Small Business Web Design: The Basics of a Winning Website

A good website is a must for any business. It doesn’t matter how big or small you are. Today, you need an online platform.

Perhaps you already have a website but it isn’t doing anything for you. No one’s visiting, buying, or clicking. Or maybe you’re banging your head against a wall trying to build a site that works.

Frustrating, isn’t it?

To make your life easier, whether you’re fighting with a failing website, or building one from scratch, we’ve put together a guide to the basics of building an affordable winning website.

Discover everything that your site needs to do well using our infographic.

The basics of a winning website infogrpahic

Number One: A Responsive Design

Another Google update recently dropped that made having a responsive website very important when it comes to ranking. Now, if someone searches for a business from a mobile device, a site that isn’t responsive will struggle to appear in search results.

But hold on, what exactly is a responsive website?

A responsive design is one that will adjust to the screen size of the device you’re viewing it on – alot like a chameleon changing its colour to adapt to its surroundings. Having a responsive site has become super important. There are now more people searching on their mobiles than there are people searching on desktops, so your website needs to look great on both phones and tablets.

We wrote a whole blog post about responsive websites here if you want to learn more.

If you are on the fence about going responsive, know this: 48% of users say a non-responsive website frustrates them. And frustrated customers don’t hang around to shop.

Number Two: Logo, Font, Colours

Six out of ten people look for consistent branding. And that’s not just online, but on the phone and in-store too. To make your branding an unswerving tool for success you need to make sure that colour schemes, fonts, and logos are the same on every single page of your site.

Don’t think a strong brand won’t help you sell either…

66% of consumers are happy to pay more for a product if the brand delivers a positive experience. That’s more than half of your customer base who are willing to pay more money for your products.

Number Three: Eye Popping Images

The pictures that you took from your faulty camera phone to use on your site?

They’re likely to do more harm than good. Websites with good images often have 48% higher conversion rates.

Think about it. Would you buy a product that is advertised in a grainy, gloomy picture?

Didn’t think so.

Spend some time browsing images and figuring out what will work well on your site. Don’t just think in terms of selling your product either. Images can improve click-throughs on blogs, news pieces, and newsletters too!

Don’t let your great brand down with unprofessional imagery.

Number Four: Simple Navigation

If a customer has trouble finding products, services, or contact details they’re going to give up and head to your competitor in a snap.

Bad navigation is a common problem in small business websites. In fact, a survey found that 44 out of every 100 visitors to small websites found the navigation complicated or tricky.

The easier it is to locate a product, the better chance you have of converting. It’s that simple. Make it obvious where each page is. Unclutter your navigation bar. Direct them with content. And make it responsive!

Number Five: Contact Details

Chances are, if a customer wants to purchase something from you or enquire about a service, they’ll want to speak to someone directly. Doesn’t matter whether it’s through email or over the phone. They should be able to grab your contact information from anywhere on the website.

Make your phone number and email address visible all the time. Put it in the footer, the header, and litter it throughout your content. Again, this is a common problem many small businesses have, with 49 out of 100 of them failing to display this vital information.

Number Six: Seductive Headlines & Punchy Copy

Customers are often indecisive. They’re wishy-washy about making decisions and can go from ‘definitely buying this’ one minute to, ‘do I actually need it though?’ the next.

The job of your content is to push them over the finishing line. Help them make that all important decision.

81% of businesses rate their website content as “useful” or “critical”, and for good reason. The headlines and text content on a website can result in a 10.4% lift in conversion rates. So don’t be drab in your wording, or dreary in your execution.

Snap them awake and tell them why they need you and your business!

Number Seven: Important Info Above The Fold

‘Above the fold’ refers to the part of the page you can see immediately, without having to scroll downwards.

Why is that important?

Well people tend to pay more attention, and retain more information when it’s displayed at the beginning and end. It’s known as the ‘Serial Position Effect’.

So, if you are trying to get a message across, grab a customer’s attention, or flog your wares on a page, get it done before the fold.

Number Eight: Content Promotion

Content isn’t just about the words on each page of your site. It includes a whole number of things including blogs, videos, infographics, and more. And when done well, content can drive action. The trick is getting the right content to the right customer.

Content promotion.

There are lots of ways to do this. You can use social media ads to push your content out to potential customers, you can contact bloggers in your field, or you can utilise PPC. How you promote it is up to you. Just make sure you put time into audience research.

Otherwise your great content will go to the wrong people, and fail to make a difference.

Number Nine: Strong Calls-To-Action

The purpose of your site is to generate leads, get people to call you, or make people buy. But your site can’t do it alone. Sure you have a great design, the navigation’s easy, and the design is responsive, but if you want to it to truly convert you need to employ great calls-to-actions.

These actions can include things like asking people to visit your shop, requesting a call back, or asking people to fill in a survey.

Call to action buttons need to stand out. You need to use colours that grab attention. You should also write the button copy in first person, with one study finding that this technique improved clicks by 90%.

Don’t be afraid to try different button colours, wording, and placement. Find out which is most effective for you and stick to it.

Number Ten: Trust Indicators

Consumers are scared. They’re scared someone’s going to rip them off. They’re scared they’re going to get an inferior service. They’re scared a business will take their money and run.

It’s your job to assure them that they’re safe in your hands.

How do you do this? Simple.

Trust indicators.

If you’re a member of an industry related body, put their logo on your site. If you have a huge list of customer testimonials, create a whole page dedicated to them. Link to your Trustpilot page. Do whatever you can to earn their trust.

If they trust in you, that’s half the battle won.

Bonus Tip: Make Life Easier

Putting all this information into practice isn’t easy. Paying someone else to do it is often expensive.

At Add People we have helped thousands of small businesses just like yours to create websites that work at affordable prices.

Our websites are designed with conversion in mind to help you to turn more of your website traffic into paying customers.  Find out more about our Essential Website service over on the product page, or fill out the contact form at the top of this blog to request a call back from one of our team.

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