Tips To Design Small Business Websites
When it comes to designing small business websites, the tips and best practices are simple; keep it simple.
✓ Your website visitor may be a regular customer checking the site for any offers or special items on your specialty seafood restaurant website.
✓ Your website visitor may have just discovered your website through a Google search and is looking at your products and will note down your contact number.
✓ Your website visitor is browsing your website using a mobile device powered by Android or iOS.
Website Design Best Practices
1. Make sure your website is elegant and eye-catching — this will pull the first time visitor in. You are competing against millions of other websites and it is both essential as well as difficult to be unique and outstanding.
TIP: Take a look at some of the Webby Awards winners for inspiration. You may get some inspiration from some website element or feature on one of those websites. May be your website may become a Webby Awards contender in the future.
2. Simple Website navigation. Some aspects of websites — some design elements to be precise — have become website design standards. Sure, Google has a button called ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ but Google is a pioneer. And actually, the Google home page is an excellent example of simplicity.
Despite Google’s age — it is very ‘old’ by the measuring yardstick of the Web — and despite how big the company has become and how diverse its product range is now, the home page remains remarkably clutter-free and unintimidatingly inviting.
Somebody at Google is doing a mighty good job of resisting the geeky urge of the boffins to add image search, YouTube search, and Google News search buttons directly to the home page. As of now, those options are available only at the 2nd step. Web historians and Google or Web enthusiasts may be interested to learn that Google Image search was born because of JLo’s famous green dress.
Simple website navigation is one of the key parts of a great small business website home page. There are other must-haves on a website home page and they are detailed a little later in this article.
3. Responsive Web Design. If you are technically inclined, what RWD refers to is a website design paradigm that takes into account the bewildering variety of screen sizes — the Samsung Galaxy devices, the Galaxy tabs, iPhones, iPhone Pros, iPads, iPad Pros, and so forth.
It is enough for a small business owner to keep in mind that the business website should use RWD. Ask your website design partner company to use a responsive theme.
✓ If you are planning a WordPress website, there are umpteen WordPress responsive themes available for you to choose from.
✓ If you are planning a Magento ecommerce website, there are plenty of responsive Magento themes — both free and premium — to choose from.
✓ If you are planning a Joomla, Shopify, or Drupal website, you can get your pick of responsive themes as well.
Finally, take a look at some great examples of responsive websites. Turn to the Webby Awards winners for website features.
4. Use Structured Data Markup/Schema Markup. Structured data markup or Schema markup are website tags that help search engines identify the type of information they are indexing.
This sort of markup is beneficial for local business websites as well.
For example, if you are planning your restaurant website, information that would be relevant for website visitors includes:
✓ Restaurant timing
✓ Restaurant contact number
✓ Restaurant ratings by users
Once Google has this information in its index, it can display it right on the search engine result page (SERP).
These ‘rich snippets’ — as well as the ‘Knowledge Graph’ — are dependent upon your website containing the necessary information for Google to pick as well as keeping the information in a format Google will be able to understand and index while crawling your website.
See the screenshots of how the rich snippets appear in search results.
(Google search result for specialist restaurants with rich snippets)
(You can apply filters to Google search results for Rating and Hours)
(Google puts a couple of Ads at the top as well)
5. Keywords Matter. SEO Matters. No matter how small or large a business you are, no matter how unknown or well-known your brand is, you should ensure that your website is keyword optimized or search engine optimized.
a) Make sure your web page URLs are search engine optimized.
b) Make sure the web page content is optimized in a ‘natural language’ way.
c) The title tag of every web page on your website should be optimized as also the heading of every web page.
It is up to your website design partner firm to make sure the SEO elements are baked into the website right from the beginning.
Why Outsourcing Website Design Makes Sense
Now you know the big picture. You have a bird’s eye view of what goes into a great small business website or what it takes for a small business website to stand out.
BTW, why was the scarecrow invited to do a TED talk? Because he was out standing in his field! So, if you can make an ‘outstanding’ website, may be your website can get an invite to do a TED talk as well.
A small business website has gotta be optimized; it needs markup, a responsive theme, simple website navigation, and an elegant and unique look.
So, how will you make sure that your website has all these elements? That will actually be the task of the web design professionals at a website design agency. Your website design partner agency should preferably be located in a top outsourcing destination such as India.
There are lots of good quality website design companies or agencies in India. In fact, you will need to pay attention to the process of choosing your website design partner.
Here’s a detailed blog post about how to choose the best website development company to partner with.
Website Home Page Checklist, Standards and Conventions
Certain features, elements, and aspects are so commonplace across most, if not all, websites that they can be considered ‘web design standards’; there are other aspects of website design that can be considered ‘web design conventions.’
Here is a handy checklist of these standards and conventions as well as the ‘must have’ aspects of a website home page for your reference.
Website Design Standards
Logos and the Main Menu are web design standards and one you should adhere to as well unless you have exceptionally good reasons not to adhere to it.
1. Logos. You should get a logo for your business designed by a professional graphic artist. Perhaps, your business already has a logo and you need a jpg version of it to put on the website.
Either way, it should be a professional product and it will go on the top left corner of every web page of your website. Clicking the logo will take the user to the home page.
2. Website Main Menu. This is the other web design standard. The main menu should appear at the top of every web page — even as you scroll down on a web page. The user should not have to scroll back to the top of a web page to see the menu.
The usual options on the main menu will be:
B. Products and/or Services (this depends on the nature of your business). A few sample menus. Apple’s main menu references its growing list of product categories: the Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and so on.
(Apple’s Home Page)
GoPro’s Home Page is simple: shop its products and watch some videos and images.
(GoPro Home Page)
(Florist Website Home Page)
(One more florist website)
(Fitbit Home page)
C. Portfolio/Testimonials/Whitepapers (Again, depends if you have many of these to share and if they will be valuable for website visitors).
D. Blog. Lots of websites have blogs these days — from established tech companies like Microsoft to newcomers like Fitbit. Blogs are a way to build a community of your customers.
Blogs can be a useful resource for your users where you provide useful information, tips and answers to frequently asked and not so frequently asked questions.
Blogs that are frequently updated provide valuable positive ranking signals to Google and other search engines.
All other things remaining the same, a site with a popular blog should rank higher in organic search results and rankings than a site that lacks a blog or has a dormant blog.
Good quality content on the site matters these days. Blogs are a good way to infuse your site with not only content but the right content with keywords that are relevant for your business.
You should target not only the main keywords but their related terms and/or synonyms — what are known as LSI keywords.
E.The ‘About Us’ link or option is often there on the main menu if you are in the service business such as in healthcare, financial advice, tax planning, IT/web design, digital advertising, digital marketing companies, and so on. Having the names of the main people who own/run the company up on the website acts as a kind of trust badge.
Website Design Conventions
1. Contact Details. Business websites will give different levels of prominence to the contact details. This is a convention for small business websites. For a small business such as a restaurant or a florist or online bakery shop and so on, the contact no. is crucial. It is usually displayed prominently at the top right-hand corner of the website on every page.
Many returning visitors will visit your website to collect the contact no. of your business and then perhaps book a table at your restaurant or order something if you provide home delivery services. Also, the contact no. is displayed right on the search results page in Google. Your website should prominently display any FREE offers such as ‘FREE home delivery for orders above $200.’
2. Calls to Action (CTA). CTAs can be a wide variety of things where a user is asked take an action to gain a benefit. This is another convention on many or most small business websites to increase user engagement. You could have a ‘Limited Period Offer’ pertaining to a product or service. You could be offering 15% discounts on your online wine delivery website if users signed up for your newsletter. Or, you could be hosting a wine tasting and your CTA could be asking website visitors to book their place by paying the fee.
3. Search functionality. You should implement a site-wide search functionality and have the search button displayed globally in the header on every page. This is more important when you have hundreds of thousands of items on your website.
4. Image slideshows work quite well as a way to showcase your offerings. For example, the florist website home page screenshots above show just one image out of a slideshow. High quality images of food items you serve, dresses you sell, wines you sell, buildings or homes your architectural firm has designed, and so on can be featured high on your website’s home page in a clickable slideshow format.
These rotating images will each have a short message on top of them.
This slideshow will usually be displayed ‘above the fold’ on the home page just below the main menu.
(Image slideshow with great CTA)
(Neiman Marcus seems to have a slideshow with only two images)
5. As you scroll down on the home page, you can present your website visitor with a portfolio of your products. These will comprise of projects you have successfully completed for various clients. This can be in a clickable slideshow format as well. If you have lots of projects in your portfolio, you can have a link saying ‘visit our Portfolio page for a complete list.’
6. Testimonials of satisfied customers work well to attract new customers. Your website home page can display a few customer testimonials showing their images and quoting what they have to say about your company and/or your company’s products or services.
7. If your architectural firm has won awards or your restaurant has got Michelin stars or been featured in The New York Times or other media outlets, you can point to them on the website home page. Awards and other recognitions increase your brand’s value.
8. If you have a limited-period offer at the moment, you should highlight it on the home page by featuring it prominently through a form in the header area just below the main menu, a display ad on your own web page, a pop-up window, a window in a sidebar, or in the footer.
9. The Footer area usually has these elements:
a. Social media icons.
b. Contact details.
c. Maps, directions, etc.
d. Email newsletter signup,
e. Website security seals such as ‘Verisign.’
f. Any calls to action.
So, whether you are planning a small website using WordPress CMS or a more substantial specialized ecommerce set-up using Magento, you could go for professional website design and development services at website design firms in India.
WordPress development has many aspects to it and companies like Mind Digital will take care of installing the right WordPress themes that are contemporary and responsive. Similarly, you could opt for offshore expertise in Magento ecommerce development. You will get professional expertise in choosing Magento themes as well as in ensuring website SEO is done right and much more.
Responsive web designis an absolutely essential aspect of website design these days and offshore web development is a great way to implement responsive technologies on your website.
Finally, your online business will probably not prosper without going for digital marketing. In a world of fierce competition, your startup website can only get eyeballs if you make the necessary efforts in search engine optimization (SEO),Pay-Per-Clicks (PPC) adverting or paid search, social media marketing, display advertising, and content marketing.
- How To Call Batch Apex By Scheduler Class Within Salesforce
- What Is The Importance Of Google Algorithm Updates
- How To Create Dynamic Dependent Picklist Of Objects Within Salesforce
- What Is Wrapper Class & How To Use It In Salesforce
- How To Create Pagination Within Salesforce
- Tips For Hiring A Good Offshore Drupal Development Company
- Web Development Mistakes That Affect Your Online Reputation
- How To Integrate Google Maps Into Your Salesforce Software
- Check Your Link Building Strategy For 2014
- Tips For Selling Products Through Social Networking
- How To Create A Chart With Salesforce
- Benefits of Using India For Outsourcing & Offshore Development
- How To Integrate Salesforce With Facebook
- What Is Service Cloud Console In Salesforce & How To Enable It
- Superior Offshore Web Development At A Reasonable Cost
- How To Create Bucket Fields In Your Salesforce Reports
- 5 Things To Consider When Hiring A Drupal Developer
- Growth Of E-commerce Website Development
- Challenges In Hiring An Offshore Web Development Company
- 10 Tips When Creating Batch Apex In Salesforce
- What To Include & What To Exclude In SEO Plans
- How To Create An Opportunity Using A Visualforce Page In Salesforce
- Hire An Offshore Ruby On Rails Development Company Over A Freelancer
- Hire Drupal Developers Offshore To Increase Your Capabilities
- Effective SEO In A Post Panda Update – The Rules Have Changed
- Common Mistakes In Offshore Web Development
- What To Consider While Hiring A Dedicated Ruby On Rails Developer?
- Smart Phone & Tablet User Penetration
- Tips For Hiring A Good Offshore PHP Development Company
- Why Responsive Web Design Is Essential For Your Business
- How To Email Documents From Salesforce
- Website Development And Website Design Company India
- Why Work With An Offshore Development Company?
- How To Create Tab Panel In Salesforce
- How To Avoid 5 Common Off-Page SEO Mistakes
- The Multi-Billion Dollar Offshore Software Development Industry
- What Are The Advantages Of Digital Marketing Over Traditional Marketing?
- SEO & Conversational Keyword Search
- How To Avoid 5 Common On-Page SEO Mistakes
- How To Add Google Authorship And Its Benefits For Better SEO
- What’s Better For Facebook Ads: CPC Or CPM?
- Questions To Ask Your Potential Search Engine Optimization Partner
- How To Create Batch Apex In Salesforce
- Benefits Of Offshore PHP Development For Your Businesses
- Offshore Magento Development Means More Than Just Development Help
- Why You Should Consider Hiring Joomla Developers Offshore
- What To Look For When Hiring A Dedicated OpenCart Developer
- Stop Using Free Web Templates – Hire A Web Development Company
- How To Manage An Offshore Development Company?
- Hire Offshore Software Professionals To Help Your Business
- Offshore Development Is A Sensible Solution For Recessionary Times
- Why You Should Offshore Your Joomla Website Development
- 5 Tips To Help You Hire A Good Offshore PHP Development Company
- Reasons Why Salesforce CRM Customization Is Easy
- PHP Development – Turn Your Website Into A Multi-Featured Web Application
- 5 Things To Ask A Web Development Company Before Starting Work
- How A Multifaceted Web Development Company Can Help You?
- Take Advantage By Hiring A PHP Development Company From India
- Use Social Media Marketing To Improve Your Brand Identity
- Hiring Dedicated Developers From Offshore Development Companies
- See Measurable Results By Hiring Dedicated Ruby On Rails Developer
- Avoid 4 Common WordPress Development Mistakes
- Can “Developed By” Links Hurt Your SEO?
- How To Get All Salesforce Components In Force.com IDE
- The Manifold Advantages Of Working With An Offshore Web Development Company
- Web Development Company In India Defined
- Hire A Dedicated Drupal Developer To Develop A High Performance CMS
- Offshore Development – The Most Beneficial And Cost Effective Way To Outsource Your Business
- What To Look For When Hiring An Offshore Development Company
- Why Dedicated PHP Web Developers Are In Demand
- How To Avoid Some Common Mistakes When Working With An Offshore Web Development Company
- How To Choose An SEO Company
- Factors To Consider When Hiring Offshore Developers In India
- Why Google Create Its Own Title Instead Of Using Yours
- What To Look For When Hiring Dedicated Magento Developers
- 3 Challenges of Working with an Offshore Web Development Company
- Why Ruby On Rails Development Has Become Popular
- Why Hire A Web Development Company That Also Offers SEO
- 10 Tips And Tricks For Salesforce
- Are Back-links Losing Their Importance To Google Search Rankings
- The Significance Of A Salesforce Developer
- 4 Reasons to Hire A Web Development Agency Over A Freelancer
- Hire A PHP Developer- How Outsourcing Can Be A Key To Success
- Importance Of Strategic Digital Marketing For Business Growth
- Factors To Keep In Mind Before Hiring Dedicated Magento Developer
- Web Development India – For Prompt And Accurate Services
- Looking For An Offshore PHP Development Company, Where Do I Begin?
- 5 SEO Myths
- How To Choose A Company When Hiring Dedicated PHP Developers
- Why You Should Optimize For Local Search
- Hiring Offshore WordPress Developers Can Help Your Business
- How To Use Social Networking To Market Your Business
- Why Offshore Web Development To India Makes Business Sense
- 5 Factors To Consider When Hiring A Web Development Company
- Top Five Benefits Of Salesforce
- Benefits Of Hiring A Dedicated PHP Developer From India
- Using SEO & Social Media Together
- How Can An SEO Company Help Your Profile Online
- Strategic Importance Of Mobile SEO
- Choose The Social Media Network That Suits Your Business
- September 2023
- August 2023
- July 2023
- June 2022
- May 2022
- March 2022
- January 2022
- August 2021
- July 2021
- June 2021
- May 2021
- January 2021
- December 2020
- September 2020
- August 2020
- July 2020
- June 2020
- April 2020
- March 2020
- December 2019
- November 2019
- October 2019
- September 2019
- August 2019
- July 2019
- June 2019
- May 2019
- April 2019
- March 2019
- February 2019
- January 2019
- December 2018
- November 2018
- September 2018
- April 2018
- February 2018
- January 2018
- September 2017
- August 2017
- July 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016
- September 2016
- August 2016
- July 2016
- June 2016
- May 2016
- April 2016
- March 2016
- February 2016
- January 2016
- December 2015
- November 2015
- October 2015
- September 2015
- August 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013