Website design ideas for small businesses

By June 15, 2012 July 5th, 2014 All members

WebsiteAs the saying goes: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

Two types of people visit your website: strangers and friends. I have asked thousands of small business owners which of these two groups are more important to them. Overwhelmingly, they answer ‘strangers’ – because the objective is to turn them into friends (i.e. customers).

There is no point in driving traffic to your website, if the site design lets you down. I am not suggesting that you spend thousands of pounds on fancy graphics. I am suggesting that your website should look professional. Here are some ways to achieve this:

* Begin by thinking about the objectives for your website, i.e. online brochure, credibility, sales lead generation, online sales?

* Decide on the key elements you want to include within your website and where the focus is going to be. For example, for a B2B (Business to Business) company, is it all about building relationships with prospective clients? For a product sales company, will the focus be on customer segments or on the products themselves?

* Ensure that you have a consistent visual brand identity. Start by including your logo in the upper left hand corner of your homepage. Pick up the colours from your logo and use them within your website design. Having chosen your colours, use them on a consistent basis.

* Display your phone number and the words ‘Email us’ in the upper right hand corner. This means that you are giving visitors two immediate ways of contacting you.

* Use columns to break the page design up. For example, three columns allows you to put testimonials in the left hand column and images, a newsletter sign-up box, etc in the right hand column.

* Include a paragraph or two of introductory text, towards the top of your homepage. Ensure that this text includes your top five keywords.

* Make sure that everything lines up.

* Include social media icons.
The navigation bar

Your choice of navigation bar items will determine the structure of your website. Between 7 and 9 items are fine, i.e:
* Home * About * Services * Customers * Free stuff * Blog * Content

Website page colour

White is the best website page colour and black is the best typeface colour – as this is the easiest combination to read. Please bear in mind that this is generic advice and you will have your own requirements / preferences. However, I am often surprised by the apparently random use of coloured text on coloured backgrounds.

Content Management System

It is crucial to ensure that you have a CMS and that you have full access to it. ‘Content is king’ when it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), so you need to update your website with fresh content (i.e. words and images). A CMS such as WordPress allows you to do this easily.

Include a blog within your website

It is a good idea to include a blog within your website. This is because every time you blog – you will be adding to the size of your site. This is a good thing, as you will be making your website more ‘Google friendly’. Read more about the benefits of business blogging.

Use a website development company

It is a good idea to use a website development company,as they will produce a professional looking website for you. They should be able to do so within a few weeks. Bear in mind that some website developers are primarily design orientated, whilst others are mainly technical. The best option is to work with a website developer which is focused on marketing and customer attraction. After all, isn’t this one of your primary objectives? For WordPress development, talk to www.totosites.com which also offers WordPress training courses.

Any questions – just ask.

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