While the National Small Business Association urges small firms to maintain a strong online presence, a majority of small business owners in the U.S. still don’t maintain a company website. When asked, 27% of these business owners claim that a website is not necessary for their business; 19% say a website is too difficult to create and maintain; and 12% admit that a company website is too costly for them.
Market Survey: How Company Websites Generate More Sales
There is no denying the effectiveness of creating and maintaining your own company website as opposed to marketing solely by word of mouth. In fact, one study shows that 81% of shoppers prefer to conduct their product research online before making an actual purchase.
With this, one can only conclude that the product or service a small business offers must not necessarily be available online, but a website is necessary to keep their loyal customers and potential shoppers informed on their products, services, and everything else they offer.
A good web design should keep the visitor’s interest. A dynamic and useful company website will most definitely garner more web traffic, which, in turn, will generate more sales leads and thus, higher profit margins. It can also serve as a bridge to improve the store’s customer relations while marketing the products or services unobtrusively.
Fundamentals of a Good Web Design
As mentioned, a good web design keeps the visitor’s interest and encourages them to surf around your website. For this to happen, your website must have the following traits:
To understand the foundations of good web design, you must first understand your target market’s preferences and expectations.
For example, if your target market is female teens, it doesn’t hurt to incorporate a feminine look to your company’s website and a page featuring the latest fashion trends. If the target market are millennials, then you might want to make your website more mobile-friendly. Understanding your target market will make designing the company website a lot easier and more profitable.
Some might think that a generic web design is better than a target-specific one because it can appeal to a wider audience. However, this will hurt your business more, because it fails to keep shoppers glued to your site. Remember, most shoppers already have an idea of what they want to buy; they just need confirmation that they are doing business with the right person.
Keep it simple
Avoid designs that are too complex or flashy. While it might look good on a desktop, it will certainly not look good on a much smaller mobile device, which a majority of internet operators employ nowadays. Moreover, flashy designs can strain your visitor’s eyes, leading them to close your site and look elsewhere.
In addition, complex websites can confuse and frustrate consumers. Subsequently, they might miss or deliberately ignore your call-to-action button before they simply move to another website that facilitates easier access to product or service information.
Make sure that you only put the most informative and updated content on your website. The content must relate to the shopper’s lifestyle and needs, whether it is the latest industrial news or product trends. Out-of-date content will only make the shopper believe that the business does not exist anymore or that the company is not concerned enough about its product to invest in its marketing.
As the saying goes, first impressions last. If you don’t have any web design experience or completely lack technical know-how, then do not attempt to create a company website by yourself. Online shoppers are wary of amateur-looking websites as well as those that smack of phoniness with the lone intent of phishing. In short, you stand to lose money when you go DIY.
Why a good (cheap) website is vital for small businesses, TheGuardian.com
It’s 2016, But Nearly Half of U.S. Small Businesses Still Don’t Have a Website, Entrepreneur.com