As a small business, having a website is estimated to cause an average increase in revenue of £173, 769. Reading the flurry of statistics on the subject, you’ll quickly see why. In this digital age creating a website for your business isn’t just beneficial, it’s essential.
An incredible 84% consumers believe that small businesses with websites are more credible than ones without an online presence. The number of small businesses without a website almost halved between 2016 and 2017, and is projected to shrink heavily again this year.
Whilst it’s hard to overstate the importance of having a website for your business, that alone is not enough. If your site isn’t good, you could quickly find yourself losing customers to your rivals: 64% of shoppers who are unhappy with their site visit will go elsewhere to shop next time. So what can you do to make your own site as brilliant as your business?
Optimise for mobile
You can (and should!) start by making it mobile friendly. 52% of users said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company. The core of a good mobile experience is having a website that’s “responsive”. What this means is that it will detect the device that’s been used to look at it, and scale elements to better fit that particular screen. Not only does this help your site look as beautiful on a phone as it does at home on a desktop, it also means that it will be easier for customers to actually use. You need to make it as easy as possible for customers to consume content, find information, or make purchases, as mobile users are 5 times more likely to abandon a task if a site isn’t optimized for mobile.
Customers often come to your site to find out more about your ideals, your services and everything else to do with your business. Give them what they want. Make them feel like the time that they’re spending on your site is valuable and they’re going to be happier to keep browsing. They might even check out your blog or social media!
So, what do customers want to see on your website, particularly your homepage? 86% of visitors want to see information about your products/services, 64% want to see your contact information, and 52% of visitors want to see "about us" information. In other words, they want an essential summary of who you are, what you’re offering and how they can get in touch.
Call customers to action!
Whilst it’s great to fulfil customer needs by providing plenty of value, don’t be afraid to then be proactive. 70% of small business websites fail to display clear call-to-actions on their webpages, and by doing so they’re missing a major chance to take their customers to the next step of their purchasing journey. It can be something as simple as a line of copy at the bottom of your page, prompting customers to call or email. It can be a button that leads to an e-commerce store or subscribe to a mailing list: whatever you want your customer to do whilst you have their attention and interest. One to two calls to action on a homepage is normally the right ratio, as anymore that than can seem pushy.
Keep it simple
Unless you’re a creative genius, you’re much better off playing things safe. Keep your small business web design clean, simple and easy to navigate. The snap impressions customers make about your business and your product in those initial few seconds change their perception of everything that comes afterwards. Elements you might think are attractive can easily be off-putting to an actual customer. Take content sliders: a pretty but frustrating feature that became incredible popular in site design around the turn of the decade. As interesting as these might seem, just 1% of customers actually click through them, meaning your perfectly crafted copy and images are wasted on the overwhelming majority of people clicking on your site.