The Most Important Elements of a Small Business Website
In our last blog post, we laid out four of the biggest reasons a small business needs a well designed website to succeed. So now you’ve decided that your small business is ready to create a website and use it to bring awareness and acquire new customers. But, do you know what the most important elements of a great website are? How a website should be designed? What the major focuses should be? In this post, Moby’s team of web design and development experts will share some of the most important elements to consider when building your first website, or engaging in a website overhaul as your business grows. In order for your website to bring the biggest benefits to your business, you should focus on the following things:
The overall attractiveness of the design
When designing your website, the overall attractiveness of the site can be the biggest “make or break” element you face. Studies in the past have shown that when someone visits a website for the first time, they form their first impression within 50 milliseconds of seeing the home page. That means that your site needs to be visually appealing and professional for that first impression of your visitors to be positive. What happens if your website visitor finds the design of your site unappealing? According to Hubspot, 38% of them will stop engaging with your site and leave altogether. Can you afford to have almost 40% of your website visitors leave right away simply because your site isn’t designed well enough? Here are a few things to make sure you’re considering when dreaming up your website design:
Keep images small so they load quickly (39% of visitors will leave if images take too long to load)
Don’t clutter the site. Use a clean, uncluttered design and concise content (more on this later)
Make sure to include thorough contact information (over 50% of web users say that’s a major upgrade for most sites)
Make all pages consistent in branding so users don’t feel like they’re bouncing around to different web properties
Following the suggestions above and working with a team (like Moby’s!) that knows how to create an attractive, professional website will result in a positive impression on potential customers, a more engaged audience, and better web performance.
Optimize your website on mobile devices
When creating your website, you might think that the majority of your visitors are going to be using a laptop or computer. If you believe that, you would be incorrect. The percentage of total web traffic that comes from mobile devices has risen to a whopping 70% by 2019. Your website needs to not only be designed to work on mobile devices, it needs to be optimized for mobile devices. This requires more work and thought than just making your website “mobile friendly”. It means that you have to design your site with a framework that works on mobile devices of all sizes, manufacturers, and operating systems. This can be a tall task for someone to do on their own but specialists like the Moby team can help you create a small business website that will look amazing on mobile devices of all kinds.
Including concise, descriptive content
So, we’ve come to the conclusion that your website needs to have an attractive design overall and needs to be optimized for mobile devices. Color schemes, consistent branding, white space, images, icons, etc. are a big part of doing both of those well. However, one very commonly overlooked area of how to increase the performance of your website is by including concise, descriptive content. Many websites include far too much text on their pages (this does not count for blog posts, where more words makes sense) and it asks the visitor to do too much reading to get the information they need. The average person that visits your website will only have an attention span of 8.25 seconds, so you have to be able to tell them something very valuable, very quickly.
You have a lot to say about your business, products, services, and values but your visitors want to learn as much as they can, as quickly as they can. So in order to cut down on the content of your site, make sure you understand your audience and tell them what they need to know in as few characters as possible. This will allow them to learn what they need to while spending less time reading, allowing them to spend more time to explore your site. Win-win! To cut down on content as much as possible, edit your content a minimum of three times while trying to cut out non-essential words each time. Usually, by the end of the third round of editing, up to half of the original content is gone. Now your site has a great amount of content to engage visitors.
Pro-tip: A great way to give people more information while using less words is by including more pictures. A website is a visual property - use more visuals! (and each one is worth something like a thousand words)
Adding clear and well-placed CTAs to your site
As discussed in our previous post, websites are great for small businesses to promote their business, acquire new customers, and drive more sales. But how easy is it for your website visitors to actually tell you they want more information, submit their interest in your products, or even make a purchase right there? Unless you’re focusing on your CTAs (Calls to Action), it’s probably actually not that easy. It’s not uncommon for website visitors to be very interested in engaging with a small business, only to get confused about where they show that interest. That’s where clear Calls to Action come in. What’s a “Call to Action?”, you may ask.
A Call to Action is a prompt on a website that tells a user to take some specified action.
Calls to Action can be buttons with text inside, images with instructions, forms to submit information, and more. CTAs should accompany important information you’re giving to any website visitor. If you are describing a valuable product or service you offer, there should be a very visible, clear button to purchase that product. If you are trying to have web users download a valuable resource from your website, include an image of the resource with an easy to see button that says “Download Now”.
Pro-tip: Don’t use vague language in your CTA button text. If it’s a form to schedule a meeting with your team, don’t use “Submit”. Instead, use “Schedule Meeting” so the user knows exactly what they are doing by clicking that button.
Creating a website for your small business is a no-brainer. Without one, your prospective customers won’t be able to find the information they’re looking for and proactively engage with your business. Following the suggestions above will ensure that your visitors have a great first impression (no matter what device they are using), get the most valuable information as quickly as they can, and take appropriate action to learn more or purchase from you. And now your business is on its way to maximizing the value of your website!
If you’re interested in creating a customized, professional website that will keep your visitors and prospects engaged and impressed, reach out to the Moby team. One of Moby’s team members will give a free consultation on how to create a website that will help your unique business achieve it’s short-term and long-term goals.