How to Approach Your First Small Business Website Design
Websites are essential for any modern business. So, if you are a business owner who is ready to open the doors to your local venture, make sure the development and design of your website is at the top of your rollout checklist. The team at Big D Creative understands that even working with a team that builds a site for you can be daunting while other “Grand Opening” responsibilities loom in the near distance. So, we created a step-by-step approach that you should follow as you start to dip your toes into the ocean of web design and search engine optimization (SEO).
Why is Quality Web Design and Development Important?
Before we dive into how to begin a first-time web project, it’s important to understand why a well-developed website is so crucial to your brand’s success. Sure, you could find a copy and paste company that puts together a quick fix of a “website”, but quality execution during the creation of a new website comes with the following benefits:
- Audiences judge websites in a matter of seconds. Well designed, fast-loading, user-friendly sites pull in audiences and create a great impression of the brand.
- Web design elements like strategized content, layout and backend code are highly important in the world of SEO. A polished website that puts SEO elements at the forefront of development and design gets a brand started off on the right foot and grants them an advantage when it comes to ranking well on search engines.
- A great website builds trust with your audience! As a new business to your market, your website is your foot in the door to local popularity.
Most of the sites ahead of you in Google have professional site designs. To beat them, you’ll have to join them. Here is a look at some of the first things you should consider when you start the design and development process with a professional web team.
Ask Important Questions About Your Business
While we would usually stress looking at who your audience and competition are, there are more important things to examine about your business at the start. Before you meet with a web development company, meet with your partners and discuss these three essential questions that will ensure that everyone is on board with the goals of the website and how your brand will manage it after launch.
What Makes Your Business Unique?
You know what makes your business unique to your industry, but a website designer coming on to your project won’t. Before you start the website design process, have a list of the details that make your business stand out. This will give your designers something to spotlight throughout the development of your website.
Why Does Your Small Business Need This Website?
The purpose of your website matters. If you try to focus on too many aspects of your business, your audience will get lost in the clutter. So, if your goal is to show off a product no one else has, make brand awareness the purpose of your website. If you want to schedule your services for residential and commercial clients in your area, make conversion completion the purpose of your website. Once you’ve discovered your site’s purpose, you’ll discover that the rest of the website building blocks are easier to line up on the path to success.
Can You Manage Your Site Once It’s Complete?
Finally, your post-launch management matters. Your website is not a one and done deal. It will have to evolve over time and require changes to keep up with SEO best practices and rank in those ever important search engines. So, if you know your site is not going to be complex and are willing to put in the work to learn your content management system (CMS), your site could be self-managed. However, if you know you’re going to have an in-depth site and expect company growth in the future, now is the time to consider reaching out to a qualified SEO company that can maintain your site behind the scenes.
Get Inspired By Your Heroes/Competition
This is a quick and easy point. Do your research on competing brands. Look up brands that inspire you and find out how their website pulls you in. Pulling together different design aspects from sites that are already making their mark is a great way, to make your website a competitive force from day one.
Always Put Content First
Designing a website before knowing how much content is going to go into the final product is a practice that will stall the launch of your pet project. At Big D Creative, we take the content-first approach with our design and development. Writing the content first allows us to build your website around the words that you want represented on your site. It requires less complex adjustments and ensures that in the end, your site doesn’t underperform when search engines start crawling.
Make Sure You Understand User Experience (UX) Basics
The UX of your website is what determines who stays for a conversion and who leaves for the competition. You want your audience to feel comfortable navigating your site, and to be able to find what they need within a few clicks.
When you start to discuss design with your team keep these points in mind:
- Your site must have a logical flow that ends at a call to action that pushes to your site’s final goal (i.e. mail sign up, service order, product purchase)
- Your site must be simple and intuitive
- Your site must focus on meeting your audience’s needs
Even though UX may seem like it hampers creativity, your design team can help you focus on creating a UX that still looks inventive while remaining effective for your audience.
Keep the Core Principles of Design in Mind
When a site provides an excellent UX and overall design, its owners created the site with these three core design principles in mind.
Your design team can help your website present a visual hierarchy that subliminally showcases the most important information an audience needs to know about your brand. From grid blocks to aligning eye-catching content on the left side of your site, your design team can help you make the best layout decisions to give your site a smooth flow.
Color is one of the most important parts of your site design. Whether you want to take a scientific approach and use colors that impact your visitor’s mood, or want to use your brand’s colors throughout your site, color placement is imperative to a beautiful site. Too much or too little can ruin an experience, so make sure to consult with your design team and uncover the right amount of color use and placement your site needs.
You want the font of your site to convey the right tone while also being easy to read. Take some time to meet with your team and developers to figure out the right fonts to use on the site. Keep in mind, your website must deliver a message to readers, so always use elaborate fonts sparingly.
Create Your Local Business’ Website Professionally with Big D Creative
By now, you should have a clearer picture of how to start a great first-time design project. If you have a great website idea in mind but don’t have the time or experience to make it a reality, Big D Creative is here to help! We’ve successfully rolled out hundreds of websites for businesses across the industry spectrum. Our team works with you from the initial concept phase, to content creation, design drafts, and even beyond the website’s launch. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for your brand and to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team.