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Atanu Sarkar
November 28, 2023

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A visually appealing website is the face of your business and one of the biggest sales channels in your arsenal. Whether starting with a new venture or levelling up your existing trade - a well-designed website must be the next move.

When do you plan to have a website for your small business?

According to a Statista report (2021), 21% of US consumers search for local businesses online. So, yes, your small business needs one for all the good reasons.

A digital storefront allows you to reach a larger customer base outside your geographic location. A website is a huge growth opportunity to let your potential customers know you are there.

Wondering, where to start?

This blog is your ultimate guide to website design for small businesses. We will tell you everything you need to know about building a stellar website that checks all the boxes on the design and digital front.

Why your Business needs an Online Presence?

70% of US citizens prefer shopping online, and by 2025, the number of digital buyers is likely to hit 268 million. The United States alone represents 18% of the global economic growth, and the e-commerce sales revenue hit 811 million the previous year.

Given the prevalence of the e-commerce industry and how our daily lives are entwined with it, the importance of your business's digital presence cannot be overstated. More and more people are turning to online stores for the convenience and ease of shopping.

Shouldn’t they find your business too?

Here is how a website helps in your business growth –

  • Puts your business on a digital user's radar and lets them know about your products and services.
  • Educates the audiences about your services or products and whether the brand fits their needs.
  • Makes your business visible to Google and other search engines; this is the ultimate cornerstone to digital success.
  • Adds a mark of credibility and trustworthiness for the customers to reliably convert.
  • It allows you to know your competitors and offers the opportunity to compete.
  • Gives the business an expansion boost beyond its physical location.

These were only a few benefits of having a website for a small business. Hence, a well-structured and optimized website allows your business a competitive edge and reaches the relevant audience to maximize business growth.

The Role of Website Design in Online Success

Before we get into the vitality of an effectively designed website, let us share some website design stats with you:

  • 73.1% of your website visitors are likely to leave because of a non-responsive design, and 38.5% of them for an outdated design (Source: GoodFirms).
  • 23% of small businesses are running without a website (Source:, 2021)
  • 94% of your business's first impression is related to the website design (Source: WebFx, 2021).

Given the chance for your visitors to explore your website content for just 10 minutes, the majority of them will prefer a visually appealing web presence with smooth functionality. Your website design is the very first impression of your business, and it helps visitors perceive your brand. The design then leads your visitors to other pages and later on, facilitates conversion.

After first impressions come UX or User Experience. Website design and User experience go hand-in-hand in providing a positive experience to your visitors. It streamlines your customer's journey and is conducive to the business' conversion rate.

Remember, a good website design hooks your audiences to the website; a great one entices them to convert.

A beautifully designed website grabs your audience's attention; easy and hassle-free navigation appeals to a visitor to convert.

Small Business Website Design for Trust and Credibility

A lot goes into making a successful website; appeal and impressive visuals are not the only roles web design plays. E-commerce website credibility and trustworthiness have a vital role in your business success, and website design has a considerable contribution to it.

Imagine visiting a healthcare website with a massive font, popping colors of pink and yellow, and not much information about the services or products.

Something sounds off. Isn't it?

Well, these are the components of a website design that add to its credibility and trustworthiness.

Website credibility means when the website convinces the visitors you have the expertise and knowledge, and influence them to convert.

Here are all the credibility factors to keep note of –

  • A professional website design that matches industry standards and highlights your brand value. This includes a clear color palette as well: Black and white for modern and minimalistic, Green to signify eco-friendly, Blue and White for reliability, and so on.
  • Smooth functionality and error-free online presence; easy-to-use navigation to all web pages of the website.
  • Content that delivers a clear message about your brand, its values, the products or services. This includes landing page content, blogs, articles, press releases, and more.
  • Prominent contact information and trust badges across visible sections of the website so that it does not appear as yet another internet scam.
  • Authentic images, videos, reviews, and testimonials are powerful elements of credibility.

As a small business website coming alive for the first time, it can be difficult to grab reviews and testimonials right away. Reach out to the locals, who know about your business and request an authentic review to start. Add images of your local store if there is one, to add more to the trustworthiness.

Attracting and Engaging Your Visitors

A robust website design is all it takes to attract potential customers and keep them engaged. What do we mean by a ‘robust’ website design? One that is responsive, navigable, and intuitive enough to attract and compel visitors to visit the rest of the website. The first five seconds on your website hold the utmost importance in visitor engagement.

To make such a website design possible, three things are of ultimate importance – user-friendliness, responsiveness, and the message.

Responsiveness is the top priority. Is your website functioning equally across all digital mediums? There were 187 million mobile online shoppers in the US, back in 2022 (Source: Statista); and these can be your potential customers. The navigation and overall UI need to be responsive across devices, no matter the screen size.

The website needs to offer a clear and concise message to its visitors about the brand and its products. The pitch needs to have a hook and offer customers a solution to a problem they never knew they had.

Finally, comes user-friendliness. Is someone capable of using the internet can navigate your website without hassle? If yes, you are good to go.

All the CTAs need to be properly visible and clickable, and the navigation bar needs to be logically organized as well as smooth.

Here is a handy list of engagement tricks for your small business website –

  1. Make sure the website design passes the 5-second test – The moment they enter your page, within 5 seconds they must know what is this page about and where to click next.
  2. Learn your target audience diligently – the type of content that appeals to them, the design layout they are looking forward to, and so on. (There is no shortcut to learning your audiences; this requires effort and research)
  3. You cannot skip website speed! No matter how good the content and compelling the website design is. A slow website means immediate abandonment.
  4. Incorporating interactive features contributes to engagement rate; this ensures your visitors do not consider your beautifully designed website ‘boring’ and leave right away.
  5. Offer accessible chat support so that your customers engage and come up with queries and find them resolved.

There is no one answer to 'How to build a small business website that is engaging?'… Engagement factors differ from user to user. These are tried and tested tips; there are several other factors to experiment with for website engagement.

Website Design and It's Role in SEO and Visibility

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a powerful tool for a business to attract organic traffic and enhance website visibility. To succeed in today’s digital landscape - SEO is a must for all businesses, especially for a brand-new small business like yours.

SEO ensures that your website content is effectively optimized with unique content and keywords to be visible to search engines. To be able to rank on the first pages of search results enhances the chances of getting discovered by the targeted audience 10x times.

However, content and keywords is not the only thing that enhances SEO; the website design for your small business has a role to play too.

Poor website design structures can negatively impact your SEO efforts. For instance, if your website has critical navigation, the content is not readable, and the load time is huge - your visitors will abandon the website right away. Google's algorithm considers these factors and lowers your organic rank immediately, and your website loses a chunk of organic traffic.

A professionally built website design for your small business ensures you get top-notch results from your SEO efforts. This involves looking into several intricate design elements – visuals to typography and navigation to responsiveness. Here are some quick tips to help you with your website design keeping SEO in mind –

  1. Do not solely create a website design meant to sell services to your customers. Invest in a visually appealing website that makes even scrolling a fun activity.
  2. Make use of quality visuals, both images and videos, to communicate with your audiences. The majority of your audiences will leave if the visuals are below par; this leads to an increased bounce rate and lowered organic ranking.
  3. Design a clean website and user-friendly navigation for a straightforward experience. The URLs of your web pages need to be short and relatable.
  4. Incorporate readable fonts and color schemes that blend well with the brand.
  5. Focus on original and quality content to add to the informative usefulness of the website; this ensures Google considers your website trustworthy and valuable.
  6. Avoid drops in conversion and organic traffic by speeding up your website. It can drop by 7% with a second delay.

All About Measuring Success And Conversion Rates

When your small business website design gets developed and deployed, how do you plan to measure performance rate? – Web Analytics.

Web Analytics offers complete website performance data at your fingertips. It tells you the complete story of how visitors are interacting with the website – the traffic count, customer journey, and the number of clicks, top-performing pages, social channel traffic, bounce rate, engagement rate, and much more.

Each of these data sets helps you analyze the aspects of your website design that perform well and ones that do not. A successful small business knows how to leverage web analytics and revamp website design strategies for elevated success.

Hopping into an analytical tool and coming across several analytical jargon can be mind-boggling. To ease out, we have listed the essential engagement metrics that matter for a small business's success –

  1. Page Views – determines the number of times your website has been viewed by your visitor.
  2. Bounce Rate – the percentage of visitors who left without interacting with the page.
  3. Traffic Source – identify where the traffic is coming from - Direct, Social, Paid, or Referral.
  4. Conversion Rate – number of visitors who converted on the website; conversion can be of any form, signup, download, or purchase.
  5. Top Pages – indicates the pages with the most views or conversion numbers.
  6. Revenue Attribution – tracks the entire journey, from visiting the website to making a final purchase/action to generate revenue.

Digging into analytics and measurement gives a vivid understanding of whether or not a particular website design is highly converting and whether there is a scope for improvement.

There are several tools to guide small business owners like you in this process, and these are the best –

  • Google Analytics
  • Kissmetrics
  • Ahrefs
  • SEMRush
  • Google Search Console
  • Open Web Analytics

Choosing the Right Website Design Service

A stellar website presence is a must-have for the growth of a small business - this has been made significant. A lot of effort goes into developing a small business website design. It must offer the necessary responsiveness and positive user experience and contribute to conversion. You will need a professional team for such compelling website design services.

Research the web, and you will come across a range of companies offering affordable small business website design services.

How to choose the perfect fit for your small business?

Here is a guide to choosing the right website design service –

  1. Establish the Design Needs – There are specific elements that make up a stunning website design for digital success. It includes UI, website layout, element placements, color, and themes. All of these are contributing factors to the efficiency of a website. Have a vivid idea of how you wish your digital presence to be? Is there a specific theme or color you have in mind?

If not, the professional design agency you choose will walk you through various options at the start of the design process.

  1. Research Design Prices and Build a Budget – Every service in the digital industry has a price benchmark, including website design. Research the web for design services and get your hands on a few different quotes and pricing packages. As a small business, it is likely to not have a massive budget for website design alone. Understanding the industry standards will help you determine the affordability.

Added tip – Whichever amount you dedicate to your digital needs, set aside 25% of it for your website presence.

  1. Check the Portfolio and Case Studies – Professional website design businesses offer prolific and stunning case studies and work history as a mark of expertise. Browse through their best works and check if it meets your business design needs.

Another way to go is by visiting clients' websites and gaining a real-time user experience. Their website design structure must show efficiency in terms of UI and UX.

Go through the various case studies listed by these website design providers. Evaluate the various design problems solved and the solution approach. Scan through the design process and analyze if it adds value to these small businesses.

  1. Check for reviews and testimonials – Reviews and testimonials speak volumes for the credibility and trust score. What are the clients saying about their design standards and delivery? Are the design wire-framing and output of the highest quality? Reviews are the best form of social proof when hiring a business.
  2. Client Retention Rate – Apart from reviews, the client retention rate is something to look into. If certain businesses have been actively enjoying their website design services for years, they are doing something right.
  3. Industry Experience – Website design companies may serve several industries or stick to a specific niche. Depending on the industry your small business relates to, their area of expertise may add value to the design process.

Years of experience in website design services are another factor when choosing a business.

  1. Ask honest questions before finalizing – There is no harm in asking questions that are related to your business growth. This blog has constantly highlighted the need for an impressive website design as a mark of digital excellence. Does your website designer have a different opinion? Here are a few questions to ask away:
  • What kind of design research do they perform before starting with design?
  • What does the website design process for a small business look like?
  • What elements do they think are the ultimate for a great website design?
  • How do they handle design changes and iterations? Is it chargeable separately from the package?
  • What is the flexibility of the project payment?
  • Will there be project milestones?
  • Who will be the point of contact during the design process and after?
  • What are the essentials they will need from the business owner's end?
  • Do they offer custom small business website designs or templates?
  • Do they follow SEO or other website design best practices?
  • Do they completely understand the business goal and the website's needs?

These steps and questions help you build a robust partnership with your web designer, leading to a truly eye-catching and conversion-friendly website.

Real-Life Small Business Success Stories to Learn From

As a small business taking your first step towards digital success – it is overwhelming, we know!

Every successful website you see has once started with a basic design wireframe. The success of these websites goes down to their attention to detail. Starting from how immaculate the UI is to their near-perfect image presentation.

Here are some names that started as small businesses and succeeded through incredible website design–

Bennett Tea

This is a gorgeous website with a stunning color scheme and scrolling effects that immediately kill the 'getting bored' factor. On entry, the website offers a visual awe to its visitors with its transition effect.

As you browse through products, you are offered life-size images with stunning UI layouts and premium font style. The website navigation is smooth and intuitive – two notable factors of website design success.

This is a 2017 established website that sells the finest quality tea across the United States. They have recently achieved a 13% traffic growth over the month.

Chicago French Press

This 2017-established Chicago-based brand specializes in premium coffees and wellness teas. This brand has both a physical as well as online presence, and one can locate physical stores through the website.

CFP, very much Bennett Tea focuses the visual presence on the aesthetic end. The navigation is intuitive, and the website takes full control of quality content. The majority of their website traffic comes from search engines, which is close to 20k every month.

The website design has highlighted trust factors on the homepage with customer reviews and notable accolades.

Willwood Bakery

Another visual stunner, Willwood Bakery, has incorporated enticing visuals to increase conversion possibilities.

The website design immediately passes the 5-second test as to who they are and what they offer with product visuals. The font is not-so-subtle specifically meant to grab the most attention, and the UI is built to increase engagement.

Anyone can hardly miss the CTA button; they are highlighted and huge and in contrasting color schemes.

They too are successfully running both physical and online stores that sell bakery goods. They have recently experienced a traffic spike of 31% compared to previous months.

These successfully running websites tell us that investing in a beautiful digital presence can profoundly impact business growth. It could be simple factors, like highlighting reviews to using stunning imagery, or completely revamping the UI. The idea is to focus on your potential visitors’ needs and what would they enjoy the most. Whichever service you offer through your website, ensure the design contributes to a user's positive experience.

To Digital Success

The first step to online success is a dominant online presence that offers visitors the nitty-gritty details of your trade. The website for your small business holds the first impression and is the ultimate platform for conversion. It must showcase the right information while being visually appealing and amplifying the user experience.

Apart from being engaging, a small business website design must cater to SEO and responsive needs. The design structure impacts the digital experience of your customers as well as the website’s authority in search results.

At Webskitters Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd., as website design & web development company we understand the value of an impeccably crafted website design and the value it adds to a brand's presence. Our team focuses on delivering website designs with structural finesse and a superior conversion rate – one that leads you to digital success. Elevate your digital presence with our team of design experts today!

Atanu Sarkar

Atanu Sarkar, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Webskitters Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd & Webskitters LTD has strong data analytics, business development and entrepreneurship skills. He keeps himself updated about latest technological innovations in his past time and encourages his team to incorporate new technologies and move beyond the defined boundaries of design, development and digital marketing. His inquisitive nature constrains him from flattering any limits and that’s made him a successful entrepreneur, a great leader for his team and a wonderful human being.