Quality website design is no longer optional as people’s expectations on the internet increase. According to the Stanford Web Credibility Project, “nearly half of all consumers (or 46.1%) in the study assessed the credibility of sites based in part on the appeal of the overall visual design of a site, including layout, typography, font size and color schemes.”
This means if you don’t have a solid design for your website, you are not building the trust with your visitors that you need to in order to convert them. So what should you be doing instead without big budgets like national brands?
White Shark Media released a little guide to get small businesses started on the right foot and much of what they had to say was right on point. Here are some of the things I think are most worth your consideration.
"Use your headline to grab the user’s attention and sub-headlines to keep them engaged or drive home your point. E.g. Selling a major benefit of your product or service in the headline, use your sub-headline to elaborate."
Just because someone came to your page doesn’t mean they’ll stay. The headline will be the first thing they notice besides the overall design and you need to use it to draw them in and give them a good reason to stay.
"Use imagery to convey tone, emotion and details relevant to the page users are on and thereby improve the user experience. Where possible make use of quality, original images rather than stock images as overly professional stock images can make a website feel less authentic to users. Similarly, avoid the use of blurry, low-quality images as these can also ruin your chances of making a favorable impression on users."
Let’s say it… most stock photos suck. And most websites have them everyone, especially property management sites. If you are going to use photos (you should), pick ones that make sense and look trustworthy. Consider using photos of your customers or your employees. Using people build trusts and looks great when done right.
And don’t try and cut corners and use bad photos. People have high expectations. It’s just not that hard to find a good stock image or hire a photographer for an hour. If it helps you keep one customer, it pays for itself many times over.
"While it’s important to have one main Call-to-Action on every page, it’s equally important to include variations as secondary calls to action. If your page has a bold call-to-action that is focused on benefits, try a secondary call to action in the footer that is more feature focused, or prompts users to contact your company for more information. This gives you a second chance to get them into your sales funnel."
When people come to your site, they are all at different places in the sales funnel. Maybe they don’t want a free quote just yet. If that’s all you have to offer, then they will just leave. Get them in your sales funnel with something that helps them now… a consultation, a free guide, whatever. Provide value and get their email address. Then continue to reach out and add more value.
Web Design Essentials All Small Business Owners Should Know About | White Shark Media