As a small business owner, your website is the absolute center of your marketing endeavors. No matter what type of company or shop you have, the website is often the customer’s introduction to your business. They use it to find out information and to decide whether they will buy from you. Therefore, your site is crucial to your business.
Unfortunately, business owners often fail to prioritize friendly navigation on their site. This, in turn, leads to potentially frustrated visitors, who will quit the website after a few minutes and, most importantly, never come back to it again or recommend it to other people.
Individuals come to your website for information. If you create a labyrinth they need to navigate to get to it, they will not appreciate it and will likely depart for a better designed site. I do.
If your site is user-friendly as far as navigating it goes, the visitors will stay on it longer. This idea translates into more traffic, more potential leads, buyers and, at the end of the line, profit for you and your business.
Here are a few tips to help make your site as easy to go through as possible.
- Use icons – they will assist the user in understanding how to make its way through your website. Apart from that, they are appealing to the eye and easy to remember. However, don’t go overboard. Too many icons will have the same effect as adding none. The visitor will get confused and spend a lot of time to try and decide which icon to click to get the desired information.
- All related links should be grouped in logical formations. The crucial links should always be at the top of your navigation bar. The functional, and legal ones, such as privacy terms, legal, copyright, settings, account, and so on, can be located elsewhere.
- Introduce location information on your website. It will help your visitors know exactly where they are at any given moment and show them how to get out of that web section quickly and easily.
#2. You Don’t Give Color and Contrast Enough Importance
As we all know, startup owners, when building their site, don’t typically pay attention to color and contrast. However, you will soon find out that is a big mistake. If the content, for example, doesn’t have enough contrast to the background, it will become extremely tough to read creating a frustrated reader who will leave the site.
You must also remember that some of your viewers are colorblind. You need to accommodate them as well when thinking about your small business web development plans.
Readability is important, but so is visual interest. You can use colors and contrast to attract attention to a certain section of the website or to a particular product you are marketing. It has both appeal and directs the user’s attention to what you want him to look at most and remember. You can also use it to organize and define the flow and the hierarchy of your website. Taking this into consideration, you can see how this little bit becomes a crucial part of the small business web development grand scheme.
#3. You Don’t Give Content Enough Credit
How many times have you heard that content is key? No matter how many, here is yet another one. Content is king even when it comes to small business web development. However, even if what you put on your website is highly relevant, how you present it is even more important.
Psychologically speaking, most people don’t, in fact, read every single word you put out there, even if it is on a topic in which they are interested. Lack of time or a short attention span leads them to scan the text to find the main ideas. Therefore, it becomes paramount to build a hierarchy, from a visual point of view, so that you can allow your customers to comb through your website in their search for the holy grail of information.
Here are three tips you need to think of concerning the relationship between content and small business web development.
- Make use of the white space. It’s a simple, yet powerful tool which allows your viewers to focus on the relevant content.
- Never post blocks of text under any circumstances. They are extremely tough to read and may lose the visitor. Instead, break it down into smaller chunks of, say, three or four lines. Apart from that, you can also use block quotes, bullets, headings, and sub-headings.
- Take into consideration even the smallest things, such as letter spacing and margins. You can also focus on employing a great line height. It should be significant enough to render the content easy to scan.
Bonus Round – Let Go of the Clutter!
When engaging in small business web development and trying to build your own site, it can be extremely inviting to cram as much information on one page as you can. It’s rather difficult for you, the person involved in the business from its inception to make a judgment call as to what should be on the site and what shouldn’t. One seems to consider that everything is important and that the visitors should know all the minutia involved.
However, keep in mind that the more crowded the site is, the more unprofessional it will look. The golden rule here is less is more. Apart from that, the same principle of clutter applies to images. If they are too many or are too large, they can become a distraction to the visitor. Keep in mind that images are meant to illustrate and guide a viewer.
Small business web development shouldn’t be a difficult thing to pull off, as long as you follow a few of the guidelines we outlined for you. The bottom line is that you need to ask yourself the following general question regarding everything you wish to publish on the website: does it really need to be there?