It’s no secret that today’s businesses need a fully functioning website to attract leads and establish credibility. In a world where most people turn to the internet to look for products/services, having a well-designed website can help put your business on the map. But nailing the website design process can feel intimidating to business owners, especially those with limited experience.
Often, small businesses run a website that feels clunky, sluggish, and downright unintuitive, leading to a hampered user experience. So, how can you ensure that your website is unique and user-friendly? In this article, we’ll discuss our top ten website design tips that you can use to create a professional-looking website that looks good and functions smoothly.
1. Use the right domain name
Let’s start with the most overlooked aspect of website design: the domain name. The domain name serves as your website’s online address, and you want it to represent your brand as best as possible. Ideally, you want to keep your domain name short and simple, followed by the appropriate extension.
Say you own a lawn care company, and you’re trying to figure out the best domain name for your website. Let’s take a look at two examples:
The first example is lengthy and makes it hard for customers to remember your domain name. Not to mention the potential misspelling mistakes that could impact your website’s visibility.
The second example makes for a perfect name because it’s short, concise, and contains the keyword your customers use to find your business. You can also swap out keywords for your brand name to make it easier for customers to recognize your website.
2. Pick a reliable website host
Now that you have your domain name figured out, the next step is to choose a reliable web hosting service. The hosting provider you choose will significantly impact your website’s security and visibility, so it’s best to research and choose the right provider that will cover your needs.
Hosting speed should be one of your top priorities when searching for a web hosting provider. A slow-performing website can lead to poor conversions and negate the impact of your landing pages. Another thing to consider is the hosting provider’s reliability. You want to pick a website host with a 99% uptime to ensure your website is always running 24/7.
3. Optimize your website for mobile devices
Roughly 83.2% of the global population owns a smartphone, and most people conduct their searches online using mobile devices. As Google prioritizes mobile versions of the website content, it’s a good idea to optimize your website for mobile-first indexing.
There are a couple of ways you can improve your website’s mobile-friendliness. To improve responsiveness, you can implement caching, which saves website files on a visitor’s device. Using a content delivery network (CDN) can also help mobile performance by distributing your files to multiple servers, thus ensuring balanced loading times.
Lastly, you should evaluate the plugins you use on your website. It’s not about how many plugins you use, it’s about the quality of the plugins that will affect your website.
For example, security plugins often don’t provide the level of protection your website needs. A better alternative would be the firewall that your hosting provider provides. It’s much faster and has better security features overall.
4. Keep your design neat and simple
Most small businesses overcomplicate the design process of a website when in reality, you only need a clean and simple layout. Pick a responsive theme that isn’t cluttered with unnecessary features. Test out the theme’s performance on desktop and mobile to see if it works for the content you have on display.
Typically, small business websites only have a few web pages to show, but the most important one is the homepage. You want your homepage to feature your product/service and pair them with a strong call-to-action (CTA).
Test out your website and see how it feels from a consumer standpoint. Is your website easy to navigate? Is the information organized and properly structured? Make the necessary changes until you feel satisfied with how your website looks and feels.
5. Focus on the user experience
A critical aspect of website design is user experience (UX) because it affects how customers interact with your site. Your goal should be to provide a positive user experience to attract leads and encourage customers to engage with the content on your website.
Let’s break down UX design in simple terms:
- Usability – Do the pages on your website serve their purpose well? For example, the checkout page should only contain information relevant to the buying process. Avoid adding unnecessary information, as it can bog down the user experience.Consistency – Each page on your website should follow design elements that closely mimic each other. Doing so ensures the user experience remains consistent throughout all stages of the buying journey, making it easier for customers to follow through with their purchasing intent.
- Visibility – Some design elements in your web page need to stand out, like the CTA button or the contact information form. You want these elements to be visible when customers browse your website to ensure they take the action you want.
- Practicality – There’s a reason why most websites follow a similar design layout, and it’s because it works. For small businesses, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel, as you want customers to feel familiar with how your website operates. Keep the design as practical as possible, and add design touches to make your site unique.
When it comes to UX design, it helps to have a solid understanding of what your customers want/need. Try to run a survey and ask for feedback regarding your website. From there, you can make certain adjustments to improve the user experience even further.
6. Include a well-written About Us page
One of the main challenges small businesses face is acquiring the trust of their customers. If you want to reinforce the credibility of your brand and want customers to shop worry-free, you should definitely include a well-written About Us page on your website.
The main goal of the About Us page is to inform users of your brand’s core operations. It’s a page dedicated to humanizing your business and establishing its legitimacy. At most, your About Page should include how it came to be and why it exists to serve your customers.
Take the time to write your About Page and draw inspiration from well-known brands to see how well they connect with their audience. You’ll be surprised how many people view this page to alleviate their buying fears and connect more with your brand as a whole.
A good website does more than just meet the eye test. It has to function smoothly and guide customers down your sales funnel. It may feel daunting to design a website as a small business owner, but once you follow these tips, you’ll be able to achieve better results in terms of lead generation and conversions.
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