Before the Internet, starting a business requires a huge investment to set up a store or office, hire working staff, and advertise your product and services. You spend a lot to run daily operations and pay utilities, equipment, manpower, and more.
Nowadays, all it takes is a computer, reliable Internet service provider, and a website or social media account to sell your products or offer your expert services. In this technology-driven online marketplace, even a hobbyist or crafter has the potential to build a business of their own by creating a website as their virtual storefront.
If you're planning to start an online business, here are some simple web design tips that will help you create a proper and effective website.
In 2014, there was an estimated 3.6 billion mobile phone users worldwide. Australia alone has 65% of its population using smartphones. A growing number of users are moving away from desktops to mobile devices for their online activities. That is why responsive web design is crucial to any website, big or small.
Whatever device is used to view your website, a responsive web design ensures optimal view and readability. Users on mobile devices wonâ€™t have to zoom in on small text to read your content. This offers ease in navigation, browsing, and overall user experience.
Moreover, Google favors websites with a responsive web design. You have a shot at ranking well in search engines if you implement a responsive design.
Websites with heavy graphics and animation may slow down page loading. And when your webpages are loading very slowly, expect users to leave your site and look elsewhere. Donâ€™t keep them waiting by choosing a simple, neat, and minimalist web design. This improves readability of information published on your site.
If you have images on your website, test for optimal image rendering. The goal is to have a small image file size that loads quickly while image quality or resolution is still optimal. Do not compromise on quality just so your website can load faster. Make sure your supporting visuals have acceptable resolution to project a professional and impressive brand.
Web design is not just about aesthetics. Most importantly, it is about function. What many web designers and developers overlook is the user-friendliness of a website. A website with good site navigation act like a helpful tour guide, giving each visitor an easy way to get the information they want. The ease of going from one webpage to another, reading through sections of a page, scrolling down for more info and browsing leisurely are signs of effective information delivery the hopefully leads to a sale or new leads generated.
You must also encourage continuous browsing on your website by adding links to other pages on your website that may offer other more information to a user or serve as call to action. Perhaps at the end of your home page content, you may add a call to action to view products in another page or make an enquiry through the contact page. In this way, you develop good user experience by offering more options to users and assisting them in their customer journey (or navigation of the site) rather than quickly concluding their visit, which may reduce your chances of converting them from user to buyer.
One of the best things about online marketing is that even startups have the chance to compete with the big brands when they perform good website optimisation. You can start by adding good page titles and descriptions that show on Google search engines.
Websites are never really done. The design may be final and the development platform may already be set up and running but continuous improvements are recommended. Small but regular improvements over time will show more value in the long run than an expensive web design overhaul after the site has not been updated for years. Keep your website updated, find opportunities to explore and areas to improve. This will help you compete with major players in your industry.