awareness about your business. People trust people, not ads. You can tap into that social trust by posting testimonials from real, live customers. Potential clients will appreciate the authenticity and past clients will be pleased to see their feedback on your page. 

Small Business Website Tip 3: Functionality

Be mobile-friendly. If your site isn’t tailored to be responsive to mobile, you’re missing out. A lot of visitors will be on their smartphone or other mobile device the first time they find your business, and if their experience is sub-par or even frustrating, they’re as good as gone. For more on this, check out our video about why mobile responsiveness is important.

Be fast. Nobody wants to stare at a screen that takes forever to load. While it might be tempting to add lots of fun features, remember that if they slow things down, your visitors will leave. A simple website that loads fast will always attract and keep more traffic than a site that does a thousand clever things which nobody has the patience to see. Also, be sure to check out our video about how to improve website speed.

Be intuitive. Intuitive navigation means that users don’t have to stop and think about how to do something on your site, they just do it. Always keep in mind that most of your visitors aren’t developers and have no desire to hunt around for information. Sure, hamburger menus (that is, mobile menus) might not be the most original design in the world, but people understand how to use them. Boldness and innovation are essential to good design, but you don’t need to confuse your audience to be original. Improving website user experience is key!

Invest In A Quality Site Your Visitors Will Love

Nowadays, websites function as the front door of your business, and you seldom get a second chance to make a good first impression. We know that it takes more than a portfolio full of stunning visuals to make excellent sites that are both welcoming and truly unique. It also takes hard work, patience, imagination, and tons of experience. 

We understand that investing in a new site or improving your current one is a big deal. That’s why we set the bar for ourselves high. We’re about quality–doing great work and being great to work with. 

Along with the above web design tips for small businesses, if you’d like to discuss ideas for your business website, reach out to our team at Buddy Web Design and Development at info@buddywdd.com or check us out at www.BuddyWDD.com

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