A small business website can be just as awesome as the websites of big companies. You do need to put a little more thought into it than just building a business website, though.
It is easy enough to find out how to make website for your business. The trick is to make your website customer-friendly.
Statistics show that the user experience, or UX, is very important. After all, your business depends on how well you address your customer’s issues, and when it comes to your website, you want to make sure you don’t give them a hard time or they will go somewhere else.
Maybe you can get away with a bad UX if you are a well-known-brand, or offer a unique product or service, and your users have no choice but to persist. The likelihood that you, as a small company, will be the only business offering a certain product or service is very low, however.
Among the many things you need to look into are the loading time, navigation, website design, typography, and images. For example, about 50% of users will go away if they have a hard time with navigation. This includes making it easy for people on mobile, and for people with disabilities.
In order to convert the site traffic you worked so hard to get into sales, you need to make sure your website is customer-friendly. Here are 20 ways how to make your small business website more customer-friendly.
Make it readable
- Real text instead of text within images – For most people, this may not make too much of a difference, but images for text may not be accessible for screen readers. This is important for people that are visually impaired.
- Large, simple fonts – Fancy fonts might look nice, but many people have a hard time reading “curly” or custom text, especially if they are close together or small. The best and most stunning fonts for a website, are Helvetica and Georgia, and at least font size 14. Reserve your fancy fonts for logos and sidebars.
- Alt-text – It is important to provide text for non-text elements on your page, such as images and videos. If the use of alt is not possible, consider alternatives.
- Good contrast – Design wise, contrast may be a gray area, but when it comes to readability, you want to make sure your text stands out against the background. For normal text, 4.5:1 contrast complies with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
- Captivating Captions – Use captions for images and videos for everyone’s convenience
- Avoid using capital letters unnecessarily – Web content is essentially a visual medium, but capital letters give the impression of shouting. Besides, capital letters are difficult to read. Use bold letters instead if you want to emphasize a certain word or passage.
Make it scannable
- Emphasize design – More than one-third (38%) of people will not stay on a web page if it doesn’t look attractive. You can easily put up a website using free templates, but most are much too simple (and common) to attract attention. If you were to choose where to invest your limited resources, it should be on your web design. Have a professional make a distinctive website for your small business, and make sure it is a good representation of your company
- Use the F-layout – Aside from your design, you also need to attract the attention of your users to the important areas of your page. Studies show that web readers follow an F-shaped pattern, so make sure your main message and call-to-action is within these “hotspots”
- Use whitespace – You might think a jam-packed page means you have a lot of information to offer your users, but too little whitespace makes it difficult to read. Use whitespace strategically to make your page less stressful on the reader, and more likely to keep them on your site
- Break up long blocks of text – Nothing tires the eyes out more than long blocks of solid text. Keep your paragraphs to two to three sentences, and not more than 5 lines in total. Use bulleted list and images strategically to make your content even more scannable
Make it optimized
- Speed is of the essence – People are impatient, so you want to make sure your page loads quickly. More than a third (39%) of people will leave if a page or the images takes too long to load. Optimize images for the web, and avoid embedding long videos
- Mobility is key – An increasing number of people use mobile devices to browse and buy online, so you want to make sure you are on that bandwagon
- Use videos – Two-thirds of people (66%) would rather watch a video than read an article for getting the instructions or information they need because it is faster
Make it informative
- Keep your navigation bar simple and easy to understand – Don’t make your users guess where you put a list or description of products and/or services, because that’s the first thing 86% of your visitors will want to go
- Put in contact information – People are wary of “bogus” websites, so if you want to keep 51% of your users from clicking away, make sure you include complete contact information, including a telephone number in your website
- Link your logo to your homepage – You may be surprised to learn that 36% of your visitors will expect to arrive at your homepage by clicking on your logo, so don’t disappoint them
Make it functional
- Fix broken links – One of the worst things you can do is to have links on your page that won’t work. Regularly check if your links are working, and remove them if they refer to a site that has moved or no longer available
- Keep the menu short – Too many choices on your menu can confuse your reader, and make it hard to find what they need. Put only major categories on your menu, and make it drop down if you have several sub-categories under each item
- Have a search bar – If you offer many products or services, or have multiple pages, you should have a search bar to make it easy for your users to find what they are looking for
- Keep registration simple – If you want people to register on your website (and you should) keep it as simple as possible. Keep the form to two to three fields (always ask for their email!) at most and let them get on with browsing your site
Making your website more customer-friendly is not rocket science. Often, you need only consult your own browsing behavior to understand how these 20 ways can help you in your small business. Keep it in mind when designing or improving your website, and you can’t go wrong.