Did you know that it takes no more than 50 milliseconds for visitors to start forming an impression about your website? Whether it’s the aesthetics, usability, or content, first impressions matter, especially in the fast-paced digital world we live in today.
If you’re a small to medium-sized business (SMB), chances are you don’t have an infinite budget to create the most perfect website on the planet. But that doesn’t mean your website can’t be successful. In fact, with the right design and functionality, your website has the potential to take your business to the next level through increased leads, conversions, and sales.
With this in mind, we have created a list of 10 things SMBs need to keep in mind when designing a website so that you can create a website that is not only visually appealing but also user-friendly and effective in driving results.
Keep your website design simple and clean
Too much clutter will only confuse and overwhelm your visitors. Stick to a simple, clean, and organized design so that users can easily find what they’re looking for on your website. Also, try and make use of whitespace as it can help break up content and make it more digestible for your visitors.
Make sure your website is easy to navigate
As a business, it’s important that you look for ways to optimize the customer experience across each touchpoint, and your website is no exception. One of the best ways you can ensure a seamless experience for your website visitors is by making sure your website is easy to navigate.
After all, if users are constantly getting lost on your website and fumbling around your pages, they’re likely to leave and take their business elsewhere.
As such, your navigation should be intuitive and logical so that users can easily find their way around your website without any trouble. You can achieve this by using a simple navigation bar with drop-down menus for subcategories, or by using sidebar navigation.
Use high-quality images and graphics
Poor-quality images will only make your website look unprofessional. On the other hand, high-quality images and graphics can help you convey your message more effectively and add a touch of personality to your website.
So, when choosing images for your website, make sure to use high-resolution photos that are relevant to your business. You can also use infographics, illustrations, and videos to break up your text and add more visual interest to your website.
Pay attention to web accessibility
In recent years, there has been a growing focus on web accessibility, which refers to the practice of making websites accessible to people with disabilities. This can include things such as ensuring your site can be navigated using only a keyboard, adding alt text to images, and more.
To find out how your website stands up against the various standards and guidelines, you can use accessiBe’s accessScan web accessibility checker. The free tool will scan your site for accessibility issues, and allow you to download an easy-to-read report that highlights the areas upon which you should take corrective measures to improve your site. It’s as simple as entering your URL.
Use typography to your advantage
Your choice of font can say a lot about your brand, so it’s essential to choose a typeface that is in line with the image you want to project. For example, a more playful font might be more appropriate for a child-friendly website, while a more sophisticated font would be better suited for a luxury brand.
In addition to selecting the right font, you should also pay attention to things like line height, letter spacing, and font size. These elements can help to make your text more legible and easy to read, which is especially important for longer blocks of text.
Be consistent with branding
Your website should be an extension of your brand, so it’s important to make sure that your branding is consistent across all touchpoints. This means using the same logo, colors, and style of
language on your website as you would in your other marketing materials.
Being consistent with your branding will help to solidify your brand identity and make it more recognizable to your audience. It will also make your marketing efforts more cohesive and effective.
Optimize for mobile
Did you know that 74% of website visitors are more likely to return when a site is optimized for mobile?
With more and more people accessing the internet on their smartphones and other mobile devices, it’s essential to make sure that your website is optimized for these users. This means making sure your site is responsive so that it can be easily viewed on a smaller screen, as well as ensuring that all of your content is accessible and easy to use on a mobile device.
You can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to see how your website stacks up. Just enter your URL and the tool will analyze your page to see if it is mobile-friendly.
Keep your content fresh and up-to-date
Your website should be a living, breathing entity that is constantly evolving to meet the needs of your audience. This means regularly adding new and relevant content to your site, whether it’s in the form of blog posts, new products, or updated information.
Not only will this help to keep your audience engaged, but it will also help to improve your search engine rankings and make your site more visible to potential customers.
Use call-to-actions (CTAs) to encourage visitors to take action
Your website should be designed with a specific goal in mind, such as generating leads or generating sales. Whatever your goal may be, make sure that your website includes call-to-actions (CTAs) to encourage visitors to take the desired action.
Your CTAs should be clear, concise, and visible, and they should lead visitors to a landing page where they can take the next step. For example, if your goal is to generate leads, your CTA might say “Sign up for our newsletter” and lead to a subscription form.
Test, test, test!
Finally, it’s important to remember that your website is never truly “finished.” There will always be new things to test and improve upon. Whether it’s A/B testing your CTAs, continuously checking your site’s accessibility, or experimenting with new design elements, it’s vital that you maintain a test-and-learn mindset to ensure that your website is always performing at its best.
In the hyper-competitive world of online business, having a website that is well-designed and optimized for conversions is essential if you want your SMB to succeed. By following the tips and best practices laid out in this article, you will be well on your way to creating a high-performing website that will help you stand out amongst your competitors and attract more customers.
Image: Envato Elements