Web Design

Website Design Is Critical

Visitors will judge your company by the look of your web design. Present them with an older or amateurish design and they will assume your not much of a company… even if you are actually the best at what you do.

If you’re looking for phone calls and leads then the website design needs to incorporate a strong call to action (CTA). You want to encourage action, not just present information.

Your website should be the center of all of your marketing efforts. Although Social Media networks like Facebook are important they are best used to support your website, not be the final destination for future customers.

In fact, all of your marketing efforts are best used to send traffic to your website where they can learn more about your company and begin the process of becoming a client.

It’s unfortunate but first impressions really do count and your website must look professional, load quickly and get to the point for people to even take the time to read (or watch) your content.

One of the most important elements of good web design is the navigation. How easily can people find what they are looking for? Is it clear what you do and sell? Is the content presented in a simple, logical and clearly written way?

Responsive web design is also very important. It should display well on all devices from large 27″ monitors on desktops to handheld smartphones. Checking the website on many devices is the final step in all of our web development projects.

Your branding should be clear and strong on every page. Your logo, colors, and the message should be consistent throughout. There should be no doubt that they are on your company’s website.

When you realize the cost involved in today’s world to actually get a prospect to visit your website, whether that is in dollars or time, you realize that your website design is absolutely crucial to your success and especially to your Return On Investment.

Listed below are 6 Critical Elements to consider for your small business web design

1. Your Website Needs To Match Your Industry

A great website is not the same thing for every business. Although the general principles noted above apply to ALL websites there is some differences industry to industry.

For example, if you are a new home builder, the first things visitors are looking for are pictures or videos of your finished products. Your web design should be very graphical and possibly include video taken by a drone.

Your home page should include a beautiful picture of your best work. It should immediately impress and grab the attention of your prospect. In the industry, it will be images and videos that do the work of encouraging them to call you or submit a form to get more information. It is very difficult to do this with great writing but mediocre imagery or video.

On the other hand, a plumber doesn’t have the same finished product to display so what is he (or she) to do? The plumber needs to convey the following;

  • Competence
  • Availability
  • Fair and honest pricing backed up by testimonials
  • Experience
  • Reliability

This should be backed up by great images and video but they play more of a supporting role than they do for the new home builder.

The plumbers’ web design needs to emphasize the points above so testimonials and reviews are very important. He must address the potential clients fears more than most other industries.

2. Use Simple & Logical Navigation

“Don’t Make Me Think” is a classic web design and usability book that gives a simple message. Great design is not just about how the website looks but just as important is how easy is it to use.

So many sites think they need to get creative with their navigation when this is the last place you should be worrying about “creativity”. Use conventional words and service names so everybody can know what you are talking about. Don’t try to come up with a different way to say “Services”, just use what almost every one of your users is expecting to see.

Don’t Make Them THINK…. Be clear, Be logical and keep it SIMPLE.

This can make a huge difference in your website conversion rate. People get frustrated easily and will leave quickly if you try to be “cute” and “artsy” with navigation.

Typically you will place your navigation where the user is expecting to find it, horizontally along the top on desktop and laptop computers. In mobile devices, users expect a square “hamburger” style menu in the top right-hand corner with simple and straightforward drop-down menu items.

Search Engines will also reward good web development with simple and clear navigation as it sends a signal the infoamtion is organized and relevant.

3. Employ Visual Elements

Visual elements have a lot to offer any website. They provide a lot of eye-catching details that hold users spellbound and keep them engaged. It is more fun to browse through a page with photos and graphics than those with just text.

Incorporating relevant graphics and photos in your written content is one of the best ways of making your site visually appealing. This is a great way to attract the attention of users and keep them scrolling.

The photos you choose should be relevant to your brand and content. If you can, avoid stock photos, as they have this generic feel to them, though they’re great for illustrating points in a pinch.

It always better to use photos of your products, staff and your work, this is a great way to ensure that your visitors get an authentic feel of what your business is about. You can also employ the services of a web designer to create custom infographics or graphics to incorporate some interesting visuals.

Videos are actually the most effective of all the forms of visual content and we have found that you can boost your conversions if you have one on your page! This is an excellent way to improve the performance of your website, engage visitors and increase the time spent by potential customers on your content.

As a matter of fact, the odds of you landing on Google’s first page increases by more than 50% if you add video to your site. This is because most users spend more time watching videos than reading content.

4. Work On Your Readability

Readability is probably the most overlooked element of web design. Your site might be packed with amazing information, but if your visitors can’t read it, then it is of no use to your marketing goals.

People need to be able to read the content of your site easily so need to ensure that there’s a contrast between your background color and the text color. This will make the text stand out.

The font you use is another essential aspect of readability. Your choice of the font can have a huge effect on how people read and skim through your content. You need to use a clean and easy to read font.

Though choosing “fun” fonts can be quite tempting, they’re not very practical as they can be quite difficult to read. It is more advisable to stick to those simple fonts for the body of your work and only use fancy ones for headings or page titles.

Restrict your fonts to 2 or 3 for most business website designs. Using too many fonts can make your website appear cluttered, unappealing and amateurish. Sticking to a very small selection will give your website a cohesive, clean and professional feel.

Make sure that your font is large enough to read… a small font can leave a user frustrated and that can lead to an early exit.

5. Use Social Media Share Buttons

Linking TO your Social Media platform (your Facebook Page for example) may or may not be advantageous depending on what business or niche you are in. It’s rarely a good idea to send people away from your website.

But making sure visitors can easily SHARE your content… well that never gets old. That is one of the most important things you should enable on your website. Make it easy for your visitor to share your content on all their social accounts.

They’re far more likely to post or tweet an article if you simplify the process.

6. Create great calls to action

Call To Actions (CTA) are the directions and encouragements to aid the visitor on their journey to becoming your customer.

Most visitors will take no action when that have finished reading or listening to your content unless you give them a reason to DO something. Your web design should encourage them to contact you for more details or further explanation.

Including Calls To Action whenever appropriate is a great way to let visitors know what they should do next. You could direct them to a related page on your website, contact your business by phone, sign up to your email list or submit a form.

CTAs are necessary for most small business websites as they can greatly help to convert visitors to customers.

Come up with a creative design for your CTAs. Design creative buttons that will stand out and attract visitors to want to click them. This might be a small part of the puzzle, but it can affect the effectiveness of your site when converting traffic into sales.