Despite what we were taught in school, we all judge a book by its cover. The first impression you give potential clients makes or breaks their faith in your product, and has a huge impact in their decision to give you their business.
Approximately 81% of consumers research products online before ever stepping foot in a store to buy it. Your website is the absolute first impression you make on future customers. Having a sleek, user-friendly website is one of the best internet marketing tools you can have in your tool belt. Here are a few best practices for small business web design:
- Don’t Overwhelm Your Visitors
If you are Amazon, you can have one thousand ads, photos, and calls to action on your landing page. Amazon gets 188 million visitors a month; mostly loyal, repeat customers. Amazon clients are conditioned to navigate the clutter and find what they want to buy. Not to mention, Amazon has a team of experts whose life’s work is determining how to delicately and effectively guide clients to spend money. On the other hand, small business web design should have a single call to action, so visitors can easily grasp the function of the business and without being overwhelmed or having trouble navigating the page.
- Be Conservative With Your Scroll Bar
The more scrolling your page has, the longer it’s going to take to load. Studies show that bout half of your visitors will abandon your page if it doesn’t load within three seconds, without ever looking at it. Instead, create an intuitive site map that organizes the most basic information on the landing page, and makes it easy for visitors to get to additional information or products on other pages, if they want it.
- Use Your Brains With Links
You don’t want your website to be like hunting through Ikea to find a single item. Organize your information so that it’s easily accessible with links that makes sense. To reduce clutter, a good web design utilizes a hidden menu that only appears when scrolled over. The hidden menu should have categories of links that visitors can drill down to find the information they want. Common link categories in small business web design include: Our Story, Products, Blog, Contact Us.
- Keep Your Firecrackers Above the Fold
The term “above the fold” comes from the common practice among newspaper editors to put the most eye-catching headlines and photos on the top half of the front page (which is displayed from the stand) to entice readers. Following the same school of thought, you should put your most striking photos and promotions at the top of your landing page, so it’s the first thing visitors see when they get to your site.
- Make Your Content King
If you created your website in 1999 and haven’t touched it since, you need to dust it off and update it. The best way to encourage repeat traffic is to constantly add current, engaging content to your site. Not only does this give visitors incentive to come back, adding usable content with strategic keywords that relate to your product are factors that encourage search engines to include your site high in the search results when customers are shopping for your product.
Do you have any great web design tips for small businesses? Please share them with us in the comment section below.