When you’re running a business, you know how important it is to have a strong online presence. No matter whether your store is based completely online, or you’re selling services from a brick-and-mortar place downtown, much of your business is going to come from leads earned online. That’s why it’s so important for you to have a website that works. In the past, having a website was almost a formality, something that showed that your business was legit. But now, that website expresses everything your business is about. It’s a place for you to show your customers what you’re doing, and why they should care (and therefore buy your products or services).
For this reason, designing a website that looks good and functions well is key to your success. Whether you’re in the real estate industry connecting with couples looking for the new home, or you own a restaurant, here’s how to design a business website that works for you.
Understand your customers
Before you even sit down with a web designer (or a web building site, depending on your budget), you need to know what web design will appeal to your customers. For example, if you’re selling wedding and bridesmaid dresses through your ecommerce store, then the brides-to-be you’re designing your site for will have certain expectations. You’ll want to include lots of images, pretty fonts, and a color scheme that will calm even the craziest of bridezillas.
This means doing the right research. See what your competitors are doing on their websites; think about what you could be doing better. Create buyer personas for your customers, and get as specific as you can. And don’t forget to update personas and your website accordingly. , “Especially when you're first starting out and creating personas for a brand new business, much of your customer personas will likely be based on personal thoughts, feelings, and hunches. However, as your business progresses and you makes sales, you will start learning a lot more about your core customers.”
Keep things minimalist
These days, the last thing a website visitor wants is one that’s too complicated or takes too long to load. Minimalist web design has been a huge trend in the last few years, and it’s not going to slow down. Any modern business knows this, which is why they tend to use just a few colors in their color scheme, a font or two, and make the sections of the website easy to find and scrollable.
Take, for example, website for his company Muirfield. Because of his experience in real estate and blockchain technology, he knows what his customers want, and has designed with a combination of that and minimalism. The Muirfield logo is simple, all black and white like the website, the white sphere a beautiful artistic touch that makes one think of an eclipse. The banner at the top is all black, the font for each section of the website white, and this same font reappears in every section of the website.
Delicate touches, like the red arrow that matches the red lines used for new sections of the fully scrollable website (and which also makes the website easy to use), give the website a professional flair that works. The social media buttons at the bottom of the page are great, too. In a world where of users believe positive user experience is the single most important factor of a website, it’s no surprise that putting a lot of thought into your web design makes a huge difference.
Optimize for mobile
Finally, it’s hugely important to optimize your website design for mobile. In addition to upping your SEO as Google starts prioritizing websites that are designed for mobile first, this will also mean that your customers will be happier when they’re scrolling through your website. Because chances are, they’re going to run into your website on their phones. These days, we’re spending more time than ever on our phones, and online. So your site needs to be optimized for mobile.
Luckily, it’s easy to do. Especially if your website is already minimalist, all you need to do is make sure your content shows up the right way on a small screen (so readers don’t have to zoom in and out and scroll to read it), and use site organization that works on a phone. Additionally, if there are any forms your readers have to fill out, turn off autocorrect and minimize the amount of time they’ll have to spend writing (instead, have drop-down options).
These are some of the best tips for designing a business website that will impress your customers. What other tips would you give business owners like yourself?