Essential Web Design Tips for Small Businesses
These days, who doesn’t have a website, right? For small businesses, they are an essential way to show the world who you are and what you do. But getting the balance between enough information and too much information on a website can be a delicate one. And while using all your artistic talents to make a beautiful website may seem a good idea, sometimes less can be more. So what are our top tips on effective web design for small businesses?
One of the key messages from any web designer is that too much ‘stuff’ on a homepage can be off putting for visitors. The majority of people coming to your website may not scroll down on your homepage or visit any other pages so you need to make that first hit worth it. Keep it simple; use no more than 400 words with a great logo or strong imagery that gets across your brand values. Then think about where you want the customer to go next and make this step prominent.
Don’t forget to ensure your website is optimised for mobile and tablet users as well. With the number of people searching via these mediums on a rapid increase and Google’s latest algorithm rating websites on their mobile-friendliness, it is more important than ever.
Key graphical elements to any effective web design include colours, fonts and strong branding – and while the temptation may be to go for eye catching, colourful and varied, expert advice tells you to curb this urge. Colour should be used to emphasise rather than to paint the website and while neutral colours may seem boring, this is because they serve a purpose.
Fonts are a similar proposition – there’s loads of them and they all seem great fun. But by using too many different ones, the effect can be chaotic, not to mention have an adverse effect on the speed of your site – another factor Google uses when ranking your website. By using one font for headers and another complementing one for the body of any text, this will give a balanced look to the pages. You should also then use this typography on all your communications such as emails and social media channels to give a sense of unity across your online presence.
Call to Actions
For most websites, there is a clear aim for each visitor. It may be download something, click here to visit the shop or sign-up for an email campaign. Whatever it is will use a call to action (CTA) to achieve this, usually a button with a message such as ‘download now’ or ‘click here’ on it.
The temptation is to make the CTA like a giant advertising board – the most important part of the page. But to be at its most effective, something a little more subtle is best. It should carry enough visual weight that it gets noticed and should be second only to the headline. Don’t forget to add incentives to make using the CTA about the user and to their benefit such as a discount code or a special time-limited offer.
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