Did you know that almost half of the small businesses in the US still do not have a website? Shockingly, most don’t see the benefit of
Shockingly, most don’t see the benefit of small business web design. Of the respondents who said they don’t have a website, 30% said it doesn’t suit their type of business, and another 30% said it’s too expensive.
In this day and age, there is simply no type of business that doesn’t benefit from having an online presence for people looking to spend money with them.
And while small business web design does cost money, it should also make you money if you do it correctly the first time.
This is an art and a science. So let’s take a look at how it can be done.
Be a Minimalist
Simple and clean design is becoming more and more prevalent in small business web design for a number of reasons.
First of all, it just looks better. Minimalist design always looks amazing, and it’s the reason we all love iPhones.
The second reason is that these sites perform better. That means they produce more leads and sales. That’s because of the attention ratio they provide, with few things competing for your users’ attention.
There’s probably one thing on each page that you want customers to see. Maybe it’s your “Book an Appointment” button. But if you have 10 other clickable links on the page, your button is now getting 1/10th of the attention it should get. Which may cause you to get 1/10th of the leads you should get.
Also, minimalist design helps e-commerce sites guide your buyers through a simple journey. It’s also easier to identify where you may be dropping leads. If you only have 20 words of text on a page where your buyers seem to be dropping off, chances are good those words need to be clearer, or be less intimidating.
It’s also easier to identify where you may be dropping leads. If you only have 20 words of text on a page where your buyers seem to be dropping off, chances are good those words need to be clearer, or be less intimidating.
Pay Close Attention to Your Online Listings
The attention your site gets online doesn’t just come from your own website. Far from it.
You need to maximize your local search engine optimization by making sure your online listings are up to date, complete and accurate across the board.
This means making sure your profile is up to date on sites like:
- Google (obviously)
- Bing Local
- Yellow Pages
At the very least, make sure your NAP (name, address, phone number) is up to date, so people will always know how to find you. This needs to be accurate across the board because inconsistency is the #1 thing hurting local listings today.
Implement the Internet of Things
The current wave of the Internet of Things (IoT) is massive, and something your small business should consider. This is, simply put, connecting everyday objects to the internet to help people get more use out of it.
This may include:
- Smart homes
- Smart cars
According to Technavio, IoT will grow by 31.72% by the year 2019. Their report, called Global Internet of Things Market, added that “The new report draws attention to the increasing number of smart connected devices, which is expected to pass 17 billion in the next five years.”
Now, something of this scope may not be right for your business. But thinking about it may lead you to come up with the next best technological advancement in your field.
Embrace Video in Small Business Web Design
We’re not talking about adding videos to your company’s Facebook, YouTube or Instagram sites. We’re talking about adding video as an element in your actual web site’s design.
Publishing giant Adobe has predicted that more companies will use video as a part of the design on their home pages, services pages, or landing pages.
“Video is great at catching the eye of users and serves as a means of visual storytelling. It draws users in from the start, especially when it’s used as a homepage background.”
Don’t Write Your Own Copy. Let Customers Do it
Ok, that heading sounds crazy, we know!
We’re not talking about literally letting customers write the words on your site. But we are talking about taking their words, and putting them on your site.
Don’t use the words you would normally use to describe your product or service; you’re too close to it. Use the words that your customers use. Most small business web design budgets don’t have room for a focus group. But this is the next best thing.
Crawl through review sites that talk about your company and anyone else in your field. Take a close look at the words people are using.
Take all the positive words and use them to describe the features and benefits of your offering. If the word “soothing” or “trustworthy” shows up a lot, make sure it’s in your website copy.
Now, use all the negative words to understand your customer’s pain points, and where you/ your competition may be letting people down or missing the mark. These pain points are what you need to put in your website’s headlines and lead sentences to hook the reader.
For example, “Get all the service, without being stuck in a long-term contract.” That taps right into a popular pain point. You can also use those negative words to…
Write a Blog That People Can Actually Read
Use those customer frustrations and pain points to write blogs. Also poke around in online forums like Quora and Yahoo to see what questions people are asking about your industry, before they buy.
You now have a list of common questions and complaints, so turn each one into a blog.
Just make sure the blog legitimately answers any questions you ask in the headline. Don’t do the old “bait and switch” with your blogs, where you ask a question that you never actually answer.
If you spent the whole blog talking about yourself and trying to sell the reader something, they will pick up on that rather quickly and pogo stick off your page.
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