As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you’re not only the visionary for your company — you’re also the human resources person, accountant, legal team, marketing creative, purchasing department, janitor and more. There is no job you don’t do. Whether you are an expert in that subject matter or not, you meet each business challenge head first and are grateful every night when the place has not come crumbling down.
One job you may have to do that you’re not an expert in (and may lack the funds to hire someone for) is website design. As a small business owner, you almost certainly need a website — and it needs to look good enough to make customers want to purchase your offerings. Plus, it has to look legitimate, otherwise you won’t really get any business. And it has to have enough fancy navigational features to enable a successful customer journey through your pages.
All of that can be overwhelming for someone who isn’t an expert in website design. The task may be daunting, but it’s not impossible. Check out our practical website design tips to get you through another day as the Jane-of-all-trades entrepreneur that you are.
Tip #1: Prioritize Customer Service
Offering customer service online is cost-efficient, and it’s the preferred option for customers searching for answers. Ensure your website has customer service capabilities (such as a chatbot) to help answer any questions.
Having a live customer service person who can provide assistance would be ideal, but it may not be possible at the moment. Chatbots, search bars, and FAQ pages are essential in helping your customer find what they are looking for.
Tip #2: Use SEO to Your Advantage
Search engine optimization — the process of affecting the online visibility of a website — is essential. On the backend of your website, you will want to input metadata, title tags, descriptions, etc. so that your page comes up closer to the top in search results.
It is also important to make sure your website’s URL contains keywords that search engines can pick up instead of a random string of numbers and letters. When you’re deciding what the company’s URL will be, search websites such as GoDaddy for guidance. Keep in mind that you should make the URL simple and on-brand — something that will not be overly complicated for your customers to type, or make them question whether they’re in the right place if they find your brand via Google.
Tip #3: Make a Mobile Layout
Being mobile friendly is not a “nice to have” — it’s a must. Over 230 million U.S. consumers own smartphones, and 79 percent of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile device in the last six months. Your website should be equipped so customers can quickly and easily find what they are looking for on the go from their phone.
And this doesn’t just mean taking web pages designed for a desktop experience and shrinking them down to fit on mobile. That only means your customer will be scrolling and scrolling to find what they’re looking for…until they get bored and leave your site. It may require a complete reconfiguration. To start, put yourself in a mobile user’s mind when you’re attempting to navigate your own website.