If you’re a small business owner in any industry, having a website that attracts and engages your current and potential customers should be a top priority. But what’s the best route to take, and are there any rules of thumb you should keep in mind? This article covers a few best practices for business website design, with a goal of helping your online presence make a difference in your bottom line.
It’s hard to understate the significance your theme plays in the overall success of your website. Your theme—or template—sets the tone of your website and leaves an instant impression on your visitors before they even read a word. Your theme’s color scheme should match your logo, and its overall design should be appropriate for your line of work. Fortunately, many builders offer extensive galleries of business website templates sorted into categories based on industry type, making it easy to choose the best one for you. Depending upon which industry you operate in and when your customers are most likely to search for your products or services, one particular template might be a better fit for you than another. If, for instance, you want your physical goods to be front and center, an ecommerce website design will undoubtedly be the best option for you. On the other hand, attorneys who want to highlight their services will likely want a theme that’s a little more text-heavy.
While it used to be true that only some businesses needed mobile-optimized websites, nowadays it’s a must that businesses in any industry have sites that look great on smartphones and tablets. And for that reason, you’ll want to choose a website builder that offers mobile responsiveness by default. This way, you’ll enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your homepage will look great no matter what size screen it’s viewed on. Thankfully, most of the best website builders for small businesses offer mobile responsiveness on some—if not all—of their themes.
If you’re trying to sell anything on your website, it’s of the utmost importance that your products and services are showcased at their absolute best. For all physical merchandise, photos can make all the difference. Consider hiring a professional photographer rather than just snapping shots with your smartphone. Other important elements to consider as far as e-commerce website designing is concerned include clear calls to action and easily accessible “buy now” buttons.
While no two businesses are exactly alike, it’s recommended that all professional websites at least have an “About” page to provide your visitors some background on your business, a “Contact” page where they can reach you, and a page about the products and services offered. And if your website caters to an international audience, you’ll certainly want to learn how to create a multilingual website. Some website builders can automatically translate text from one language to another, but some platforms are better than others.
If you’re a small-business owner in any industry, you likely already understand the value of having a professional presence on the Internet. But in this age of social media, simply having a website isn’t enough. And even if your business does have an account on some of the most popular social networks, unless you actually integrate those accounts into your website, you’re likely missing out on a lot of lucrative opportunities. Fortunately, adding social elements to your website is a relatively easy undertaking, even for complete novices.
The rise of social media has fundamentally transformed not only the landscape of the Internet, but also the way in which we communicate with one another. Look around and you’ll see the evidence everywhere. From social media logos on coffee cups to hashtagged phrases on television commercials, the social Web has permeated almost every aspect of modern society. And when you add in the advent of smartphones and their increasing ubiquity, it’s easy to see that social media is here to stay. When you enable a website-social media integration for your business, you can make the most of these recent innovations, and not only increase your digital following, but also open the door to countless more sales opportunities.
With scores of social media networks on the Internet, and new ones cropping up all the time, choosing which platforms you should have a presence on can be a bit daunting. Given that more than 1 billion people use social media, many on a daily basis, it’s a safe bet to assume that a significant percentage of your customer base is active on at least one social network. As the largest social network by far, Facebook is somewhere your business should definitely be. For other platforms, conduct a survey to find out which ones your best customers use. This might include Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or more niche networks. Let your customers’ preferred platforms help guide your marketing decisions.
If you’re curious to find out how to create a social media-friendly website, you’ll be happy to hear that it’s likely easier than you think. Generally speaking, all major social media networks want to have a presence on their business users’ sites. As such, they provide plenty of tools and instructions to make that not only possible, but really easy. In addition to encouraging you to place a linked logo on your website, many social networks allow you to embed a feed featuring your latest photos, videos, or status updates. Depending on the network, you’ll likely have various options available to you, alongside step-by-step directions for adding them to your site.
One of the first things you should do after creating a business website is to integrate social media elements into your online presence. By simply adding linked icons and choosing to embed a social media feed into your website, you stand to drastically increase the effectiveness of your marketing activities.