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10 Web Design Tips for Small Businesses

10 Web Design Tips for Small Businesses

A small business website must do a lot. For a start, the site must be the face or storefront of a business. It must capture leads or sell products. And, it needs to get a good ranking on the search engines so people can find it. And, to top it all, small businesses usually don’t have a lot of money to spend. So, all the above objectives and more must be met at a price a small business can afford.

So, how can you design a website on a shoestring budget that will help a small business grow? Here are ten tips that you can apply to create an effective website for any small business.

Start with a Website Strategy

A small business website must be focused on achieving the objectives of the company. So, the site cannot be developed ad-hoc. Instead, it must be designed according to a plan. The first step to planning a strategy for a site is to define the goals. For example, will products be sold on the site, or is lead-generation the primary objective? Understanding the goals will guide you in what functionality will be required. And then, you must identify the target audience to design a site that will appeal to that audience.

Define a Page Hierarchy

A small business website must be easy to navigate. Visitors must be able to move seamlessly between initial interest and conversion. And the best way to ensure the best possible user experience is to plan a page hierarchy that makes it easy to discover the site’s content.

A small business website will probably have only a few pages. Even so, the flow from one page to the next must still be natural and logical. So, the top level of the hierarchy will be the home page, from which the user can find the About Us page, Contact Us page, and product or lead-capture pages.

Differentiate from the Competition

Most small businesses compete in crowded spaces. It is unlikely, for example, that a local firm of accountants will be the only accountancy business in town. So, it is essential to design a small business website that stands out from similar companies in the region. However, it is best not to stray too far from generally accepted design conventions. The unique sales proposition should be the services and products the business offers, not the flashy web design that is so unique that visitors have difficulty finding what they need.

Branding is Everything

Of course, a fundamental part of differentiating a small business is branding. And that branding must be consistent throughout the business’s website and other platforms and media. Remember, too, that branding involves more than designing a logo. Branding is also the color palette, the typography, and the personality of the business.

Optimize for Local Search

Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential for any website. But for small businesses, it is usually best to target local keywords for which there will be less competition. So, instead of targeting something like “best burgers on the planet” or even “best burgers in Ohio,” you would get better results by targeting “best burgers in Holmesville, Ohio.”

It is best to define keywords early in the design of a website. Then, the relevant phrases can be included in all image tags, header tags, and content. Knowing what the target keywords are may also help to define the page hierarchy discussed above.

Choose an Easy-To-Use CMS

A small business owner is unlikely to want to pay a developer for every minor change to a website and every new piece of content to be added. So, the site must be easy to maintain and update. And the best way to ensure ease of maintenance is to build the site on a user-friendly content management system (CMS). So, it is best to avoid using a custom-built CMS for a small business website. Instead, use an industry-standard system such as WordPress, WooCommerce, or Shopify that will be easier to support and maintain.

Choose the Right Domain Name

The domain name for a small business website can make all the difference. And the best domain name for a business may not be the company name. Suppose the name of a company selling accounting software was Acme Solutions, for example. In that case, a domain name of AcmeSolutions.com would not necessarily help drive relevant traffic to the site. On the other hand, a domain of AcmeAccountingSolutions.com would.

However, domain names must also be memorable. So, they cannot be too long. And, even though there are now many different TLDs (top-level domains), it is still best to register the .com version of a domain name whenever possible.

Use a Reliable Web Hosting Provider

There are some extremely cheap hosting providers on the market. However, low-cost hosting may not provide the necessary performance levels and is unlikely to include much technical support. So, it is best to spend a little more money with one of the well-known providers to get fully managed web hosting. Then, things like backups and CMS software upgrades will be handled by the hosting company. And there will probably be 24/7 telephone support available, too. And that is likely to be the level of support that a non-technical small business will need.

Don’t Forget the Calls to Action

Remember the need to identify the goals of the website? Well, you must tell people what they need to do next in order to achieve those goals, and that’s where clearly defined calls to action (CTAs) come into play.

So, it is essential to make the CTAs on a small business website stand out on a page. And use action phrases that compel users to take the next step, like “Book an Appointment Now” or “Get Your No-Obligation Quote Today.”

Keep It Simple

Finally, simple is best when it comes to designing a small business website. So, stick to the essential information to convince people to get in touch or buy a product. Explain what the business does and what makes it unique but avoid using unnecessary jargon when simpler words would suffice. And provide social proof through customer reviews and testimonials. But above all else, make it easy for users to find what they need fast and take the next step without hunting around for the appropriate button or order form.

Conclusion

A website is a must for almost every conceivable type of small business. But many small businesses do not have a lot of money to spend on their websites. However, it is possible to create a successful lead or sales-generating website even with a limited budget. So, try to keep things simple and don’t lose sight of the site’s primary objectives. And consider the ongoing maintenance of the site, too. Indeed, get the initial design of a business website right, and you will have a valuable asset that will pay for itself many times over in the years to come.

SOURCE> webdesign inspiration.com

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