I don’t know about anyone else, but we feel like coming into 2023, there is a bit of electricity in the air. The last few years have been spent living in survival mode for all of us. But things are now moving forward. The general consensus amongst our community of small business clients is that it’s time to innovate, push forward and into the future with a bit of zest. We’ve taken on a lot of new clients lately looking to amplify their digital presence with a new website, and many of our existing clients are looking to refresh their current website and explore ways to leverage the internet for growth. So here are our 10 small business website design must-haves that we apply to all of our builds.
1. Clear and Simple Navigation
Gone are the days of the Y2K cluttered website (despite the recent revival attempts), obscure page titles and 10 headings in the navigation. We’re also saying no to the hyper-minimalist and mysterious aesthetic of the missing or hidden nav bar. Put your customers first and make it as easy and clear as possible to find the information they need.
2. Obvious contact details
This is relatively common sense, but somehow so many websites miss this. For people to connect to your business, they need to be able to find you. Keep your details visually obvious and up to date.
3. High-quality imagery
It’s become clear through our collective love and obsession with social media, how much we really connect with each other visually. A website should do the same. Professional photography can feel like a big upfront expense, but not as big as the value you could be missing out on by ineffectively communicating your business and message. One decent photoshoot could provide enough content for your website and socials for a year. If professional photography is out of reach, go for high-quality paid stock imagery.
4. Mobile responsive design
It’s 2023, we’re all on our mobiles all of the time. It is absolutely essential that your website is mobile responsive, functions and looks great no matter the screen size.
5. Good typography
Fresh, clean and modern fonts are important for your website to look professional and up-to-date. Like other elements of visual design, fonts can be used to create different impressions, such as friendliness, fun, professional, strong, loud, and soft. Keep it to two fonts and easy to read. Don’t sacrifice accessibility for aesthetics.
6. Refined copywriting
Professional copywriting is a must these days. Sounding unprofessional, or worse, like a robot just won’t cut it anymore. Good copywriting will effectively communicate not only your value but your voice.
7. Clear calls to action
For your website to add value to your business, it needs to create conversions. Too many different CTAs or none at all is confusing. Just like point 1, put your customer first and make it easy for them.
8. A blog
Researching, producing and sharing quality content provides value to your customer and is an essential website tool for businesses today. It’s also a highly effective SEO strategy. Get blogging this year.
9. Social Proof
The simplest way to provide social proof of your service is with a testimonials page, or testimonials throughout your site. But there are also some great tools you could have on your website, such as a Google Reviews Feed or a Google Reviews Collection Tool.
10. Lead Generation forms
SEO is only one piece of the digital marketing puzzle. It’s one thing to drive traffic to your website, but you want to capture the percentage of that traffic that are potentially high-quality clients. One way to do that is with lead generation through custom forms, surveys, quizzes and downloads. A good web developer will be able to engineer and customise these for you into your site to specifically suit your target audience.
The key to any excellent small business website is clear and effective communication, navigation and function. Applying these 10 principles at a minimum will elevate your website and bring value to your customers and to your business. If it's time for you to refresh your website, or you'd like to learn more about maximising your digital presence, get in touch for a free quote or a chat today.