As a small business owner, you’re probably aware of the importance of website design. It’s not magic, but if you follow a few simple guidelines you can wow your target audience.
Seota Serves Small Businesses and Mid-Market Companies. We define a small business as a business with revenue under $25 million. We mention “small business” 30+ times in this blog, but this advice applies all non-enterprise level businesses
Without a decent website, you won’t be able to market your products or services. And you know your website isn’t working when the decision-makers are not swayed by what you have to say.
So, it is only a matter of time before you are compelled to improve your website.
But wait, that’s not the only reason why small businesses need to pay attention to their web design. There’s more!
Why small businesses need to focus on web design
Design is an essential part of any online business. It plays a major role in creating an appealing product or service, increasing brand loyalty, and attracting customers.
On a budget? Read our blog, Great Websites Under $5k
But when you think of small business websites, do you think about the design? The visual appearance? Don’t worry! Not many do.
An average small business owner doesn’t see or do their own website design. And this is a huge mistake that can hurt their profits.
Consider this: 94% of first impressions are design-related. A small business’s website design accounts for 75% of how credible consumers feel the company is. And they will only spend their money on your products if your website design is convincing enough, which is why a good overall UX design can boost website conversion rates up to 400%.
And here is an observation; many seemingly perfect sites get an average rating of 4.5 stars on Google. But if your site is missing even a couple of basic features, it might get less than two stars.
The reason is simple. User experience is all about the convenience your design delivers. Small elements aren’t always insignificant. A few minor yet critical design elements can make or break your sales.
So, let’s take a look at some trends in small business web design in 2021 that need your attention.
Audience-specific color scheme
In web design, color relies on three fundamental principles: contrast, rhythm, and brightness. The combination of colors that work together effectively mimics the way our minds and visual system work.
That said, some small business web designers try to cater their sites to hardcore niche audiences and neglect the general users, resulting in sites that are unattractive to new visitors.
So, here are a few rules of thumb that can help small businesses make better website design decisions:
Blue and green can be powerful colors. They communicate trust and friendliness. Blue represents reason, a cause, or an object. That’s why it appeals to both women and men alike and can boost your traffic by 2%.
On the other hand, green promotes efficiency and freshness. Using green as your website’s primary color can increase traffic by 3%.
Color speaks louder than text ever will. Bright, vibrant website elements retain more users than black or white images, which hold the visitors’ interest for less than 0.6 seconds. Whereas colored images retain the users’ attention for more than two seconds.
That being said, designing your site with darker colors can grow your site performance by 2% while light-colored schemes can result in 1.3% growth.
Finally, small businesses are completely ditching the red color scheme as it can decrease your traffic by 1.35%.
Fast page load speed
Page loading time affects conversions for almost every website on the internet. 52% of consumers base their loyalty towards a business on page loading speed.
Users expect a website to load as quickly as possible and don’t like being held up by technical issues. So, the importance of website loading speed can’t be stressed enough.
Page loading time affects the purchase decision of almost 70% of online shoppers. In fact, more than half the mobile users will abandon your site if it takes longer than three seconds to load.
That’s why increasing your website loading speed by at least one second can increase your conversions by 27%.
Until you do that, there’s no point putting in effort improving the other elements of your pages if your visitors can’t get on the site fast enough to access those pages.
Therefore, small businesses are focusing on making their site load faster for desktop and mobile users over anything else.
Every user, especially one with disposable income in their pocket, is looking for personalized content.
Thus, your site should utilize audience-specific web content to engage customers, and it should be focused on six main goals: the customer journey, lead generation, navigational flow, product offerings, cash-back opportunities, and social media integration.
Small businesses are designing their websites to cater to specific groups of people. For example, a sports e-store designed for sports enthusiasts will display professional videos involving athletes or coaches to grab the visitors’ attention.
And that works because it is audience-specific content.
A good web design for small businesses should always include custom content as it allows 82% of users to improve their trust in your company.
To keep readers coming back, it’s important to ensure that your content is relevant and useful for each group of target viewers. And each piece of content should focus on building better engagement.
Small businesses are changing the way they design their websites. They aren’t keen on spending big on decorative elements.
And one such fancy element is carousels.
Don’t you love carousels and sliders on the homepage? They look great and are the perfect tool for introducing more information in the same space.
But they aren’t the most practical design element.
Auto-playing carousels are constantly moving, which makes it difficult for users to consume content. And while they still appeal to some users and marketers, their days are numbered.
Carousels (sliders) register clicks from only 1% of visitors. So, they are not the most efficient design element.
Instead, static content offers a much better click-through rate because it allows users to consume content at their pace.
Making Google happy
Google is not the only search engine on the planet, agreed! It is neither the best nor the cheapest one out there.
But it accounts for more than 92% of the search engine market. We literally use it as a verb.
Google has invested heavily in “web design” and with this has come more competition for small business owners.
From not having a crowded web design to improving visual appeal, small business designers are competing with the giants in their industry online.
Whatever your opinion of the Google algorithm, it’s clear that we need to prioritize mobile over desktop when it comes to search.
In 2021, small businesses will have more opportunities to reach new customers, and one of the best ways to achieve this is through mobile as 74% of users are most likely to return to mobile-friendly websites.
Small businesses are also optimizing their site’s mobile version because 50.81% of internet traffic came from mobile devices in 2020, so they are certain that the number is only going to increase in 2021.
Besides, 72% of users expect companies to have a mobile-ready website design and 57% of them would only recommend your business if you offer a great mobile experience.
So, it isn’t a surprise that 68% of companies have experienced an increase in their sales after launching mobile-first web designs.
Actionable call to action buttons
The biggest mistake small businesses have been making for years is not having a call-to-action button. In fact, 70% of small and medium businesses lack a CTA button.
And those that do have one don’t make them effective enough. They usually put “learn more” or “contact us” under compelling copies and call it a day.
But good CTAs can generate amazing results, so it’s important to make them actionable.
A golden practice is starting your CTAs with a powerful verb to literally indicate action. For instance, “book a free website review” can be a great call to action for web design businesses rather than going for the simple and usual “get in touch.”
Must-have elements in a small business web design
Remember that many users won’t return to a site after having a first bad experience. You only get one chance. Make it count.
- 86% of visitors want to see your company’s products and services on the homepage, add them.
- Make it easier for customers to contact you. Adding a contact element can appeal to 64% of people and prevent 44% of visitors from abandoning your website. A contact element can also help build trust among your users.
- Add an “About Us” section to your site as 52% of customers want to check out your story before buying from you.
As a small business, meeting user expectations is the only way to compete with the bigger brands. So, ensure that you choose your web design wisely.