Web Design for Small Businesses
Sep 14, 2021 | 8 MINUTES TO READ
Summary: No matter your company’s size, it is important to have a well-designed website. Working with a professional web design agency can help you accomplish this.
Does your small business have a website yet? If not, your business may be missing out on critical opportunities to gain exposure and revenue. Today’s customers are online more than ever, and many use that time to look for products and services. This means that small businesses need websites just as much as large ones do. There are many web design agencies out there that can help you set one up and help to keep it maintained and updated.
When thinking about creating your website, it is important to be aware of the benefits it can bring your small business and understand a few of the fundamental design details that make a site effective.
Five Key Reasons Every Small Business Needs a Website
Some small business owners are hesitant to invest in a professional website, especially if they worry about not seeing immediate returns. Without a complete understanding of what a small business website can do, it may be difficult to imagine how it will generate the results you want.
The good news is that your website will easily pay for itself over time through the myriad of benefits it brings. Having one will help you:
1. Find Your Customers Online
A study conducted by Statista in January of 2021 showed that Canadians spent more than six hours a day on the internet. This means that businesses that want to reach these people must also extend into online spaces.
Think about your shopping habits. Would you be more likely to buy from a new business with no online presence or one with a website where you could learn about the company and what they have to offer? Most people would choose the latter without question. Getting a website for your business ensures that it does not get overlooked by this segment of consumers.
2. Build Credibility
Now that business websites are so common, many consumers expect even small businesses to have one. Your website acts as the online face of your brand, letting those interested in your company learn more about you. Businesses that do not invest in a website may look dated and out-of-touch, even if that business is new.
Maintaining a social media presence is better than nothing, but there is no substitute for a professionally built website. Use your site to show off what your business has to offer, and consider including an additional page for testimonials, industry awards, notable accomplishments, and other credibility-building additions.
3. Drive and Convert More Traffic
Having a website allows your business to step into the world of digital marketing. This new form of advertising offers many advantages over older methods. It works 24/7 to attract new visitors to your business, finding customers no matter where or when they are looking for products or services like yours.
With a fully functional website, you can start search engine marketing and other online advertising channels to drive qualified traffic to your business.
4. Grow Your Business
Small local shops have their own appeal, but they are often unable to reach people outside of their area. Businesses with an online presence, on the other hand, can sell to people all over the world through an e-commerce storefront.
Most web design companies can set up a digital storefront for you. Integrated tools make it easy for even sole-proprietorship businesses to manage inventory, accept payment, and coordinate shipping. You can use these opportunities to tap into markets you would not be able to access with only a physical location, growing your business into a true industry contender.
5. Gain an Advantage Over Your Competitors
An effective and well-designed website is a must for every company these days, but not all businesses have adapted to this new reality. Some, particularly smaller enterprises, are still trying to reach local customers using traditional methods like flyers and newspaper ads, which are much less effective.
Not only is marketing through a website better suited to today’s connected world, but it is also usually more cost-effective. Both of these things can give you a significant advantage over your competitors.
How to Use Web Design to Increase Conversions
Now that you know why your business needs a website, it is time to think about what that website should look like. Websites for small businesses do not have to be fancy, but they do need to accomplish their primary goal: driving conversions. A website that converts effectively will include:
When you break it down, every website is nothing more than a collection of pages. Your site’s navigation functions like a table of contents: it helps users find the content they are looking for within that network.
The easiest way to organize your site’s navigation elements is to place a header bar at the top of each page. This provides users with a clear and simple access point for
From there, begin breaking your pages down into broad categories based on their content. These categories will appear on your header bar as anchor points for a larger drop-down display that users can peruse. This gives your website some organizational structure and allows your users to find what they are looking for quickly.
If you have a large number of pages to list, you may also want to use subcategories in your header bar. This technique is commonly used in e-commerce shops, many of which have hundreds of products on sale at any given time. For instance, a clothing store might use broad categories like “Men,” Women,” and “Kids” in the header bar, then break each of those categories down further into subcategories like “Shirts,” “Pants,” “Shoes,” and “Accessories.
Websites with particularly intricate navigation menus may want to consider duplicating those menus in the footer of each page. Footer navigation menus are not sufficient on their own because users may not always notice them. Still, because they are so inconspicuous, you also have the freedom to make them extremely detailed.
An excellent way to assess the quality of your website’s navigation is to conduct user testing. Find someone who has never seen your site before and ask them to find a particular page. If they can do it easily, your navigation is successful. If they struggle, you may want to rethink the way you have set up your site. You can also consult a web design agency in Toronto for help in this department.
Colour is everywhere, both online and off, but did you know that certain colours are used deliberately by advertisers to provoke specific feelings or actions?
- Red stirs up strong emotions in the viewer, spurring them into action. Clearance sales often feature red signs to communicate to onlookers that they should act fast before the deal ends. Red is also known to stimulate salivary function, so many food brands use it in their ads.
- Yellow promotes positivity and cheerfulness. Many children’s brands use yellow to reinforce a sense of fun and joy.
- Blue is the colour of calm, evoking peaceful feelings and a sense that everything is being taken care of. Professional services firms often use it to signal competency and reliability.
- Green calls to mind nature and growth but can also be used to signal health and monetary prosperity. Banks, health food stores, florists, and even educational institutions all use a lot of green in their marketing.
- Purple was historically the colour of kings, and it is still connected to ideas of power, performance, and wisdom. Many luxury brands use purple to denote luxury and quality.
- Gold is associated with class and status. Premium brands will often use gold accents to convey their exclusivity and high price point.
Align the colours you use on your website with what you want your customers to do.
For the most part, the colours that make sense with your website’s goals will also align with your overall branding strategy. However, there may be exceptions to this rule.
For example, a button that implores users to “Call Now” could be coloured orange to draw the user’s attention, even if the rest of the site is dominated by cooler tones. Designers must ensure that the contrast is not too jarring, but if this is done well, it can be very effective. Web design companies know just the right balance to strike in this regard.
Calls to Action
Business websites are built to sell, and calls to action (CTAs) reinforce this purpose. These snippets of text guide the user along the path to becoming a customer. Usually, they appear at the bottom of a webpage and include a link that brings users to a contact form or even an e-commerce product page.
Calls to action are built around active verbs that leave no doubt about what your desired outcome is. Common versions include “call now,” “visit us,” and “contact us.” However, your goal may not always be to prompt a sale right away. Many modern CTAs seek to spur social media engagement. In these cases, you might see phrases like “like us,” “follow us,” or “leave us a review.
Do not forget to highlight your CTAs with bright colours or buttons to draw users’ attention. Turn the direction into a vital page element that the user cannot possibly miss. Web design companies know how to combine phrasing, colour, and placement to create a CTA that will produce the results you want.
WSI Comandix Knows Small Business Web Design
Setting up a website for your small business could have a tremendous impact on your bottom line, but only if it is properly designed. To get the job done right, trust WSI Comandix.
As an experienced web design company for Toronto businesses, we have worked with many small business clients over the years and have developed a deep understanding of their website-related needs. We will build you a polished and professional website that you will be proud to have representing your brand online. If needed, our team can also improve your existing website to help accomplish your goals. Contact us today to ask about our web design services or arrange a free consultation with our expert staff.
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