Those people who own a small business know that the profit margins and excess capital on hand can be limited, especially in the early stages of the life of that business. As a result, the money to market your business in the earliest part of its development can be hard to come by. That’s why a website, which can cost very little to create, is such an important tool for small businesses to utilize. From a website, you can sell your businesses or services; compose a blog related to the business, update customers on promotional opportunities, and much more.
But a website is only as good as its design. And many small business owners go for designs with a lot of extras and embellishments that might seem like a good idea at the time, but ultimately can be simply distracting or, even worse, counterproductive. That’s why it’s important to keep your eyes on the prize when designing a business website and remember what the most important elements are in order for your site to be effective.
If you don’t have the knowledge or the wherewithal to complete the task yourself, it might be best for you to hire a professional to design a website for you based on your specifications. Whether it’s professionally built or do-it-yourself, here the key factors to an effective business website.
It’s great if you have a website that’s visually striking the first time a user loads it and every time thereafter. But a customer isn’t coming to your site to look at the pretty pictures. He or she either wants to buy your product or service or get some more information on what you’re all about. And that should be the main focus of the design. The visitor to your page should be able to use it with ease, whether that means understanding quickly how to find what he or she needs or access the desired information. After that, everything else is gravy.
If you or a designer overload your web pages with various features that are best tangential to what you’re selling, you run the risk of a site that takes forever to load when going from page to page. This can be disastrous in terms of your marketing efforts. A customer who visits and is greeted with a spinning circle indicating slow loading time will likely become frustrated and seek out another site that gets them where they want to go much quicker.
Branding and Sharing
This seems like an obvious one, but you’d be surprised how much small business neglect to really identify who they are and what their business represents within their marketing material. Include simple extras like share buttons for social media, feedback options so your customers can speak to you, and a call to action. This is Marketing 101, and you need to make sure these elements are included before you worry about the fanciness of the design.
So keep these factors at the top of your list when designing your website. Then you can build around them knowing that the most important stuff is properly in place.