Important Tips on How Website Design Can Help Your Small Business

94% of first impressions are design-related. In other words, in website design, first impressions are everything. 

Think of your website as being the storefront of a physical shop. To draw customers in, your display windows need to be arranged so that they catch the attention of someone who’s walking by and encourage them to enter your store. 

If your display windows are poorly laid out, people will likely lose interest and head over to one of your competitors. 

The same thing goes for the design of your website. You’ll need to have it beautifully laid out so you can encourage visitors to stick around and maybe even make a purchase. So, how can you make that happen? Let’s take a look. 

Source: Unsplash

  • 1. Go Mobile-Friendly 

For starters, almost 55% of all web traffic is generated by mobile devices. What’s more, 79% of users will go back to the search page if they landed on a website that’s not optimized for mobiles. 

Not only that, but Google switched to mobile-first indexing, meaning that mobile-friendly websites will rank higher on the search engine results page than websites that aren’t optimized for mobile. 

In other words, if your website is not designed with smaller screens in mind, you’re missing out on a lot of potential sales. 

To go mobile-friendly, you’ve got three options available. You can either go for an adaptive, responsive, or mobile-first approach.

Experts at Digital Silk, a website design agency in Los Angeles, suggest opting for the responsive approach, as it’s cost-effective and ensures a consistent user experience across all types of devices. 

  • 2. Keep It Simple 

Sticking with the display window example, if it’s too cluttered and overly complicated, a passerby will become overwhelmed rather than curious, consequently driving him away from the store. 

For your website’s design, it’s the same story. 

Even more so, by having too many elements scattered around the page, you’ll do nothing but disperse the users’ attention in multiple directions, ultimately driving them away from where it’s needed, that being your CTAs. 

That said, eliminate any unnecessary distractions, like irrelevant stock images or needlessly long text. 

Also, allow for some breathing room by making use of white space. This helps users scan through content easier while also helping you figure out where to place other page elements. 

  • 3. Reduce Loading Times 

  1. Long loading times can severely affect the traffic your website generates and even your sales. In fact, 70% of online shoppers will make their purchase decision based on how fast a page is loading. 

But how fast is fast enough? 53% of users will abandon a page if it takes longer than three seconds to load. So, you should aim for anything below that mark. 

Start by speed testing your website to see how it stacks up against the three-second mark. If your website’s slower than recommended, start by optimizing your images. 

Images are one of the most popular causes of slow loading times. That’s because an unoptimized image can take up to a few megabytes of space. And given that Google suggests having a web page that takes up less than 500KB of space, images can be a big problem.

That said, make sure to compress image files before you upload them on your website. You can do this with the help of tools like Compress JPEG. 

  • 4. Highlight Contact Information 

Although this may seem like a no-brainer, many businesses still overlook highlighting their contact information. 

But why is it so important? People want to know who is behind the business, so they can verify whether or not your company is legitimate. By not displaying contact info, chances are that you’d lose around 44% of visitors.

With that in mind, consider creating a “Contact Us” page, where you’d show your email address, physical address, and phone number. 

Displaying the email and phone number at the top or bottom of every web page is also a good idea. This way, you’ll quickly let users know that your business is legitimate. 

  • 5. Have a Solid Navigation 

Navigation is a key factor in your website’s design. This makes users explore your website and keeps them engaged. 

But for that, your navigation has to be on-point. You don’t want to make users work to find the information they want. That will just determine them to leave the page and look somewhere else. 

That said, your navigation has to be intuitive and as easy to use as possible. 

For example, if you’re running an online store, include specific product categories in the main navigation bar. Integrating a search bar so users can type in what they are looking for is also a good idea. 

  • 6. Integrate Social Sharing 

If you’re running a small business, chances are that you’re looking to expand your audience reach. If a user sees a product or a piece of content they like, they’ll likely be inclined to share it with their friends. 

But, knowing that they’ll have to copy the link, log in into their social media account and paste it to their friends will probably give them second thoughts. That’s where social sharing buttons come in. By integrating social media buttons within your website, you’ll likely increase shareability. 

What’s more, they are not even that hard to include. If you’re using WordPress, there are plenty of plugins for the job, like Social Snap or Novashare. 

  • 7. Use Quality Product Photos 

Small online store owners usually display product photos made by themselves, mainly because they think that hiring a professional photographer is not worth it. 

That’s a mistake. 

The photos of the products you showcase have to be in tip-top shape. Online shoppers can’t interact with the products the same way as they would in a physical store. 

So, they’ll rely on your photos to decide whether or not your products are worth buying. That said, poor-quality images will instantly drive potential customers away from your site. 

Consider taking multiple high-quality images for your products. Showcase them from all angles, and maybe even let users zoom in and out or rotate the images. 

By doing this, you’ll get the shopping experience closer to the one of a brick-and-mortar store, making users more likely to convert. 

  • 8. Craft Effective CTAs 

Speaking of getting users to convert, the calls to action (CTAs) are a crucial part of your website’s design. Their purpose is to convert prospects into leads or customers.

Your CTAs need to be persuasive, bold, clear and stand out from the rest of the page. 

In terms of visibility, start by choosing a contrasting color for the button. You’ll also have to make it large enough to easily catch the users’ eyes without seeming too irritating at the same time. 

Making your CTA around 20% larger than your logo should do the job. 

In regards to its copy, your CTAs need to be concise, contain actionable verbs, and also create a sense of urgency, like “Buy Now” or “Sign Up for Free.” 

Remember not to go overboard with the number CTA buttons. Having two per page should be enough to attract attention without being too pushy.

  • 9. Make It Secure 

If your website happens to be labeled as being “Not Secured,” chances are that you’re driving many users away from your website, especially if you require them to enter their personal data, like their credit card information or email addresses. 

To avoid that from happening, you’ll need to purchase the SSL certificate. After that, you’ll have to update the URLs from HTTP to HTTPS for all of your content, like images, videos, and internal links. 

  • 10. Leverage Your Homepage 

And finally, let’s talk about the homepage. This is one of the most important parts of your website, as it likely is your most visited one. 

Many website owners see the homepage as a place to share their most recent blog posts or products. But if visitors are not interested in what they see, they’ll probably leave. 

That said, make sure to catch the attention of new visitors by showing them how your website might be useful to them. 

Or, instead of showcasing your most recent blog posts, why not show off the most popular ones, or provide multiple posts covering different topics? 

Creating a scrollable homepage is also a good idea. That way, you’ll quickly get users engaged while letting them know everything they need from your business. 

To make this method effective, make sure to organize the homepage into multiple sections, so it’s easier to navigate. 

For example, integrate an “About Us” section at the top, followed by showcasing some of the products or services you offer.

Further down, you can display social proof and finish off with a “Contact Us” section. 

  • Final Words 

All in all, your website’s design can significantly impact your business. That’s why you need to get it right. 

Otherwise, you’ll lose a lot of traffic and, consequently, a lot of potential customers.

About Travis Dillard

Travis Dillard is a business consultant and an organizational psychologist based in Arlington, Texas. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for Finddigitalagency.