Every small business needs a website. It’s as important in this day and age as your brick and mortar location. From helping new customers find you through search, to helping existing customers better connect with you, a website has many benefits.
However, simply having a website is not going to solve all your online needs. You need to have a good website. That does not mean you need to spend thousands of dollars or have a website with immense functionality. What it does mean, though, is that your website needs to clearly,Â accurately convey who you are, what you do, and how a customer can reach you.
We see many websites that seem thrown together hastily. When you don’t use a careful online strategy when designing your website, your clients and prospective clients may get the impression you have not carefully thought things through. If this is the perception they have, they may also believe you do not conduct business accurately and thoroughly.
It’s unfortunate, but true.
Our friend Rachel Snyder recently stated, “If everything is in bold, nothing is in bold.” This is an excellent example of how a small business owner, trying to convey their message, might in fact lose their customers’ attention. A website or page where every point is in bold is hard on the eyes. It’s also difficult for customers to see exactly what your point is or what they should be paying attention to because you are highlighting more than just the most important points.
Similarly, websites that are written in “fun” colors, and fonts like comic sans, can be seen by some as childish or unprofessional. While they may make you think you’re conveying a whimsical atmosphere, they can turn many people off. Sticking to neutral text colors like black, gray or navy, and standard fonts like Arial, Verdana and Times New Roman can have a significant impact on your perceived professionalism.
Lastly, websites that have dark backgrounds, like navy or black, with lighter text can be difficult for many to read. This is especially true if your customers have any vision problems. Even for those with the best eyesight, reading this juxtaposition of light and dark can become tiresome after a bit.
A clean design with text that is easy to read is invaluable to your business. Make sure everyone who hits your website can easily find and understand what you offer.
*Photo credit Craig Keeling via Flickr