How can a small business in Austin TX, El Paso, or even Santa Fe outdo local competitors and compete with giant brands without deep marketing pockets and a huge brand name recognition?
The answer is simple! Your startup needs to create a strong digital presence on the web.
And as it turns out, this usually starts with a winning small business website design.
At its best, investing in a responsive website design service can turn around your small business, even if you don’t have millions to throw at a digital marketing agency.
And aside from helping your business establish credibility and professionalism, it could serve as your office on the web, open 24/7, helping you generate new leads, engage prospects, and convert sales steadily.
7 + 1 Tips For A Goal-Smashing Small Business Website Design In Austin, TX
Imagine for a moment you’re in the market for a website for your small business.
You either build one yourself or engage a web design agency to handle the UI and UX design as well as the other aspects involved in the website creation process.
But web design is more complicated than ever and not all websites are created equal.
Whether you’re engaging a local web design agency in Austin TX, El Paso, or Santa Fe, or you have both the skills and resources to handle this efficiently, there are core ingredients you’ll need to bake a highly successful website.
Below, we discuss seven (7) and one (1) more of these highly convergent factors that can either make or break your small business website design.
1. Human-Centric Design
You have to realize you’re designing first for users, and then, search engines.
By users, I mean your website visitors – actual people with blood running through their veins, human beings with feelings, in case you don’t know.
This might sound funny, but it isn’t, because;
People develop feelings when they land on your website. They’re either bonded to your website or blinded to your offerings.
Either way, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
User-centricity goes a long way and should be at the core of your brand story, the photos and illustrations on your web pages, your content and messaging, typeface and design style, and everything in between.
2. Content Architecture
Think of content architecture from a building construction perspective. Before construction begins, the structure and design must be made to accommodate the potential tenants’ needs while following local building codes.
It’s a similar case with website design content architecture.
Content architecture involves creating a structure for content flow.
You don’t just throw up images and poorly-written texts on a website. Sure, your mum could love it, but you need a properly structured website to drive actions and sales on your business website.
This aspect of web design overlaps with user experience design.
But unlike UX where the deliverables are wireframes and layouts, content architecture often involves using spreadsheet documents and simple tree structures for visual representations during the design phase.
Content architecture activities include but are not limited to site mapping, content audit and inventory, information architecture diagram creation, etc. These will help you answer a wide range of questions such as;
- How the stuff on your website will be structured.
- Drawing the line between sufficient and too much content.
- How to connect stories and content so they flow seamlessly are not disjointed.
- What the flow of users through the website will look like.How content is presented to the users to drive actions on your website like signing up for your email list, logging into the user’s account, or making purchases on the website, etc.
To get all of these right, three (3) things are important.
- First, the content strategists, UX designers, and everyone involved must have a deep understanding of the target audience.
- Secondly, it’s important to have an idea of the different technologies that will be used in developing the website, based on the business’s needs.
- Finally, there should also be an understanding of the type of information to be conveyed on the website.
3. UI and UX Design
UI stands for User Interaction.
It encompasses a series of complex tasks aimed at making the content, layout, color schemes, buttons, typography, icons, and the entire website design appealing and responsive.
A good UI design will make your website’s visual and interactive elements highly consistent and aesthetically pleasing.
UX, on the other hand, stands for User Experience.
It transcends just visuals and encompasses the entire experience of the users upon interacting with your small business website.
UX strategies are aimed at improving user interactions and enhancing the usability and functionality of your website.
Both UI and UX design are not to be seen as some of those nice to have or gimmicky things. These are two core elements of great website design, working closely together to guarantee smooth and intuitive interactions.
Beyond just keeping website visitors satisfied, harnessing these effectively will help ensure you’re helping website visitors achieve their goals in the best possible way, with regards to your business objectives.
Responsiveness impacts user experience and the importance is so much we have to discuss it separately.
According to a report by Pew Research, about 77% of US adults own a smartphone. So, it’s not surprising that about 60% of web traffic comes from people accessing the internet from their mobile phones.
Significant chunks of your website traffic would come from desktop computers, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, etc.
You need a website that’s responsive out-of-the-box to accommodate all of these diverse traffic sources.
If you’re operating an ecommerce business in Austin TX, Santa Fe, and El Paso, it would interest you that mobile commerce accounted for $2.9 trillion or 70.4% of the total ecommerce sales in the US in 2020.
Your website should be easy to use across different platforms and devices. If your Austin TX small business website is not responsive enough, you’re leaving too much on the table for your competitors.
Image source: Statista
Every website should be optimized for speed and responsiveness.
But even beyond these, your website should provide adequate functionality for users, which should be a key discussion in the planning and design phase.
More functionality can mean more traffic and leads as well as maximizing engagement and conversion.
- CTA buttons, landing pages, click funnels, etc., should work seamlessly.
- Useful tools, apps, and plugins should be integrated to enhance functionality.
- Other digital solutions like ecommerce functionality, for example, should also be integrated to streamline your business processes as the needs may be.
6. Local SEO
Small business website design does not end with building fancy and functional websites.
There’s a need to ensure the people who need these websites can easily find them. Beyond being a repository of every information prospects and clients need about your business, your website must also be an active sales and marketing tool for your business.
The internet offers a great deal of opportunity for even the smallest of startups.
And with local SEO services baked into your website and digital marketing, businesses with a physical location or serving geographic areas in Austin TX, El Paso, or Santa Fe can easily create a superb web presence in these local niche markets.
7. Website Maintenance
What happens after your Austin web design company delivers your new website can also impact success in the long run. You have to commit to regularly updating your website with fresh content to ensure it remains relevant to the target audience. More reason why we prefer non-coding platforms like WordPress here at SparkNerds as they can be easily updated and maintained by people with little to no technical web design skills. We also offer cost-effective website maintenance services for businesses that prefer our expert administrators handling their website maintenance.
Along with fresh content updates, website maintenance also helps take care of security updates to avert risks and ensure your website continues to run optimally. Perhaps it will help to see your small business website as an engine that needs to be regularly lubricated.
Your local Austin TX web design agency
You don’t have to choose the next available web designer.
It’s important you work with a local Austin web design agency that understands your target audience and how to drive conversions with results-driven design.
To do this, consider reviewing the agency’s experience and portfolio, their testimonials, and reviews as well as their agency culture. It’s also important you have a clear understanding of what to expect before committing.
At SparkNerds, we offer web design, branding, and digital marketing services to nonprofits, progressive causes, small businesses, and startups from Austin TX to El Paso, Santa Fe, and across Texas.
Every one of our clients get their dynamic website tailored to business needs, goals and missions, as well as their style and preferences.
We’ll take our time to learn about your business and then leverage our unique expertise and experience to help you design a website that not only fits your brand identity but also resonates with your audience.
If there are clear factors that can make a website design wildly successful, you’ll wonder why there are too many poorly designed websites flooding the internet.
The answer is this:
The most important differences are the ones most people can’t see.
It’s the difference between;
- building a poorly-designed website that just sits there passively, and
- landing a dynamic small business website that cleverly exploits active search marketing, organic local SEO, social media, and a wide range of smart digital solutions to present your business and its offerings across the web at little to no promotion expense.
The choice is yours!