11 Small Business Website Tips to Help You Succeed in 2023
How to Build a Great Website for Your Small Business
As of 2021, 2.14 billion people shop online. That’s about 28% of the world population, and it’ll only continue to grow. And over 268 million Americans, or 80% of the population, make online purchases in 2022. Statista estimates that the number will increase to 291.2 million by 2025.
These staggering numbers indicate that you must have an online presence to be a successful small business owner.
A clean, user-friendly website is critical for whichever type of business you run. Your business site serves as the digital home base for your business and product line. It anchors your entire digital marketing approach, providing a central hub to point toward and connect customers with your brand and business.
Delivering a poor website experience can hinder those efforts and sever those connections before they even start. Designing a great website also allows you to demonstrate who you are and what you represent. For example, you can place your company’s mission statement on the site so visitors can see what’s important to you.
So, how do you make an excellent website for your small business? This post will give you eleven small business website design tips you need for a great website in 2023.
Small Business Website Tips
1. Create a Great First Impression
Regarding small business website tips, first impressions still top the list. That’s because what users interact with immediately after loading your site lays the groundwork for the entire experience.
Suppose your web design isn’t delivering the goods in those crucial opening seconds. In that case, you’re losing new visitors and opportunities to create a powerful and positive brand memory that generates interest and sales.
Visual elements like structure, colors, and spacing often play a significant role in website design appeal. At the same time, seemingly mundane features like text layout and even the fonts you use genuinely affect on-site experience and engagement.
To build a successful website that stands out from the digital noise, you must focus on the following:
- Simplicity. Users tend to prefer simple, straightforward web designs over complex. The easier it is to absorb and engage with the visual elements on your web pages, the better.
- Familiarity. From stock photos and headers to logos and CTAs, all visual elements on your site should meet visitor expectations and provide visual cues as to what you do and offer. Unfortunately, including unfamiliar images and details often only leads to confusion and, ultimately, a negative brand impression.
- Accuracy. Whether it is a seasoned pro or a team of newbie web designers tackling your project, populating your site with brand-accurate visual elements is web design 101. All features should be consistent and accurately reflect your brand throughout your site.
2. Optimize for Mobile Users
You can’t create a web design tips list these days without putting mobile optimization near the top. Why? Because mobile matters in 2023. As of January 2023, 60.9% of all website traffic comes from people using mobile devices. In addition, 80% of smartphone users will purchase from businesses with user-friendly mobile websites and applications.
More consumers are using mobile devices to search and research businesses on the web. Unfortunately, if your web pages aren’t loading correctly, or your web design isn’t making that mobile experience seamless, potential customers are likely to jump ship fast, abandoning your site and your company for others in your space.
Over time, those mobile issues add up, creating a growing problem for your brand, reputation, and bottom line while making it exponentially harder to attract new business. That said, prioritizing mobile navigability and layout in your web design approach is extremely important.
From the start, it’s essential to view each visual element, logo, block of text, social media icon, and call to action button through the lens of mobile, ensuring each feature and every aspect of your design process is mobile-friendly and designed to deliver a next-level experience.
This step can include everything from essential visual cues (logos, menu, CTAs, buttons) throughout your mobile site to focusing on eye-catching fonts, making your text and service pages more scannable, and resizing page elements for easier user interaction.
3. User-Centered Design
People will no longer settle for the bare minimum. Back in the day, website designers could plop a few images on a website and call it a day—not anymore! People want to build a connection with every brand they visit. Therefore, your website should reflect what your company stands for and believes.
You can achieve this goal using custom illustrations representing your company’s value. Additionally, consider putting photos of the team or projects on your site so users can gain insight into who you are. Users are more likely to interact with a business that has tried to build a connection with them and appreciates their time, attention, and potentially money.
Bonus Tip: Add team bios to your site so people can learn more about the team and who’s behind the scenes. It’s always good to match a face with a brand!
4. Maximize Page Speed
A slow website can quickly become your worst enemy, often making it impossible to keep prospects on board and nudge them closer to the point of purchase. But, like it or not, today’s savvy, seasoned site visitors expect websites to load fast, and if your homepage or blogs aren’t popping up quickly, they’re likely going elsewhere to find what they need.
In other words, a website’s loading time is an important, if not essential, part of any practical and responsive design effort. It has an indelible impact on the visitor experience and, ultimately, your ability to convert.
Understanding how fast your pages load and how to optimize those loading times isn’t just one of those website design tips you can gloss over or ignore. It’s a critical part of the web designer’s job and should always be a top priority when building a site design that shines.
Some of the easiest ways you can speed up load times and outpace your competitor’s site include:
- Resizing images. Photos and graphics take up a lot of space, dramatically impacting page loading times. Taking steps to compress and optimize images can help reduce those file sizes while shaving precious milliseconds off the page load experience.
- Managing site plugins. Plugins, particularly on WordPress sites, can often go a long way toward improving overall site speed. Yet, loading your site up with too many can drag down performance. Clearing out the bulk and keeping only those you need can help ramp up site speed quickly.
- Monitoring speed regularly. Careful, ongoing monitoring throughout and beyond the design process is critical. Doing so allows you to identify issues quickly and take steps to resolve problems before they snowball into crises.
5. Provide a Personalized User Experience
Another small business website tip is to make them smart. Of course, creating a web design that attracts the largest possible audience is essential. But the ability to deliver personalized shopping experiences sets good web design apart.
You’re probably thinking, “Huh? How do I do that?” The short answer is personalization! Try to make every customer feel valued when they visit your site.
There are several ways to do this! For starters, you can add a blog page to your site that answers many people’s general questions.
Let’s say you own a painting company. First, develop a content strategy consisting of blogs that answer questions your target audience is likely to ask. For example, “how to effectively paint a wall on your own” or “the most popular wall colors of 2023” are potential topics many users want to know.
Working shopper personalization into your web design strategy might seem daunting, particularly with so many other design tips and elements to worry about across the visual hierarchy.
Incorporating shopper personalization techniques into and across your site design is how you go beyond the standard digital marketing approach to make a genuine connection, providing users the tailored, relevant content and experience that bolsters sentiment and compels action.
6. Utilize Chat Boxes and AI
Many fields have already felt the effects of AI on their businesses. Travel sites, hotels, and boutiques all have some chat boxes available on their sites to assist visitors. So, how will this change in 2023? The AI and chat boxes will become more sophisticated.
So, what do we mean when we see chat boxes? These features pop up when a user visits a website to answer questions. The chat box will have an automated presence behind them that’s ready to help the user in any way.
For example, a chat box might appear and offer immediate assistance to the user. These features can deal with customer service issues and returns or answer general questions.
What will change about them in 2023, you ask? First, machine learning algorithms will become more popular, making chat boxes and AI more efficient. For example, these algorithms will continue to adapt to voice controls to research a person’s exact query.
Programmers will continue to develop them so that less human intervention is necessary. Hopefully, customers won’t have to wait hours on the phone to get help. Instead, consider speaking to a web developer to add one of these intelligent chat boxes to your website today.
7. Demonstrate Inclusivity
Users are likelier to engage with a brand that represents who they are. For this reason, inclusive elements like the ability to use different languages, alt text, and content representing different races, genders, and ages will become more prominent in 2023.
While it’s important not to go over the top, you should display some diversity and accessible features on your site next year to show the world that everyone is welcome in your eyes.
8. Embrace White Space
We all look at screens every day! So one small business website design tip for 2023 is to give those eyes a break! Of course, that doesn’t mean your website should be utterly stark with text only. Instead, you can utilize macro and micro white space to your advantage and make your page more appealing to users.
Macro white space is the white space between images or chunks of text. Micro white space is the white space between words and sentences. Use both practices intentionally; remember, white space doesn’t have to be white! You can choose any palette that won’t hurt people’s eyes when they see it.
Minimalism will be huge in 2023. So, try your best to design something that’s not overwhelming but still welcoming.
9. Consider Using Micro-Animations
Excessive website animations will slow down your bandwidth. For example, it takes about 50 milliseconds (ms) (0.05 seconds) for users to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they’ll stay or leave. So, if it takes forever to load because of a lengthy animation, there’s a chance the bounce rate will increase.
Micro-animations, however, can leave a lasting impression on users. What’s a micro-animation? It’s a quick-moving feature you can place on your website. For example, if you own a clothing boutique, a micro-animation would be when the user scrolls their mouse over a picture of a dress, and the image moves to show the dress from several angles.
Pretty cool, right? Another example would be someone who visits your site and only sees a blank page. Then, after about half a second, all the features slide in on the screen. The slight and short movement is something a developer can create that’ll undoubtedly make an impression. You can bet you’ll see more of this in 2023!
10. Make Your Website Secure
Customers are highly concerned about and protective of their personal information. Please do everything you can to give them the peace of mind of knowing their data is safe on your site.
Website security measures include having a current SSL certificate. This small data file binds a cryptographic key to your business and secures credit card transactions, data transfers, logins, and browsing.
A current SSL certificate is essential because it creates the HTTPS application protocol and the padlock symbol in a user’s search bar. If your website doesn’t have an HTTPS application protocol, Google will often flag your website as not secure and direct the customer away.
11. Don’t Forget SEO
Designing a beautiful, user-friendly website that delivers an exceptional visitor experience is excellent. Unless, of course, your customers aren’t able to find it.
Online visibility is critical to making your website easy to find and getting that site in front of customers when they need it most. By making SEO a central part of your web design strategy, you can help provide the push it needs to shine in search engines and generate the user engagement rates that keep it at the top.
Understandably, there’s often a disconnect between web design and the world of SEO, with many a web designer consigning SEO to digital marketing and content generation and vice versa. Yet, there are many things designers can do to provide a powerful visibility lift right from the start.
Utilizing basic SEO principles in headline creation, image captioning, subhead creation, and even URL design can often add up, strengthening the site’s ranking signals and search potential immediately after launch.
Knowing how to break up text and where to work interactive elements within content and page structure can also be an easy but effective way to optimize search readiness right from the start.
Whether working with experienced, skilled designers or first-time site builders, overlooking SEO in your web design process is done at your own risk.
As shown, numerous pieces must come together for small business website design. So, begin your journey with a professional web design team that understands the intricacies, offers assistance and maintains your small business running at its peak online.
Customers must be able to locate you online if you are a small business. You will succeed if you follow these top suggestions and choose the proper small business website designers. Our team is here to help!
Do You Need a Website for Your Small Business?
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Then, if you believe we are a good fit for your business web design needs, let’s talk! We offer a full range of consulting and design solutions for businesses and product brands.
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Do You Have a Small Business Website?
Did you build a website or online store for your business? If so, did you follow any of our suggestions? Do you have any other small business website tips?
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For more content relevant to your business or product brand – check out the range of articles on our web design blog. (This one, explaining the importance of user experience in web design, is an excellent place to start!)
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