According to Blue Corona, studies show that between 70 and 80% of potential consumers research a small business online before visiting or buying. Your website is often the first interaction your potential customers have with your business. Not only should your site be professional and informative for potential customers, but it should also give them a lasting and positive impression.
We’ve put together web design trends that are important to keep in mind this year. A small business website should be clean, mobile-friendly, targeted and fresh to keep customers coming back. We’ll explore what these trends mean and how you can use them to help turn your website into the best first impression for your business.
One of the most important aspects of web design is that the site is professional and users are able to easily find the information they need. Whether designing your website using a pre-made template, or paying a professional web developer to design it for you, you should focus on a “clean” and uncluttered appearance. Leave out any unnecessary information on the home page that could distract a reader from finding out what they really want to know about your small business. A cleaner website design and a clear call to action can increase your chances of converting visitors into clients.
These days, more and more people are using their cell phone to search and shop for products and services online. In fact, according to Criteo, about 70% of all e-Commerce transactions are expected to come from mobile phones throughout 2017. Even if your business doesn’t include e-Commerce, you should pay attention to your site’s mobile friendliness. According to Google Small Business, users are about 5 times more likely to leave a site that is not mobile friendly. You can optimize your small business website for mobile visitors by creating a responsive design, or a design that grows and shrinks based on the size of the device that displays it.
To check your website for responsiveness, open your website on your mobile device. How does it look? Do you have to scroll horizontally? Do you have to zoom in? You may find it a priority to revisit the design of your website or to enhance your mobile experience. A quick way to determine mobile friendliness is load speed. Use Google’s mobile friendliness testto determine if your site meets common responsive standards and get tips on how you can improve your site responsiveness.
The design or “theme” of your website should match your business’s specific niche or industry. Each element (picture, font, logo, etc.) used on your website is an opportunity to make a connection between your small business and a prospective customer. Don’t let that opportunity go to waste. One example of targeted design for a restaurant would be images of smiling servers and satisfied customers, rather than product images or designs that don’t have anything to do with your restaurant experience.
Unlike with print advertising, you can constantly update and improve your website. Keep your business’s online presence from getting stale by regularly updating images, logos, graphics and copy.
Updated content can establish credibility, engage visitors and encourage them to make a purchase. One way to provide new, interesting content to your visitors is by establishing a blog. Not only will keeping your content up to date keep visitors on your site, it can also help boost your search rankings. For more on small business content and blogging, read our blog post 5 Best Practices for Small Business Blogs.
Fresh images can also help to pull your visitors in, complement your content and establish your business brand. Think about your target audience and your current image strategy when determining which photos to update and which to replace.
Help your website shine this year by following these design trends. Keep your website fresh and clean, target your content and imagery to your audience and make sure that mobile users can access your site quickly and easily. These simple tactics can help you create a small business site that captures potential customers and clients in the coming year.