Chris Schutte

March 22, 2023

Website Do’s and Don’ts for Small Business Owners

Reading Time: 4 minutes

South Africa has approximately 41.19 million internet users, with Johannesburg as the biggest city and metropolitan municipality. These numbers show that small businesses in the city should look at the potential of website design for marketing and building a customer base.

Websites are all about driving visitors to your site and providing a good user experience once they’re there. They must also reflect the image you want to project for your business. How do you ensure all of that with website design?

By following simple website design do’s and don’ts, you can create a website that will support your marketing goals. Guarantee that your small business website is everything it should be!

The Do’s

Choose a Good Domain

Start by choosing a good domain name for your website. It should be short, easy to remember, and relevant to your business. Use keywords that describe what you do in your domain name to make it easier for people to find you when they’re searching online.

Plan Out Your Website

Everything works better if you plan, and website design is no different. Define your goals for the website and what you want it to achieve. Knowing what you want your website to do will help you design it to do just that.

Focus on User-Friendliness

Your website should be easy to use and navigate. Everything should be where users expect to find it, and it should all be easy to understand. Use clear and concise language, and pack only a little information onto one page.

Go for a Consistent Interface

If you use a particular typeface for your headings, stick with it. If you have a specific way of displaying links, use it throughout the website. Consistency makes for a much better user experience!

Use Fonts and Colors That Match Your Brand Style

Your website’s fonts and colours should match your brand style. If you need a brand style guide, now is the time to create one. This step will ensure that your website has a consistent look and feel that matches your company’s image. You can get a graphic designer to help you with design services.

Make It Easy To Scan

Most website visitors don’t read every word on a website, they scan it. Use headings and subheadings to break up the text, and use bullet points to list information. Your visitors will thank you!

Publish Excellent Content

Your website’s content is what will really set it apart. Publish well-written, accurate, and relevant content for your target audience. Find the balance between SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) keywords and an engaging read, and proofread everything before you publish.

Include Just Enough Choices

The more choices your visitors have, the less chance they’ll actually make a choice. For example, if you’re selling products on your website, just include a selection of your best-selling products. Stick to the essential website pages, and focus on providing quality over quantity.

Make It Mobile-Friendly

Perhaps the most critical website design tip is to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. According to DataReportal, South Africa has 28 million social media users, meaning most website visitors will access your site on their mobile phones. Ensure your website is responsive and easy to use on a mobile device.

Test Your Design

Lastly, once you’ve designed and built your website, test it! Test the website on different browsers and devices. Check if all the links work and that the website loads quickly. Testing will help you catch any potential problems before your website goes live. Your web design company will be able to help you with this.

The Don’ts

Make Your Visitors Wait

Your website should load quickly, or you risk losing visitors. As said by Portent, the first five seconds of page-load time have the highest impact on conversion rates. Use a website speed test tool to check your website’s load time and make necessary improvements.

Use Too Many Fonts or Colours

Using too many fonts and colours can overwhelm website visitors and make your website look unprofessional. Use two or three fonts and no more than four colours to create a cohesive website design that is easy on the eyes.

Use Stock Photos

Instead of using generic stock photos, use high-quality original images. These could be photos of your products, team, or office. If you need good images, hire a professional photographer to take some for you.

Autoplay Background Music or Videos

Autoplay music or videos may only serve to vex website visitors. If you want to include audio or video content, let website visitors choose whether or not to play it.

Show Automatic Pop-Ups Right Away

Website visitors may not want to see pop-ups right away. If you must use pop-ups, wait until website visitors have been on your site for a while before displaying them.

Use Flashing Text

Flashing texts or animations can be jarring and difficult to read. They can also trigger seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy. If you want to include animation on your website, use it sparingly and make sure it doesn’t flash.

Hijack Scrolling

Scrolling is a natural website navigation method, so don’t try to hijack it. For example, don’t make website visitors scroll horizontally or click to advance to the next page. Horizontal scrolling makes website content difficult to read.

Ignore Web Standards

Web standards are the rules of website design. Ignoring these standards will result in a website that is difficult to use and may only work properly on some devices.

Spam Content With Keywords

The days of keyword stuffing are long gone. Not only is it bad for website visitors but it will also penalise your website. When you publish content, make sure it serves a purpose to website visitors. Don’t do it just because!

Prioritise Beauty Over Usability

Your website may look good, but if it’s not easy to use, website visitors won’t stay. Prioritise usability over beauty, and ensure website visitors can easily find what they’re looking for.

Key Takeaways

Remember: small businesses can have a great website without breaking the bank. With these do’s and don’ts, you can create a beautiful and usable website to help you reach your business goals.

Focusing on website design in Johannesburg will help you create a professional website that’ll attract and retain customers. Prioritise optimisation, loading speed, and website standards to take your small business to the next level.

If you need help with your website design, don’t hesitate to contact us today!

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