Building a digital marketing presence starts by creating a website. The website is the core of your digital marketing plan, and it will always be the place you’ll try to drive your leads to.
The design of your website is a critical component of your brand’s overall online presence. If you want to maintain an air of professionalism and make sure customers keep coming back, you must make information easy to find and understand.
Today’s internet users are not likely to stick around on your website if they find its design unappealing. So, failing to impress them from the start could prove a significant hit on your chances of converting them into a one-time buyer, let alone a long-term customer.
This is why so many businesses turn to website design companies to optimize their sites. And this is probably a good idea if you have no experience setting up a website on your own. However, if you have a bit of knowledge and some time on your hands, you could make a functional and effective DIY website.
- Small Business Website Design Tips
We asked our friends from a top-level chicago web design company to help us put together a list of the best website design tips for small business owners and marketers.
Read on for more info on what you should include in the design of your site to create the perfect user experience for your prospects.
- Start With a Plan
The first step to building or redesigning a website is to create a comprehensive plan of precisely what kind of site you want to develop, how you will do it, and how each of the site’s elements will be used to serve your customers.
Plan out the customer journey from the beginning to the end to understand what your website needs and what you should focus on in designing each part of it.
Before you begin planning your site, you should collect data on your customers, including who they are, what types of content they respond to and engage with, and how they can be converted.
- Get Rid of the Fluff
As we mentioned in the intro, a modern website should be all about clarity and efficiency in delivering information. That means you should get rid of any unnecessary or clunky parts, such as meaningless promotional language, soulless stock images, overly wordy copy and pointless animations.
Internet users nowadays have short attention spans, so they’re not interested in pages upon pages of fluff to get the information they’re looking for, so make sure you design your site to be quick and to the point.
- Include Social Media Buttons
You should make your online presence into a cohesive unit, with your site being the central hub. This means that buttons linking to your social platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, should be located somewhere on the site.
That way, your customers can navigate directly where they need to go. Making these buttons accessible on every page is helpful, so you should probably include them in the header or footer to travel with the visitor as they browse the website.
- Make a Scrollable Homepage
Since more and more people are accessing the internet through smartphones and tablets, it is advisable to make your homepage scrollable. This will make it accessible to a broader range of users and make it look more engaging and modern since you can animate some aspects of the site to move in and out of view as the user scrolls through the page.
We said earlier that you should avoid pointless animations, but this type of design can create engagement without being distracting, as long as you do it right. Make sure to organize your homepage into distinguishable sections so it is easier to navigate. We recommend including the following sections:
- About Us/ Our Story/ Introduction
- Overview of Products and Services
- Specific Features of Most Popular Products/Services
- Customer Testimonials
- Success Stories/ Case Studies
- Contact Information
Having all of these elements on your homepage may seem like it would be overwhelming to users, but if you set the sections up correctly, users will be able to navigate the page intuitively.
- Utilize Negative Space
White (or negative) space is something web designers used to avoid back in the early days of the internet. This is because the average internet speed back then was so slow that having large areas of the page that conveyed no information was considered inefficient.
However, nowadays, things are entirely different. Loading a website takes a fraction of a second, so white space (or blank space, regardless of its color) is a great way to break up the copy into digestible chunks, prioritizing the most important information and making your content easier to consume overall.
Negative space is also a helpful tool when it comes to determining where to place other page elements.
- Ensure Mobile-Friendliness
Google says that 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile website that they had previously had trouble accessing. Worse than that, 40% will end up going to a competitor’s website instead. Clearly, this means you should make it a top priority to optimize your website for mobile devices and make it look just as good, if not better, on a small screen.
Your mobile sites should respond directly to your site visitors’ needs, so think about why they’re accessing your mobile site and what information they’re hoping to obtain. Then, make it as easy as possible for them to obtain it.
- Consider Your SEO Strategy
SEO should be considered a crucial part of the online presence of any business, so you should think of it every step of the way, and building your website is no exception. Having an SEO strategy is vital in 2021, so make sure to create one.
To be successful in this regard, you’ll need to think about who your customers are and what type of content they’re likely to find interesting and relevant. Once you have that information, design your SEO strategy around it, catering to your target audience as much as possible.
- Keep the Site Secure
Leaving your personal information on the internet can be intimidating, and customers are becoming more and more aware of the ways their info could be used for nefarious purposes. Therefore, users are also becoming more protective of their information, so you should make sure they have the peace of mind that their sensitive information is safe in your hands.
Probably the best way to ensure data security is to have an up-to-date SSL certificate. This small data file secures browsing, logins, data transfers, and credit card transactions by binding a cryptographic key to your business.
An SSL certificate is crucial not only because of its protective properties but also because it gives your website the “HTTPS” designation and the padlock symbol in the navigation bar. Website’s that don’t have the “HTTPS” application protocol are often flagged by Google as not secure, directing customers away. Needless to say, you want to avoid this at all costs.
Author bio:- Tomas is a digital marketing specialist and a freelance blogger. His work is focusing on new web tech trends and digital voice distribution across different channels.