We understand that designing a website can be a minefield, especially if you’re one of those local SMEs with a small budget and a small amount of time. However, if you’re designing your website yourself or employing a designer to do it for you there are a few simple things you cannot afford to miss out.
This is one of the most important things, that as a small business, you cannot leave out of your website design. Especially if you have a physical brick and mortar store like a florist, restaurant, hotel, spa or sporting venue. One of the first things a potential customer will try to find on your website is whether or not your SME has a physical location. This not only shows them where you are, it can also instill a sense of trust and reliability. To emphasize this even more you could add in a map widget to show your audience exactly where you are.
Similarly to address, this is a rather important piece of information you should incorporate into your web design. It is a known fact that some customers would much rather talk to someone straight away rather than waiting on an email response. A good way to make your phone number a part of your web design is embed it in either the navigation bar or the footer. This way it is visible on every page and always easy to access for your customers.
Offering users a place where they can contact you directly on your website is obviously paramount to gaining business leads and creating a positive user experience. Make sure that your contact form has it’s own page and that it is easy to navigate to from anywhere on your website. We suggest linking the contact page in the navigation bar in the top right corner for optimal exposure. It’s also important to note that the contact form should also be simple to fill out so it doesn’t put users off. Just a name, email and message field will do to begin with and a prominent ‘submit’ button.
When we first started our blog we spoke a lot about the importance of having a responsive website. Designing a responsive website not only allows your website to appear like it fits perfectly on various devices, it also improves user experience and boosts SEO. Websites that aren’t responsive automatically don’t rank well in organic Google searches and in some instances don’t even appear on searches made by a mobile device at all.
Localised landing pages
Localised landing pages are not so much a design element but rather an SEO strategy. Landing pages containing localised keywords are hugely beneficial to SEO. Now, SMEs are always going to be better at local marketing, like landing pages, than large corporations. This is because local SMEs are already within the community they are trying to target and it is more than likely that their desired customers have already walked past their business or are at least are aware of it. Just remember not to go overboard – stick to a maximum of five localised landing pages so that you don’t spread your marketing too thin.