7 Ways to Improve your Small Business Website
Small businesses live and die by the quality of their websites. If they look great, people will convert, and you make sales. If they look shoddy, you lose out to the competition. A lot of small companies, though, don’t understand what constitutes an outstanding online presence. Not to worry: here, we discuss seven ways to make your small business website look both polished and professional.
Provide Clear Messaging
It might seem obvious, but many small businesses fail to include clear messaging on their sites, describing what they can do and how they help. The trick here is to see the world through the eyes of your clients. You should adapt your language to suit your audience, even if your headers or copy aren’t entirely precise. It’s better to speak in ways that they understand than to wait for their eyes to glaze over because you’re talking in jargon and buzzwords. Spell out in simple language how you solve their problems, in as few words as possible.
Use Consistent Visuals
Where possible, you want to use similar visuals across your site. You don’t want to flip between one style of photography (or effect) and another. It creates visual confusion and makes your site less aesthetically pleasing. You wind up with something that looks like it was thrown together by a monkey instead of a carefully considered shop front for your brand. And that puts customers off.
If you’ve got funds for a professional photographer who understands branding, then task them with creating consistent visuals for your site. If you are on a budget, use stock images from sites like Canva or Unsplash. Choose images that represent your company and are compatible with each other.
Keep Branding Simple
The current trend is for simple branding using minimalist colours and fonts. Companies and consumers have come to expect it. And now it’s very much the norm. As a small business, therefore, you can tap into this trend and automatically make your site appear more professional. Unless you’re working with a professional designer, stay away from wacky colours and typefaces. They’re incredibly easy to get wrong.
Leave Plenty Of Space Between Website Objects
Companies like Apple and Google put a lot of thought into the amount of white space that they leave on their sites. They know that people only have one set of eyes. And so they usually only place a couple of focal points on the visible sections of their pages at any given time. Any more than that is just clutter and will likely get ignored or cause confusion. White space allows users to digest information and discover what your site is all about.
Make Your Business Personal With Images of You
A great brand logo and theme is conducive to marketing success, but users often want to see the real people behind the outfit. A lot of sophisticated users now know that most firms can create a beautiful professional website on a budget. Fewer, however, are willing to put the faces of people who work at their organisation and talk about them in detail. If you have professional photos of you and your team, use them on your about page or under your mission statement. If you don’t, you can always take them on your phone. Just remember to make them black and white to help them look better.
Don’t Offer Every Service You Can Imagine – Be Selective
Even if you offer dozens of services, try to avoid listing them all on your website. It creates clutter, and both bores and confuses users. Ideally, you want to develop catch-all offerings that funnel people to the right place on your site intuitively. Take plumbers and electricians, for instance. They often fall into the trap of listing every task that they perform. Avoid this if you can. Usually, you are much better off using the available space on your site to show that you’re an expert in the general services you offer, rather than listing the specifics.
Speak To Your Clients, Not At Them
There’s a big difference between speaking to somebody compared to speaking at them. You’re not trying to bamboozle them into buying your products with complicated sentences and long words. Instead, professional websites make everything as natural and straightforward as possible. You want to reflect their language back at them – something that all of the top brands do spectacularly well.
Bonus: 5 Ways To Make Your Small Business Website More Professional
- Use A Bespoke Domain name. Most customers – especially those in the B2B market – know a cheap domain name when they see it. Thus, you want to avoid any suffixes, like biz-name.wordpress.com – that doesn’t look good. The same applies to your email address. Avoid things like Johnny@godaddy.com. It just looks naff.
- Use Custom Favicon. For those of you who don’t know, a favicon is a small graphic that sits in user browser tabs. Don’t use a generic one. Instead, create one that is faithful to your business and brand.
- Remove Ads. Company websites shouldn’t contain ads for other companies. It doesn’t look good. And it makes customers wonder what it is that you do. Are you selling ad space? Or are you a company with real products? It might not be clear.
- Put A Contact Form On Your Contact Page. Contact forms look great and are a hallmark of excellent website design. Users now expect them, so including one is essential.
- Ensure Your Social Media Links Point To Your Site. If they don’t, you’ll wind up looking distinctly unprofessional.
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