In every Small Business’s history, there comes a time when its imminent growth spurs the…
Your Website Is the Window to Your Business
What do you want people to see through your window and what do you want them to do?
Are you happy to just provide entertainment for window shoppers? Or, do you want them to come through the doors and buy something?
As the Internet has developed, so too has the sophistication, expectations and habits of the people exploring it. The explosion of social media and the accessibility of information has forever changed the way that people use the web, so it’s vital for Small Business owners to adapt and meet the expectations of the market when it comes to your website.
To help with the content for this article, I called out to a young web developer who I believe has his finger on the pulse of the latest in website design. In the interests of transparency, I’ll be open and declare that he happens to be my son, Evan Dowsett, but that doesn’t change the fact that I believe his knowledge in this area to be extensive.
Evan’s top three tips for website design are outlined below:
1. Focus on a desired outcome.
In the past, websites gave you as many options as possible to take action, but that confuses people these days. Website visitors are now often looking for a solution and want to get something from a website as quickly as possible. Especially with Small Businesses, your website should be designed to steer the visitors to one singular outcome; whether that be submitting a contact form, downloading a free report, watching a promotional video, calling the office or some other key objective.
Create a singular purpose for your website.
2. Beautiful design.
It’s an obvious one, but beautiful design is such an important aspect of a website. Visitors will take one look at a website that is clunky or looks like it’s straight out of the 90’s, and run away. Try to put a lot of effort into the little design tweaks that make all the difference. Your website must have a functional layout, logical navigation and attractive, uncomplicated imagery.
Avoid clunkiness and strive for simple, beautiful design.
3. Mobile is king.
More and more people are using their mobile devices to view websites. The number of people who are web-browsing on mobiles has exploded and continues to climb steadily. Data from www.Statista.com shows that more than 52% of worldwide web traffic in 2018 comes via a mobile phone, which from a standing start of no mobile traffic in 2009 is incredible growth.
This trend is only going to continue and become more important over time. Many of us would have experienced the frustration that comes with using a website that is not mobile friendly, having to switch our phone from portrait to landscape, zoom in and out, swipe up and down and from side to side. Not to mention trying to fill in a tiny form that keeps getting hidden by a giant on-screen keyboard. Many customers simply give up and find another site that is more suited to their mobile browsing.
Too many businesses do not put enough effort into making their site mobile responsive in a way that makes sense, don’t be one of them.
Now that we’ve covered Evan’s top three website tips, I’d like to cover the creation of your website. The most important thing to realise is that getting a website built doesn’t have to cost the Earth! There are options available out there using good quality web developers who can work to a sensible budget.
Find the right developer.
Based on my own personal experience, I’d suggest avoiding some of the large cookie cutter outfits who create sausage-machine websites based on standard templates, who may not have the personal touch needed to create a site that can truly represent what you want for your business.
Also, you may not need an all-singing, all-dancing website with a bunch of bells and whistles and unnecessary features that might be offered by a boutique web development firm. Your website will likely be a big part of your business for a long time, so it’s important to do your homework and find the right developer at the right price for your business.
Get referrals, check out some of their previous work, talk to some of their customers and have a briefing session with them so you can work out whether you’re a good fit for each other and will be able to work together. Then get a firm quote, ensuring it covers all aspects of what you want your website to do and to look like.
Create an attractive window to help keep your doors open.
Your website really is a critical component of your business. It’s a strong element of your brand, it helps define your identity, and it paints a picture of who you are and what you stand for. To so many of your customers, your website is the main interface between them and your business. It’s where people find your contact details, work out who to talk to, send emails, log on to your system, review your product offerings, do their shopping, download information and so much more.
Put some effort into making your website an attractive window to your business, and you’ll help keep your doors open for years to come.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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