It is imperative that your small business has a website. Many customers look up stores in their area before visiting. You may be missing out if you aren’t participating in the digital realm. Designing a simple website isn’t difficult. Above all else, your site should be attractive and responsive.

 

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A well-designed website is more than a digital business card. It is a vital marketing tool. When creating your site, keep these design essentials in mind.

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  1. Responsive design is important. Always keep the user in mind. The majority of people today access the internet through a mobile device. Responsive design means that your site loads correctly each individual device. Google now using a “mobile-friendly” site ranking criterion.
  2. Make key information easy to find. Important business information should be located on every page. These days visitors don’t necessarily enter your site through the homepage. Don’t make them navigate back to a landing page or search for an about page to find your information. You want visitors to know who you are and how to contact you.
  3. Get a logo professionally designed. Your logo represents your brand. You want it to look good. You want it to be bold, crisp and unforgettable. It should represent you and your business well. This logo should show up on every page of your website. This is simply a best practice of small business website design.
  4. Keep your site clean and simple. If you try to go overboard, your site will become cluttered, and your visitors might miss the point. Each page on your site should have an object and that object should be obvious. Set off your copy with white space so it is easy to read. If there is too much going on, the reader may be pulled away from the heart of your message.
  5. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to use professional photography. Your site should look clean and professional. Grainy, out of focus photos from your phone will not do. At the same time, don’t overuse free stock photography. You want your site to be unique. Either purchase exclusive rights to stock photography or hire a professional. Make sure your photos make sense and are on brand.
  6. Your site should be easy to navigate. If a visitor struggles to find what they need, they are likely to get frustrated and leave. Group navigational options in a way that makes sense. Have other people navigate your site and give you feedback. Give visitors an option to go back. Don’t leave them stranded somewhere they might not want to be. Visiting your site shouldn’t be a frustrating experience. You want them to leave thinking, that was easy.
  7. Don’t get crazy with your fonts. Use something common and simple to read. Be consistent with your font choice. A mix of fonts becomes distracting. The fonts you choose should render well on all devices. A font that looks good on a PC might not look good on a smartphone. Run tests on different devices to ensure quick load times and an enjoyable reading experience.
  8. Avoid using Flash. It has been caught in the crosshairs of competing Apple and Adobe giants. You are likely to isolate visitors. Do some research and find an alternative that all users can enjoy.

You want visitors to be impressed with the overall experience. A smooth running, intuitive website keeps customers happy. Don’t distract them with flashing lights and pop-ups. Gently guide them with your copy. Each page should load quickly and have a specific purpose. If you don’t know what a page is meant to accomplish, your visitors won’t either. Pad text with white space. It makes for a cleaner look.

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