A lot goes into designing and building a website. But there are certain things that are important no matter what. These elements for effective website design touch on areas that cannot be neglected in order to help drive revenue for your small business. While focused on small business, they are relevant no matter what type of business, product, or service, if the entity is for profit or a non-profit.
We are not going to include things that are part of site architecture – the logo, menu, search bar, and navigation for example. Rather, we are going to focus on other elements of the homepage and overall design.
Overall Website Design Tips
Your business is a reflection of you. Your website is the front door to your business on the internet. You created your website to let people know you are in business. Your website should do more than just provide info about your business. It should express who you are and why people should choose you over your competition.
Let’s first talk about how a website looks visually. Modern site design is more visual than text. This takes into account the increase in mobile traffic and faster internet speeds. With high speed internet and cellular, websites can take advantage of visual design and video that consumers demand. Designing a website for today helps focus on what differentiates your business. It is not just a repository for a lists of services or products. Imagery to showcase you, your products and services is the norm now. Old-school text links are out.
75% of users admit to making judgements about a company’s credibility based on the website’s design.
What Do You Do or Sell? And to Whom?
What you do or sell? If you provide a service, explain clearly what it is. If you sell products, what are they? Who are your products or services intended for? Provide that information concisely at the outset. Make sure these points are front and center on your homepage. Your potential customers are busy and no one wants to go digging around a website to try to figure out what your business is all about.
A side note on mission statements. They tend to be very inward focused – in other words, focused on the company, not the customer. And this is not an element of effective website design. Therefore, we do not recommend putting your mission statement on your homepage. If you love your mission statement and want to add it to your website, add it to an interior ‘About Us’ page. What you out on your homepage should focus on what you do (or make) for your customer. Which leads us to…
Does Your Product or Service Solve a Problem?
What can your product or service do to address your customers’ pain point? If you solve a problem or fill a void in the market, then do not be shy. People are looking for solutions, whether your customers are consumers or other businesses. If you save them time, money, or make their lives easier in some way, you can be their hero!
There is a fine line between asking for the sale and being too “salesy.” This is a difficult line to walk, but the last thing you want to do is hide your call-to-action. Many businesses place their their call-to-action only at the footer of the website. While many potential customers will look around for it, some will not and will leave a website that doesn’t have a clear call-to-action. You have a potential customer or return customer on your website. Now is not the time to be shy. Ask for the sale by making your call-to-action easy to find. Place it at the top of your website and in numerous locations throughout to make this an effective homepage.
70% of Small Business B2B Websites Lack A Call-to-Action.
– Small Business Trends
Have a Means To Get in Touch
Don’t let visitors leave your website without providing you their contact information or getting in touch with you. Like the CTA website design tip, do not hide your means to get in contact. This is integral for effective website design and should be used in tandem with your CTA. Note that we do not recommend putting your email address on your site – spam bots scan the web and over time you may find yourself with more spam than legit inquiries. Contact information is a critical component in having an effective homepage.
An obscured email link is a link that is not visible to bots, but opens up to compose an email when clicked. Your site visitors will be able to see your email address so we recommend that you use a generic email address such as “firstname.lastname@example.org” or “email@example.com” rather than your actual email address.
Also read: Why Your Website Must be Designed for Mobile
A contact form on your website can be used for a number of objectives. The simplest is a contact form. This is a way for you to capture information and respond to inquiries. Note that some site visitors find contact forms to be a source of frustration as they feel submissions go into a “black hole” with responses never received. So make sure that your form is set up to direct to the correct email address so you do not lose inquiries. And make sure that inbox is monitored on a regular basis. Emails should be responded to within 24-48 hours. This homepage tip will help alleviate frustration from those who submit through your contact form.
A lead generation form is similar to the contact form except with this form you offer something free in return for your site visitors providing their contact info. Depending on your type of business, this could be anything from a coupon code to a free webinar, product demonstration or free quote.
Earn Trust, Especially for New Customers
Another one of the elements for effective website design involves instilling trust. Testimonials and reviews are critical in helping to convert new clients and customers. Do not bury them – include them on your homepage. Visitors to your site want to see that others like them have used or products or services and trust you enough to provide a review. If you are a relatively new business and need more reviews, you can use incentives such as a gift cards or discounts on future purchase when asking for reviews.
A simple way to boost your site’s credibility is by making your contact information clear.
Website Design Tips for Your Site Footer
The site footer is the best place for the items listed below as they must appear on every page. Since the site footer is commonplace for these, it is where visitors and regulators will expect to find them.
- It must clearly outline the terms and conditions of using the site.
- Every effort must be made to build your site to be accessible to all. An accessibility policy outlines the steps that were taken to build to accessibility and any limitations encountered in doing so or areas still in need of improvement.
- Users want to know who they are buying from. The transparency of your location instills trust so you should include your address in your site footer. If you conduct business from home, a PO box will shield your privacy.
Need Help Implementing These Website Design Tips?
We work with small businesses that need help with building a new website or updating an existing website. Does your website have out-dated design, slow loading time, or lack of modern website features? We can help! We do website design and development, WordPress Care Plans, and as-needed support with our HelpMe! service.
In addition to the resources in this blog, we have a number of free resources. First is our downloadable eBook with the essentials for every small business website. Next, we we offer a free WordPress website audit. It is a $199 value that we offer small business owners for FREE! Finally, we provide a free no obligation consultation. Send us an email or schedule a time directly on our calendar. We look forward to assisting you!