Web Design Tips for Small Business Websites: 6 Ways to Improve Your Website’s Appearance and Functionality

Web Design
Web Design Tips for Small Business Websites: 6 Ways to Improve Your Website’s Appearance and Functionality
Article by Maria Martin
Last Updated: March 13, 2024

Professional, functional and attractive website design is essential for small businesses. It helps them reach their full potential and succeed in the digital landscape.

Good web design establishes credibility, increases brand recognition, supports SEO efforts, improves user experience, generates leads and converts them into customers. It also helps small businesses build a strong brand image, stand out from the competition and increase the chances of converting visitors into customers.

With these facts in mind, this article will delve into various web design tips for small business websites that you can apply to increase your chances for success.

1. Keep Things Simple & Avoid Cluttered Design

A well-designed small business website should allow visitors to concentrate on the important contents rather than being distracted by too many graphic elements and confusing navigation.

You've got only 0.05 seconds to make a killer first impression on visitors to your site. In fact, 94% of them will determine whether they stay or leave based on your website's look and feel. Therefore, following simple and proven web design principles is crucial to make the most of the time you got.

A simple and clutter-free web design has a clean layout and minimal use of graphic elements. The focus is on functionality, ease of use and user experience. To achieve it, follow these small business website design tips:

  • Create a clear navigation structure.
  • Keep the color palette minimal but consistent.
  • Use simple yet effective typography.
  • Use high-quality images.
  • Sparingly use pop-ups and banners.
  • Effectively use white space.
  • Keep the content concise and well-structured.

By following these tips, you’ll create a website that is visually appealing, easy to navigate and effectively conveys the desired message. If you need help, contact the top startup web design companies and they will create a compelling and appealing website for your small business’s needs.

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2. Focus on User Experience

User experience (UX) directly impacts the overall success of the website. A positive UX can lead to increased engagement, higher conversions and improved brand reputation, while a poor UX can result in high bounce rates and low conversions, which can endanger brand image.

Did you know that if a website has a poor user experience (UX), up to 89% of visitors will switch to a competitor's website? Therefore, small businesses should prioritize UX design when creating their website and regularly evaluate and improve it to ensure success.

The most important aspects of UX are undoubtedly fast loading times and responsive design.

Ensure Fast Page Speeds

Slow-loading pages can frustrate visitors and lead to high bounce rates. According to Saleslion, businesses lose almost $7 billion yearly due to slow-loading websites. On the other hand, fast-loading web pages provide a seamless user experience, offer a competitive advantage, keep visitors engaged and increase conversions.

Measure page loading time by using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool and if there is a place for improvement, apply the following small business website design tips:

  • Optimize images.
  • Use a reliable hosting service with fast server response times and reliable uptime.
  • Limit the usage of plug-ins and add-ons because they can significantly slow down a website.
  • Use a content delivery network (CDN) to reduce loading time for users in different geographical locations.
  • Minimize the use of redirects.

Create a Responsive Design

Besides UX, Google’s mobile-first indexing is another reason to ensure your website is responsive. Responsive design ensures that the website adapts to the screen size the visitor is accessing from. Whether users access from a desktop computer, tablet or smartphone, the layout and content will adjust dynamically to provide an excellent user experience.

To ensure your website’s design is responsive, follow these steps:

  • Create a user-friendly site using a responsive website builder, such as WordPress.
  • Keep the design simple, clean and uncluttered.
  • Optimize textual, photo and video content, so it doesn't slow down loading times.
  • Test your website from different devices to ensure it works equally well from all of them.

3. Include Branding Elements

Think of a website as your business's Internet PR.

To ensure brand recognition, the website must feature all the visual elements the business is known for in the offline world.

Use your brand’s color scheme, fonts, logo and other branding elements consistently throughout the site. Branding will make you recognizable online by increasing brand awareness, improving the brand's reputation and gaining your target audience's credibility and trust.

4. Make Your Contact Information Easily Visible

Although it may seem obvious that brands should include contact information on the website, small businesses often overlook this step.

Ensure your contact information is clear above the fold and, ideally, at the top and bottom of every web page so that customers and prospects can effortlessly get in touch with you.

Your contact information should include the following items:

  • Full name and headquarters of the company.
  • Phone number of customer support and other important departments.
  • Email address and/or contact form.
  • Working hours.
  • Map and directions (if the business has a physical location).
  • Links to business social media accounts.
  • A prominent location for your contact information can increase credibility, brand trust and lead conversion rate.
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5. Use Visuals

A list of web design tips for small business websites wouldn’t be complete without visuals.

Visuals, such as images and video content, contribute to the site's aesthetic appeal, breaking the monotony of pure textual content and making it more visually interesting.

Aesthetics aside, multimedia are excellent storytelling tools that improve UX, enabling better understanding and conveying messages more effectively than textual content. Visuals also increase the engagement of the target audience and boost conversion rates.

Overall, visuals can help small business websites communicate more effectively, establish a strong brand reputation and drive business results. Include relevant images and videos in your content — for example, product videos are one of the most popular types of visuals for B2B companies.

6. Don’t Forget SEO

Did you know that 90.63% of content on the Internet does not receive any traffic from Google? The remaining 9.37% invest in search engine optimization (SEO).

While web design trends change and become outdated, SEO remains timeless. If you follow best SEO practices, your small business website will appear in SEPR when Internet users enter the queries that match the products and services you offer.

Some of the most important SEO practices for small business websites are:

  • Researching keywords and key phrases.
  • Creating original and relevant content enriched with given keywords.
  • Interlinking relevant content to improve UX and page indexing.
  • Building external links.
  • Optimizing images for image search results.
  • Filling in meta tags, such as title tag, meta description tag and image alt attributes.

By following the listed steps, you can make your site more visible on search engines and, thus, to your target audience. Increased visibility of your small business website will increase traffic, lead generation and customer conversion.

Web Design Tips for Small Business: Key Takeaways

Understanding web design tips for small business websites will bring you closer to knowing how to make your own website that drives the results you’re aiming for.

If you decide to go through this journey on your own, remember to keep things simple, focus on UX, include branding elements and visual content and dedicatedly work on SEO.

However, we’re aware that web design can be overwhelming. If you’re hesitating and don’t know where to start, contact some of the top web design agencies whose experts will tailor a beautiful and functional website that will suit your business needs.

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