Top Six Web Design Principles for Small Businesses

Person designing website on laptop

Your business’ website is a crucial piece of the conversion puzzle. It makes all the difference between attracting and converting customers and watching them choose the competition over you. Developing an engaging website is vital; 75% of consumers tend to judge the credibility of businesses based on their small business web design. This means that the people you choose to design your website matters a lot to your bottom line.

Even more importantly, the design elements you choose matter. A lot of factors play into the ideal web design elements for your business. While the necessary design choices for one business will differ from that of another, the design principles worth following remain universal.

Here are six web design principles for creating a website that converts:

Embrace Proper Audience Targeting

Mass-targeted small business web design elements can be hit or miss. It’s entirely possible for your website’s design to resonate with one section of your audience but put off other sections. This is why you need to understand your ideal audience and target them correctly. Take the example of a business that uses its website to sell SEO software.

There is a world of difference between designing the website with a mass market in mind and with people interested in SEO products as the main target. While the former could be successful, the latter strategy is a better lead magnet for the business. When a site is designed specifically to satisfy your audience, they will have a more positive experience and find what they need more easily. Furthermore, targeted small business web design could help you personalize your customer’s journey. This is especially helpful in a world where 80% of consumers are drawn to businesses that offer personalized services.

Simplify Your Web Design

How easily can your target customer navigate your site? No matter how closely you follow web design trends, it will all be in vain if site visitors constantly feel frustrated or confused when using your site. Considering how short the modern customer’s attention span is, most will choose to work with the competition, especially if their small business web design is less frustrating.

Sure, you might feel like you have a lot to include on your site, but not everything should appear in the same place. Among the most important web design principles to follow is to walk the minimalist path. Customers should easily see call-to-action buttons and checkout free of hassle. If possible, use drop-down menus in your navigation bar to house links to essential pages of your website without making it cluttered.

Be Consistent with Branding and Typography

When it comes to consistency, you need to include design elements that match your brand values. For instance, if you present your brand as a fun one, display this throughout your small business web design choices. This means that the colors and style of your website should match exactly what your brand stands for.

Make sure to implement your website’s styling consistently. Every CTA button should have the same color, and subheadings and text should be formatted the same way throughout your site. Choose easy-to-read fonts for user convenience. Modern fonts like Arial and Helvetica are great choices. Also, ensure that the kind of images you use express your business values and appeal to your target audience.

Ensure Design Elements are Compatible with Mobile Devices

Half of the world’s web traffic originated from mobile devices in 2020. This means that it is extremely unwise to ignore mobile device compatibility when making small business web design choices. Each element should easily be compatible with mobile phones. For instance, your website should be equally responsive on different screen sizes and orientations.

Other aspects, like your navigation bar, should be easy to use on mobile phones. People should not have to struggle to read text or interact with CTA buttons — the buttons need to be neither too big nor too small. 

Most importantly, your site should load quickly on mobile devices. Unlike desktops, mobile devices tend to have lower processing power, which might make it harder for a complex desktop version to load quickly enough on smartphones. To help with this, use simpler code on your small business web design as you embrace other web design principles.

Embrace Security by Design

In a bid to lower web design costs, it can be tempting for small businesses to skimp on security. Most business owners tend to assume that their businesses are too small to be targeted by cybercriminals, but the statistics tell a different story. 43% of cyber-attacks target small businesses. What’s worse is that many small businesses are forced to close shop after these attacks.

Cyber incidents can have monetary and reputational repercussions for businesses. With the modern consumer becoming more cautious of whom they trust with their data, you could also lose many customers if you ignore security when picking small business web design elements. Ask the right questions when selecting a web design team to ensure you don’t skimp on website security.

A website’s design drawn out on a notebook

How often and early do you test your website’s design elements? Many business owners are notorious for rarely testing their website or doing it too late. If you wait for too long to test specific features and design elements, there is no telling the kind of damage it could have caused, especially if you had already launched the website. It is less costly to test the site early.

Test Early and Often

Also, ensure that you are testing it often to spot issues early. You can either do it in-house or with the help of a third-party small business web design company. No one wants to frustrate customers with gimmicky or non-functional features. You only have one chance to please site visitors, so it’s essential to be aggressive with testing.

As soon as you find a flaw, fix it and test the corrections again to be sure the problem is solved. Having well-established KPIs can also help you benchmark the performance of specific elements. If an element doesn’t deliver to your expectations, you can look for insights on how to improve it.

Great Web Design Means Better Conversions

Make your customers happy with great small business web design. With the above web design principles, it will be easier to turn site visitors into paying customers. Most importantly, consistently test and update your website. Remember, having a great product means nothing if you don’t get people to buy it, and your website can help fuel your marketing campaigns.