Website design has come a long way since the 90s, when text-heavy websites with blinking gifs and auto-play music were commonplace. No one really thought twice when they had to deal with poorly structured or even just downright poorly designed websites. After all, we didn't know any better! Small business websites are no longer just a collection of cute images and outdated SEO link bait. Customers expect a modern look that is clean, easy, and intuitive to navigate.
These days, bad website design can be the kiss of death for business websites. Unfortunately some small businesses think they can save money, or worse, they think they're doing the right thing, by hiring a local website hosting service for their website design. This is an amateur mistake. Most of these hosting and "design" companies are using out-of-date and cheesy design trends that will send your customers running in the other direction. You may think you're cutting corners by hiring one of these companies but you will end up losing customers and burning money. If you don't want your website design to suck, then be mindful of these tried and true design tips we put together.
Ever heard the saying less is more? Nowhere is this design adage more true than in your website's layout and primary navigation. Your website's layout and navigation should be intuitive and easy to use, so keep it simple. If a user is confused, they are 85% more likely to just give up and leave - this is called a "bounce". Additionally, don't give your users too many choices when it comes to navigating your website; this can also lead to frustration and abandonment. Always keep the user in mind. What information are they looking for? Have you made it convenient for them to find information or make a purchase?
Simple Contact Form
The contact form is the primary way your customers have to get in touch with you. They may have questions, comments, ideas, or even want to make a big purchase. If there is not a simple and easy to use contact form, you might lose a future customer. Make sure there is a clear path to the contact form from your homepage as well as any product pages. Keep the fields to a minimum and collect only the information required to follow-up. Also, be sure to use an actual contact form, you could potentially lose business if you don't and your customers don't have access to an email client.
It may seem hard to believe, but many website designers still think that gimmicky, overly "creative" designs are attractive to customers. Many times, the good website designers are at the mercy of their clients who want these things and they don't feel they have the right to instruct otherwise. It's important to save the bedazzling for the weekends. People prefer clean and simple to cluttered and chaotic. Your website's design should be modern, sleek, and up-to-date, so don't bother with the fussy extras. Your website is for your customer, not for you. Modern customers want modern website design.
Though not necessarily a design element, quality content cannot be ignored. You can have the most well-designed website but you will quickly lose customers if your content is not relevant, worthwhile, and interesting. Your content should demonstrate the benefits of your product as well as differentiate your product from the competition. Don't neglect your content because it will come back to haunt you from both an SEO and a customer satisfaction standpoint.
Excellent website design is much more important than cost when it comes to small business websites. A poorly designed website can drive customers away and cause you to lose money. You can be certain that your website won't suck if you have intuitive navigation, a simple contact form, modern design, and quality content.
If you've got a moment, take a look and see what we can do to help with your website design and content creation. We're eager to help you be great online!