Posted on Sep 22, 2014

Small Business Website Design Elements

Small Business Website Design Elements


When you’re setting out to build a small business website it’s often hard to know where to start. There are so many possibilities exist plus a huge range of designs to choose from. And it feels like everyone is offering a different piece of advice, from what platform to build the site in to the type of website hosting you need, to the best domain name. Then there is the question of what and how to place the content on the site.


Think of these things as the basic building blocks of your website – not technical building blocks but rather business building blocks. These are the things that will make your website work for your business.


Want a Slice?


Think of all of the elements for making pizza. Of course you need a good oven, a pizza base and some tomato sauce, but they are not the things that make the pizza delicious. It’s often the toppings that send the taste over the edge. Your website needs a pizza base (website design software) and a good oven (website hosting) but the toppings are the things that will make it successful.


Pages and Menu


You need to think about your pages and the menu structure that correspond with those pages. There are three essential pages:


  • Homepage
  • About Us
  • Contact


After that most business usually go for too many pages or too few. Websites with too many pages usually devote a page to every product or service that the business offers. But your customers don’t have time to go through all this information. Plus it dilutes the SEO effectiveness of each page.


The opposite is to have too few pages, such as one “Services” page with all the products and services listed. Websites like this are often short on detail plus they also come up short when it comes to SEO.


So deciding on the number of pages is about balance. Most small business websites should come in at between five and 10 pages, but it depends on your business. As for your menu, design it in a way that customers can find everything on your site, from anywhere on your site, within one click.


The Content


The homepage should summarize your main products and services. Focus on the customer, not on you. Things like how long you’ve been in business, or how great your showroom is, are unimportant. Your customer cares about herself, so talk about her – how will you solve her problem, make her life easier, or help her to do something?


The About Us page is a tricky one to write because it should explain who you are, but it should do so from the perspective of your customer. The people reading the “About Us” page are looking for reassurance that you can deliver, so give that reassurance.


The “Contact” page should again summarize what you do (in about three sentences) and then give all your contact details.


Other Essential Website Elements


All business websites should also have the following elements:


  • Map – so that your customers can find you. Use an interactive map like Google Maps rather than a static image.
  • Social Icons – allow your customers to share your content on their social media profiles.
  • Telephone number on every page – make it easy for your customers to find out how to get in touch.
  • Calls to action on every page – you want your website users to take an action such as calling you or filling out a form. So, if you want them to do it, ask them.
  • Contact form – offer as many opportunities as possible for customers to get in touch. A contact form is essentially an email from your perspective, but the effort you make setting it up will benefit those customers who prefer making contact using this method.
  • Your address – include your physical address on your website. It gives customers – and the search engines – confidence in your business.


A Final Thought


There is one final thing to mention – a blog. Blogs are the cornerstone of marketing today. This means that it should:


  • Offer helpful information to your customers
  • Nudge them towards making a purchase
  • Feed content to the insatiable search engines


Offer help and insights that your customers can’t get anywhere else. Your business will become extra tasty, with or without the extra cheese.