Is your business website winning customers over — or driving them away? If you?re running a small business, web design can make or break your success. In fact, maintaining a professional-looking, easy-to-navigate website is the single most important thing you can do to improve your online marketing. Chew on these facts about why having a great website is so important:
- The phone book is no longer an effective way to advertise your business. In fact, a recent study by Harris Interactive found that almost seven out of 10 U.S. adults rarely or never use the phone book.
- The majority of people prefer to get their information from the internet. Six out of 10 adults in the U.S. search for businesses and contact information online.
- Business is more automated than it used to be, and this trend is only going to continue. It?s projected that by 2020, customers will conduct 85% of their business interactions without talking to another person.
So what?s the best way to customize your website? These five pointers can help you make the most of your web presence.
When it comes to marketing online, looks matter. Almost half of internet users (46%) judge a company?s trustworthiness based on how polished and up-to-date their website looks, so one of the primary goals of small business web design should be to present a professional appearance. If you need inspiration from some excellent examples of contemporary website design, take your cue from Fortune 500 companies, which are clearly doing something right. Half of these highly successful businesses use a scrolling content window to maximize space on their landing page, 63% feature content above the fold, and 63% use images to snag the viewer?s attention right away. Does your website have any of these features?
Having a great website won?t do you any good unless people can find you, and ranking high in search engines is one of the best ways to improve your online visibility. Posting keyword-rich content on your site can make you more visible in search results. The higher you rank, the better: the online ad network Chikita conducted a study that found that one-third of the traffic from a web search goes to the first result, 18% goes to the second result, and the numbers drop off steeply from there.
Making sure people can find your website is only half the battle — you?ve also got to keep them interested once they?re there. Your site?s loading time is a big factor in whether would-be buyers stay on your page or click away. How long is too long? For 40% of people, a mere 3 seconds is enough for them to lose attention and leave your website.
Consider mobile users.
Some of the people who visit your website will be viewing it on a mobile device. Will they find your site easy to view and navigate? If not, you?re losing business — nearly half of mobile users report that if a business hasn?t adapted their website for mobile, it seems like they don?t care about their customers? experience and ease of access. Good small business web design should focus on anticipating customer needs, so make sure the mobile version of your website is up to speed. Being mobile-friendly might even increase your business. 62% of businesses who made a mobile version of their site saw a bump in their sales.
Keep it simple.
The best web design makes it easy for the user to find what they need. Keep your layout clean, simple, and straightforward. Customers who have a good experience using your website will be more likely to regard your business positively and recommend you to others.
The key to great small business web design is to keep the customer?s needs in mind. Choose your web design services with the goal of making your website just as helpful and inviting as your business is in person. If you prioritize the customer?s needs and give them a good experience while working with you, they?ll come away with a great impression of your business.