Web design is an art. There’s more to it then looks, though; functionality is equality important. The free resources available today, ranging from themes to website platforms / content management systems like Joomla or WordPress, enable even small business owners with minimal computer knowledge to start a website in no time. But merely building a website doesn’t guarantee traffic or sales -- the crucial thing is to build an engaging website.
Content In The Spotlight
Visitors don’t access your site in order to see a huge banner, an annoying ad, or a cluttered layout. They just want to learn more about your products and services, find out your address and contact information, or read about your mission and history. That means that the content on your site has to be useful and give them answers.
You may greet visitors with a video, a special deal, or an important news item, but your Products, Services, Pricing, and About pages need to be only one click away. Need help drawing attention to your content?
Clarity And Simplicity
Too many buttons, too many calls to action, too many addresses, too many phone numbers, even too many social media sharing buttons can be confusing, even overwhelming, so much so that visitors, not knowing which to click or press or follow first, will end up not taking any action at all, except for leaving the site. Less is more when it comes to web design in 2013.
A slow-loading, difficult to navigate site is the first sign that the company behind it is a second-rate one and that there are better alternatives out there. Today web users take almost instant web page loading as granted, since that’s what all the good sites offer. Boost your site’s performance by upgrading your web hosting plan, cutting away useless graphics, and optimizing the code behind your site.
Over 1.2 billion people access the web from their mobile devices, according to Trinity Digital Marketing. If your site was designed for the 15-inch laptop screen, chances are it won’t display well on the much smaller screens of smartphones or tablets. And that means mobile users won’t enjoy their time on your site.
Placing Ads Where They Don’t Bother Visitors
Ideally, you don’t want any ads on your small business site, except maybe those promoting your other sites or blogs. When you must promote partners or bigger companies, it’s crucial that you do so wisely, by putting ads in the sidebar, footer, or at the end of posts, and not before or in the middle of the content, where they distract and sometimes even disgust. Of course, ads must also be relevant.
Image Credit: [Flickr/Pierre Metivier]