You don’t need to be a qualified website designer to create a fantastic small business website in 2020. With the right website design ideas, best practices and foundational knowledge of what works for budding start-ups, you will establish your online presence with a few easy pointers.
Your small business website is not something that you want to rush through or ignore. Your company’s credibility, reputation, and sales potential connect to your ability to put together a design that communicates the right things to your potential customer.
Your customers don’t have time for outdated information, bad graphics, and weak navigation—there are too many choices out there. They’re always one click away from a better option.
Studies have found that customers take about 50 milliseconds to decide whether your company is worth exploring. That means your design is the one element that instantly retains or loses your business. Make no mistake—your website design is a critical investment.
Instead of investing big money in a web design team, you have decided to spend quality time doing it yourself. As a non-designer, you must strictly adhere to web design best practices to create a digital asset that helps you grow.
Follow these best practices to create a small business web design that will fuel your growth in 2020. As you design, take each of these essential steps into account.
#1: Make Your Web Design Mobile-Friendly
- 80% of people access the internet via their mobile phones.
- 80% of smartphone users are more likely to buy from companies whose mobile sites help them find answers to their questions.
A mobile-friendly design is a responsive design that not only looks great on your desktop, but on any mobile device—your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. As you design, make sure that your web design elements look good on any device and are “thumb-friendly” too.
#2: Use Consistent Branding Throughout Your Website
- 94% of people will judge you based on your web design choices.
- 90% of people will make purchases based on the colors of your design.
It’s tempting to use multiple colors, fonts, and different logos, but this will only frustrate and confuse your visitor. Consistent branding oozes simplicity, so choose a deliberate color scheme, a particular font set, and the same tone to use throughout your small business website.
#3: Only Use Easy Navigation That Works
- 37% of people say that poor experience with site navigation makes them leave.
- Breadcrumb navigation improves SEO and usability.
Your user experience is key to attracting and converting customers—meaning you’ll need easy-to-use navigation that is familiar to your user. Design with your customer in mind! Make sure that your site’s structure makes sense, and that you use a top menu with breadcrumb navigation.
#4: Optimize Your Above-The-Fold Space
- What appears at the top of the page influences users 84% more than what’s below
- 80% of people only read headlines so make yours count
On your homepage, your above-the-fold space is the first thing your user sees before they scroll down. Used correctly, you can direct, convert, or educate them on your products or services. Forget about carousels and sliders. This year, it’s all about the one clear message in this spot.
#5: Choose Original Images Over Stock Images
- Millions of people use the same stock images.
- There is a 35% conversion boost when a business uses its image over a stock image.
Stock photos are fine for your blog, but they do nothing to communicate your small business brand identity. Users find these photos impersonal, common, and unlikable on a business website. It’s always a better idea to use original images or creatively use stock to express your identity.
#6: Make It Easy to Contact You
- 51% of people think thorough contact information is missing from many company sites.
- The highest converting websites have multiple contact methods.
Your potential customers will evaluate your authenticity based on how easy it is to contact you. Include contact information on your homepage and your contact page. Add phone numbers, email addresses, and messenger details. To buy from you, people need to know you are reachable.
#7: Include Optimized Pieces of Text
- Optimize your copy for the search engines.
- Keep your website text direct and to the point.
A lot of your text content exists to educate, persuade, and convert your user. There will be many places on your website where a brief, powerful, and search-engine-optimized message will go a long way. Website pages should have the kind of short, punchy copy that converts your user.
#8: Use Multiple Forms of Content
- By 2022, online videos will make up 82% of consumer internet traffic.
- Blog posts, videos, podcasts, and photography are all valuable conversion tools.
A website is a visual medium, so you’ll want to “show” over “tell.” You’ll benefit from using multiple content formats like video, images, and slideshows instead of forcing a mobile user to scroll through pages of text. Video has an exceptionally high impact on web design.
#9: Include Strong Calls to Action
- 90% of users who read your headline also read your CTA.
Calls to action should always be short, direct, and straightforward. Make your CTA buttons easy to see, using lots of negative space in your design. Well-thought-out calls to action will inspire your user to act on their intent. From “sign-up” to “buy now,” make sure yours are clear and impactful.
#10: Add Trust Signals
- Testimonials can help you generate 62% more revenue each time a customer visits your site.
Your website will need to communicate to your customer that you can be trusted. Using trust signals—customer testimonials, reviews, and a client or partner logo showcase—will increase your conversion rates. Display your accreditations, licenses, and awards too.
Use these ten web design ideas and best practices to create a clean, simple, and high-conversion website for your small business in 2020. Soon, you’ll be earning, growing, and planning your next steps!