Having a website these days is mandatory, especially for small businesses. Not only because everyone’s doing their shopping online (thanks to the pandemic), but also, establishing that online presence gives you that competitive edge versus big brands. This makes services for web design and development a worthy investment.
With foot traffic limited, your website and other digital assets are your most powerful tools to get your customers at your door or on the phone. Therefore, you want to make sure your business website is attractive, professional-looking, and functional enough to cater to your customers’ needs.
Every graphic should be carefully thought out to ensure it’s attractive enough to engage your audience. All buttons should be working and easy to navigate even on the smallest of screens. In short, it should provide a top quality experience, and everything should be seamless.
How does a website play an important role in business?
We’ve all visited one website, or two, to make a purchase or to research the best options for services we need. And for sure, we’ve encountered several sites that are just too difficult to navigate or unattractive enough to keep us hanging around.
Based on a 2018 study by Adobe, 38% of internet users will stop engaging with a website if they find the design and content unattractive. Another study also confirmed that it only takes about 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds) for users to decide whether or not they like your website. This clearly states that if your website fails to meet its visitors’ expectations, they will stop engaging with your business. No business wants to lose that opportunity.
In its basic form, a website works like your digital portal where your brand can communicate your offerings to potential customers. It acts as your sales representative to your digital audience. And if you don’t make that first impression great, you are losing business.
It may sound simple, but web design and development is not an inherently easy process. Each element used should be analyzed and be strategic to ensure that your website keeps customers engaged. Every font, color palette, and button are carefully designed to provide users with excellent experience navigating through your site as well as establishing brand identity.
Apart from design, you also need to think about your website’s speed and functionality. According to Adobe, 39% of people are likely to leave websites that take too long to load on their browsers. If your website heavily uses images or has malfunctioning buttons and navigation, it may trigger your audience to leave before they even learn more about your brand and your products or services.
As we’ve said, your website is your online representative. It should carry both visual appeal and informative content that your audience is looking for. A poorly designed and non-functioning website can turn off potential customers. So make sure it serves its purpose and get those visitors hooked.
So, how should you evaluate your website’s design?
Whether you’re looking to redesign your existing website or build a new one, you should know the basic metrics to consider to evaluate the quality of your website.
Test it for Usability
A good website should have easy-to-use navigation, fast loading pages, and be reliable. It shouldn’t give your visitors a hard time searching for whatever it is they need to find on your site. If you’re finding it difficult to navigate, then it’s likely your audience will too.
It Should be Aesthetically Pleasing
You want your website to reflect your brand’s identity in the most appealing way possible. It should match your brand style and still be attractive enough to match your demographics’ style and taste.
Also, design should be consistent in all pages. All elements should be proportional to each other. It shouldn’t feel overcrowded. Texts should be readable and images should be visible.
It Should be Optimized for Google
What’s the purpose of having a beautiful website if your audience can’t find it on Google? Make sure your website is designed and built that maximizes search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO starts at the backend. Your code should be clean and streamlined, files should be compressed for web browsing (for faster loading time), and should have all necessary analytics tracking code implemented. If you’re using Google Tag Manager to track events and goals, use its debug features to see if it’s firing correctly.
All tags should be optimized for target keywords as well including metas, schemas, and alt tags.
It Should Have Relevant Content
Make sure your website provides the information they need. You want to find the balance between overwhelming your customers with information or denying them of it. Leave relevant content on your website and cut out content that isn’t.
Evaluate if your content flows in a logical way. It should be easy to read and understand even by those who have zero knowledge of your products and services. It should also be engaging, interesting, and speak your customers’ language.
How does a great design benefit your small local business?
A good website design makes it convenient for your target audience to find the information they need. It’s a win-win for you and your customers if your website meets these requirements. You get valuable leads/sales, and your customers no longer need to spend much more time researching.
Another benefit of having a great website is that it gives you access to data on how your audience interacts with your brand. Analytics tracking like Google Analytics can provide you with data from which keywords customers used to find your business to their interests and shopping behavior. It also gives you a clear view of how your customer’s buying journey looks like, which content works best for them, and which ones need improvement or should be scrapped.
In a nutshell, website design should be your first priority if you want to stand out online. So take your time in researching and defining a design strategy that reflects positively on your small business’ goals.