Whether your small business is in dry cleaning, home improvement, custom design or yard work, keeping your website’s homepage design clean and simple will help you net new customers and keep old customers coming back again and again to learn more about your services. You may not have millions of dollars for user interface research and design, but you can take these 8 tips to heart and help your customers find your services and learn more quickly.
1) Keep the Design Clean
Often, small businesses need little more than a graphic that explains the service and a few words telling more about the business and how to get in contact with you. Adding clutter, ads and more information on to the homepage doesn’t help your customer get to you any quicker, and may in fact drive them away because they get frustrated before they can find your phone number.
2) Keep it Above the Fold
This is a newspaper term, but it certainly relates to website design as well. Keeping information on the first page and limiting the need to scroll down for critical information makes your site just that much more useful. Having a bunch of information on the page can also really add to your page load times, and with the attention span of today’s customers, that can be a big problem.
3) Limit Those Links
There are really only a few things that people need and want to see when they visit your homepage: About – tell me about your business, News – what’s currently going on or on sale, and Product – what exactly is it that you offer and why do I want it. If you have more than that, you run the risk of having customers lose focus on what’s important – making a purchase!
4) Big, Pretty Pictures
Let’s face it, graphics capture people’s interest in a way that words on a page just fail to do. Having a big, gorgeous image of your offering on the homepage near the top will grab their attention and keep them from clicking away immediately.
5) Make It Current
There are plenty of ways that you can incorporate up-to-the-minute information on your website, and link to your social media links can be just what you need. Either aggregate your customer’s use of specific hashtags relating to your brand, or add a feed of blog posts, Facebook posts, tweets, Instagram images–whatever is most relevant.
6) Be Consistent
Pick a logo, color and brand style and stick with it! Nothing is more confusing to a customer than seeing the brand treated in different ways on different pages of the website and in person. Consistency is critical to ensuring that your name stays top of mind.
7) Create a Shareable Featured Image
Nothing is more frustrating for a consumer than to find something neat that they really want to share, but when they go to Facebook to share the page, there’s some random ad image that shows up instead of the cool picture of whatever they were moved to share. Setting a feature image in your website’s backend coding and metadata can solve this problem and help your clickthrough rates go up significantly.
8) Have Fun and Be Different!
There’s only one you–and only one business exactly like yours! Do something fun on the web to help yourself stand out from the hundreds of other small business in your area.
Creating ways for customers to interact with your site gives them a sense of being a part of the business–which in turn makes them more likely to engage with your business in the future. Have fun! If you’re enjoying yourself creating your website and keeping it fresh and interesting, it’s much more likely that your customers will get to know you and become loyal guests in the future.