As with everything on the internet, when it comes to website design for small businesses, you can find thousands of examples of both great and downright ridiculous ones. If you already have a small business, as a lot of Kiwis do, or plan to start one soon, here are 10 elements from the websites of successful small businesses that you should definitely incorporate into your own.
1. Good Domain Name
Great small business websites have an easy-to-remember domain name. The ideal domain name to use is of course your company name itself. However, if that’s not available, you should look for the closest option. It should also be as short as possible without being incomprehensible. You should also avoid hyphens where possible, and get a co.nz, .nz, or .com domain, if you can.
2. Clear Branding
Good branding makes it immediately clear to visitors what the website is about. The colours, the logo, the typography, and just the overall look and feel of the website all play a role in the success of your site.
3. Uncluttered Design
When getting a business website, you may be tempted to add a whole lot of information and fill up every possible space with something. But remember, less is more when it comes to good design. Keep it simple, clean and uncluttered.
4. Mobile Responsive
A good website looks great and works properly on all devices, from computers with large screens to phones with much smaller ones. The solution in most cases is to get a mobile responsive website that adapts to the screen size of visitors. In fact, if you want your site to perform well organically on Google, your default design should be mobile-first.
5. Fast Loading
If they are like most internet users, your potential customers might be an impatient lot, expecting websites to load quickly. This applies whether they are on a good broadband connection, or they are connecting using their phone. And, like with mobile-first design, Google (in their recently released Core Web Vitals update has stated that it) now rates websites that load faster higher in its search results pages.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is about making your website as visible as possible in search engines, particularly Google. Standard SEO applies to most small businesses, but local SEO is also important in helping you maximise your queries, sales or bookings.
7. Clear Menu
The navigational structure of small business websites is an important part of the user experience. In simple terms, it needs to be easy for visitors to find what they are looking for. One way to do this is to have clear buttons and straightforward menus.
8. Easy-to-find Contact Details
When your goal is to maximise enquiries and conversions, how does it make any sense to make it difficult for visitors to find out how to get in touch. All your contact details, whether that’s a phone number, an email or a physical store address, should be readily available within a couple of clicks at any point. Better still, they should be set-up correctly to ensure they are capturing conversions properly.
9. Focused on The User
The content on small business websites is often too focused on the business and less on what it can do for the customer. Visitors to your website have a problem they want to solve, and their primary objective of coming to your site is to get that resolved, whether that is by ordering a service, buying a product or making a booking. If you don’t give them that information straight (and quickly, as we’ve mentioned before), they will find some other business who will, i.e. one of your competitors.
10. Strong Calls to Action
Good calls to action help visitors understand what they should do next. If you don’t include calls to action, or if they are weak, potential customers are likely to just browse and bounce, which is not what you want.
Getting a Website that Works for Your Business
Of course, there is a lot more to website design than the points on this list, particularly from a technical perspective and in relation to user experience. We know all about building great yet affordable websites for small businesses in NZ. We handle everything from hosting to design to digital marketing so you not only have a good-looking but also super functional website. Give us a call today.