It’s not just the elements your small business website design should have that it is important for you to know, but also the elements that it shouldn’t have.
So with that in mind, here are just five things we would suggest you take care to improve on your site, if you are to make it a genuinely pleasant and helpful one for your target visitors to use.
1. Make navigation clear
It may seem like an obvious point to make, but it can be easy to overlook just how difficult it may be for your users to find the information or parts of your site they might be desperately trying to find.
So, if your site suffers from a consistently high bounce rate, now is the time to resolve these issues. Check for:
- a navigation system that provides too many options
- placement of unimportant links in prominent positions
- use of long text labels
Always aim for the simplest and clearest navigation. Leave no room for doubt.
2. Use optimised images and videos
As captivating as images and videos can be for your visitors, there can also be so much scope to get your use of them wrong.
Images or videos being so big, numerous and/or poorly optimised that they slow down a site’s loading times, as well as noisily off-putting auto-playing videos, are just some of the ‘offences’ frequently committed by site owners and website designers.
Keep playback of videos in the hands of the user and don’t make their mobile experience poor by focusing on desktop users. Mobile browsing deserves as much, or even more, attention as desktop, and justifiably so with mobile users probably the first to hit up your website. Keep large images and videos to a minimum to avoid slow load times and high data use on mobile devices.
3. Check for broken links, images, videos or forms
The last way you will be want to be learning about broken links or images on your website is through your customers telling you about them. So, be sure to regularly check them – as well as your site’s videos, contact forms and any other clickable elements that could be liable to break over time, especially anything that integrates with external sites such as Facebook or Twitter, for example.
4. Make things mobile-friendly
I’ve mentioned it already, but it bears repeating: prioritise mobile users above desktop users. In fact, we have had to completely overhaul our own methods of web design to be mobile-first. Ensure that mobile users receive not just an acceptable, but a superior browsing experience on your site by optimising for speedy response and well thought-out, uncluttered design that works well on smaller screens, especially focusing on things such as text size and buttons.
With Google having rolled out mobile-first indexing more and more ambitiously in recent times, there really is no excuse anymore for a small business website design that forces visitors to pinch to zoom just to read basic text, look at a product image or fill in a form.
Remember that these days, a responsive website design won’t just give your users a nicer experience; thanks to the aforementioned development, it’ll also help your search engine rankings.
5. Create clear CTAs that do the job
Calls-to-action (CTAs) have long been recommended to incorporate into small business website design to help to convert more casual visitors into proactive enquirers or buyers.
But if there’s one thing that might be almost as bad in some cases as not having any CTAs on your site at all, it’s using them poorly.
A CTA as part of a pop-up that presents itself to the visitor as soon as they land on your homepage, for instance, is unlikely to cause the user to take any meaningful action you desire them to take.
After all, it’s unlikely in such a circumstance that they would even yet know enough about your firm to be convinced to sign up for that newsletter or try that free demo – so at least give them a chance to look around your site first.
While it’s not just one or two individual elements of your site that may be to blame for a poor user experience – its all-round design might be problematic as well – it’s helpful to be aware of the issues above when you come to work on your own small business website design.
Call the PENNInk Productions team now on 020 8144 7931 and we can talk to you in more detail about the steps we could take together to ensure your own site’s user experience is the very best it can be.
Edward Solomon has over 15 years’ experience in project management, technical education, computer networking, web design and development and is a Digital Business Consultant for PENNInk Productions Ltd.