small business website design

Small Business Website Design [Quick Fixes]

I review a lot of small business website designs in my work and I see a lot of the same opportunities to make some simple changes that could get these websites working a lot harder to bring in leads. In this blog, I’m going to cover some of the more common things that businesses can fix relatively easily.

No Customer Problem/Solution Statement

Did you know that 92% of people who visit your website for the first time are not there to make a purchase, they’re just kicking tires and trying to see if you understand their problem.

Sadly, too much small business website design is packed with content screaming “we do this!” and “our services include X, Y, Z” or “we’re family-owned and operated for 35 years!”

Can you spot the customer problems in there? Me neither. And if your potential customers can’t see that you understand their problem in the top half of your website, they’re not going to stick around.

What they need to see, right there at the top in big, bold letters, across the hero image, is a customer problem/solution statement. Show them you understand and that you can help, and you’ll keep them on your site and encourage them to take the next step.

Instead of “we create the best widgets in [your city]”. Try something like:

“Are you tired of experiencing [bad thing that your company can fix]?”

“Wouldn’t it be great to be [what life will be like after you help them]?"

Then go on to explain why they have the problem and what the solution is (your product/service, obviously). Crafting the most effective message may require some strategic thinking to help identify your ideal customer.

Weak Lead Capture Elements

If the only way your website visitors are invited to take the next step is by clicking a “Contact Us” button, or maybe the little email icon in your header or footer, you’re going be one lonely small business owner.

These calls-to-action need to make a powerful invitation to get someone to try you. What is the value you are offering that they’ll be willing to give you their information in exchange for? They know as soon as they do, you’re going to start marketing to them, so it better be good.

Remember, they’re probably not on your site to make a purchase – at least not yet. So, your call-to-action on the home page needs to be higher up the sales funnel.  What do you have of value to offer them? Do you have an ebook, cheat sheet, or checklist they can download?

Good small business website design delivers a call-to-action around that and gives them a safe way to learn more about your expertise without paying you anything. It’s called a “Try” offer and it’s an effective way to turn them into a lead.

If you don’t have something like an ebook or a checklist, even rephrasing “Contact Us” to “Get A Free Consultation” can be a little more inviting.

And keep them closer to the top of your homepage so you don’t miss people who aren’t going to scroll.

No Trust Elements

Another big reason people visit your website is to decide if they trust you enough to do business with you. They might have decided that your product/service can help them, but so can your competition. Who to choose?

To win their trust and get them to give you a try, they need to see some trust elements on the homepage of your small business website design. Things like reviews, awards you’ve received, logos of organizations you’re affiliated with that they might have heard of, and even the logos of your customers.

No Facebook Pixel

Most businesses are on Facebook these days. Many of them, maybe you, are also advertising on Facebook, even if it’s just boosting the occasional post. Yet I see so many examples of small business website design that have missed the Facebook pixel. It’s such a lost opportunity.

Imagine if you could create targeted Facebook ads that went to people who had visited your website, or even specific pages on your website? How effective would that be? What about reaching an audience that shares the same characteristics with people who have already shown an interest in your business? How much more effective would your advertising be?

That is exactly what the Facebook Pixel enables you to do. Installing it is super easy to do and once it’s there you can create custom lists in Facebook from people who have been on your website and “lookalike” audiences who share characteristics with people who have visited your website.

It’s a simple two-step process. First, you have to create a Facebook Pixel for your business page. Once you’ve done that, there a few ways to install it on your website. The easiest way, if you have a WordPress website, is to use a plugin like this one.

These are just a few of the more common opportunities that I see for small business website design fixes that can get your site working harder for you.

If you want to kickstart your small business website design planning, download our Website Essentials Pack and get a complete set of planning tools, checklists, and templates to design a successful website.

small business website design cheatsheets

I hope you found these small business website design tips helpful. If you did, or if you have any questions, I’d love to hear from you.