Never take your company's web design for granted

By Tristan Anwyn

Is your company web design helping your small business take charge across Canada?

Web design is critical for any business. Good web design enhances the customer experience and encourages conversion and repeat visits.

So just how can you make sure your web design is working for you?

Pay attention to these six key areas.

 Keep It simple

When it comes to a small business website, simple is best.

A homepage that is overly cluttered will give a messy first impression, and leave your visitors confused as to what they are supposed to pay attention to first.

Simple doesn't have to mean plain or boring.

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You can embrace simplicity with a clean, elegant design that conveys a professional air without overwhelming your visitors.

 Communicate your message

As the article "Small Business Web Design: How Aesthetics Affect Strategy" points out, the first impression visitors get of your site will happen quickly and have a long lasting effect. That's why it's important that your website gives the desired message about your business at a first glance.

From choosing the right colors to including a slogan that sums up your business, your website should provide a sense of your brand personality and the value you offer your customers.

 Build a logical path

Confusing or difficult to follow navigation will frustrate your visitors.

Your navigation should be clean and simple, with all necessary information easily accessible. 

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Your website navigation should make it clear to your visitors where they should go next.

What should they do if they want more information? Where do they place their order? What if they have questions? How do they get in touch?

Make it easy for your visitors to navigate your site and get what they need from it.

Be mobile friendly

Many of your customers are going to be mobile, so your website needs to be mobile too.

A website that doesn't display well on a phone or tablet will quickly turn your visitors away. They'll go to a site they can browse and use on their mobile device, and you'll lose their custom.

Make sure your website design is optimized for mobile viewing.

Your visitors should be able to browse, buy and get in touch as easily from their phone as from their laptop.

 Keep it bug-free

Bugs and errors will make your website look unprofessional.

The first thing to check is your uptime. With so many web hosts guaranteeing 99% uptime, there's no reason to settle for less. Loading speed matters too - visitors won't wait for a website that is slow to load.

Everything on your website should be checked for functionality.

Don't forget to check your links, contact forms, your shop if you have one, client portals and social media widgets. Everything needs to be in good working order.

 Include a clear call to action

Don't overlook the importance of a clear call to action on your small business website. A strong call to action lets your visitors know what their next step should be. 

Think about what you would like your visitors to do when they visit your website.

Do you want them to buy from you? Perhaps you want them to join a mailing list, or contact you with any further queries.

Whatever the desired outcome, sign-post it with a clear call to action.

You can use more than one if need be, such as one call to action for those ready to buy and another for those who need more information.

 Your small business website can make the difference between whether a customer chooses to do business with you or not.

Think of your website as your online business premises, and do your best to make it professional, welcoming and engaging.

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About the Author: Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on a range of topics including social media, SEO that works, and how to design a small business website.

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