3 Website Design Tips for Small Businesses

More and more people throughout the US have started a home-based business. Many of them have used web designers and SEO experts to construct or improve their sites. This article will help those who don’t have a budget by providing a number of website design tips for small businesses for those who can’t hire an outside consultant just yet.

Next to using a  call center to handle customer service and sales for your business, the internet has demonstrated to be a powerful equalizer for small businesses. But business owners can’t just build any type of website these days–they must build cosmetically appealing and strategic sites. Those are the types of websites that truly engage audiences and converts them into paying customers. With that in mind, here are some excellent website design tips to get your small business on the right track.

Choose an Obvious Domain Name

The first thing you’re going to need to set up shop is a domain name. You can use hosts like Network Solutions, Go Daddy, and Register.com to register your domain name. When you choose a simple and direct name for your website it will be easier to remember, so keep your fingers crossed and hope that it’s still available. Example: If your business is called Cupcakes by Mufyn, buying the rights to the URL “www.cupcakesbymufyn.com” would make the most sense. Given how inexpensive domain names are, you may also want to purchase a few other variations to your domain name, so that if anyone confuses the spelling, they will still land on your site. There is also a strong secondary market for domain names that someone else already owns. Hold on to your receipts; if your domain host goes under, you’ll need that proof of purchase to prove you own the rights to that name.

Highlighting Your Brand

Websites are a cost-effective way to establish your brand online. It helps people remember the name of your business and it’ll convey what that name stands for. Innovative branding involves coming up with a logo and name that can be effectively rendered online. Simplicity is crucial: You should be able to recreate your logo on an appropriate scale in any form–be it on an internet web page, a social media profile, a business card or even a billboard–without it looking pixilated.  Try to avoid complex images in your logo because it doesn’t translate well at different sizes. As for where to position your logo on your website, the rule of thumb is to keep it at a visible size on the top left of the home page. People are trained to read from left to right, so naturally that is where they’ll look first. You should also have all contact information listed on every page of the site.

Make Your Products and Services Clear

Confusing your audience should never be the goal, and it quickly kills interest. That’s why it is imperative that you are extremely clear and direct about what you are selling and why your audience should buy. Some years ago, Ericson, a Willoughby, Ohio-based manufacturer and distributor of temporary power and lighting products, saved themselves from the recession by overhauling their website. They created a catalog that featured detailed descriptions and high-quality images of their products, along with an easy-to-use search engine function. “Since re-launching our site we have received more purchase orders from customers who find us online because they get a much better idea of what we’re selling than they used to,” says Phil Bearden, who heads the company’s internet marketing efforts.

Always remember that in this modern day, most consumers first find you online before deciding if they want to buy your products or services. So, this is where first impressions really do matter! Creating a user-friendly website with flash along, high-quality photography, and engaging content is a wise place to start. You should also make sure that the mobile version of the site is just as attractive and strategically functional.