Creating a website for your small business is one of the most important investments you will make in your company
(i.e. sole proprietorship), which is why it is crucial to get it right.
Many business owners make the mistake of spending too little time in creating their websites or being satisfied with unprofessional-looking websites, not realizing that your website is the storefront to your business and can often make or break deals.
With the advent of free website building tools, it is today easier than ever before to create a beautiful website for your small business. With this in mind, here are 5 essential design tips for a small business…
1) Ensure that your homepage creates a strong impact.
When users click on your website, the first page they see will usually be the homepage (unless they have been directed to another page via a link). Your homepage therefore needs to create a strong impact on your customer the second he lays eyes on it. It needs to have a great visual impact while being functional at the same time.
2) Make your navigation bar easy to find and user-friendly.
Traditionally, the navigation bar of any website is always at the top or at the left. This is probably the most important part to get right as customers are most used to it being in one of these positions. If you decide to do something fancy by having your navigation tools spread out all over the page, this will confuse (and probably frustrate) them, which may even result in them abandoning your web page. So, for the sake of simplicity, keep the navigation bar where people are used to seeing it!
3) Don’t be afraid of using big images.
Images are huge at the moment, and we don’t mean just popular. Size-wise, on a homepage, today it is entirely acceptable for there to be one or two oversized images. However, choose the image very carefully. Try to avoid stock photos on your homepage and pick high quality, bold and unique photos that you believe will have an emotional connection with your customers. Imagery appeals to the emotional side of the brain and, if customers feel that they have an emotional connection with your business, it will more likely result in long-term sales.
4) Keep it simple.
Keep your homepage simple and clutter-free (avoid the early Internet era look which was chock full of text boxes, graphics and images). In doing so, you will avoid confusion and elicit a positive response amongst your customers. Think of your homepage as your business’s reception are and strive to keep it immaculate at all times.
5) Complete all fields.
Before having your website go live, ensure that all the fields are complete, such as the About page, the Contact details, etc. Having empty fields shows un professionalism and slackness. Your content should also be logical, should read well and should call your customers to action.
Leaving your clients with something to remember is a great touch, but don’t overdo it. Using humor is great but don’t let it filter into every single area of your website. A quirky or funny video or image would be more than sufficient to leave a lasting impression.
Just as important as creating a website is for your business, designing a website in the correct way is incredibly important. Unfortunately, you do not get a second chance to make a first impression so due care should be exercised when creating a website for one’s business.