Web design basics for small and medium business owners

web design cartoon illustration
Design your website wisely

Like many business owners, I wanted our small family restaurant to have our own website because similar food services were doing it. 

I wanted to have our dishes’ pictures taken by a professional photographer and showcased on the home page to have visitors salivating just by looking at them.

As a frequent website visitor myself, I always thought that businesses with websites have more than enough funds, manpower, time, and content for marketing. Big names have websites and I wanted our business to look like a big player.

Since I am no web developer and money was tight to hire a web designer, I tried to D-I-Y everything. It took me months just to make the website. 

Good thing it didn’t look like a template, but all my effort was wasted because it still looked bland and basic.

It had nice photos but it didn’t have the right path (a.k.a. “funnel”) to actually generate a sale. It was a restaurant menu, on the internet. That’s it.

If you’re about to have a website created, let me help. I’ll cut through the noise and give you a shortlist of website basics to consider. Here are some tips so you won’t be like me, who wasted my time creating a website with no clear purpose.

Acquire a good domain name

Your domain name is one of the keys to attracting potential customers to view the website.

Our restaurant’s name was a mix of my siblings’ names so it was hard to spell. That is problematic already because if a word isn’t in a person’s vocabulary, they can’t use it.

If possible, include the type of service you’re offering in the domain name, especially if the identifier is too common or too unique.


Rose Website Services

Big Moe’s Food Deliveries

Blue Eagle Aircon Cleaners

If you want to own a specific set of keywords or domain, (Eg. www.partyfoodinLA.com) you can buy that one as well and then link it to your website.

Your website must show and tell

It is critical for people to understand what industry you work in right away. Use banners to display visual representations of your products and services.

An introductory text paragraph near the top of the page describing who you are and what you do might also be good.

About Us” page links should be included in your main and footer navigation so that potential clients may simply visit them and learn more about your company.

web design cartoon illustration

Design a user-friendly and engaging website interface

Some websites are difficult to navigate, causing visitors to abandon them after only a few seconds. How do you keep people interested? By performing the following actions:

  • Using eye-catching images and legible typefaces.
  • Implementing best practices from competitors in their website design (if applicable)
  • Conducting surveys on the preference of your target audience.
  • Having quick access to different pages by making sure that the website is loading fast.

Make use of SEO

As of 2022, there are approximately 1.17 billion websites available, but only a small percentage of them are visited on a regular basis. Most websites are difficult to find, and Google users rarely get past page two of the results.

When your customer is looking for you, be visible. You may do this by employing SEO to ensure that your website appears at the top of search engines. Here are some things to remember:

  • Research and implementation of keywords
  • Having a mobile-friendly website
  • The presence of high-quality backlinks to your website
  • A large number of positive web reviews
  • Using internal links to keep consumers clicking and browsing your website
  • Make use of social media to drive visitors to your website.

What’s your purpose?

I made the family business’s website look like an online brochure with no defined goal, which I discovered was restricting the website’s true potential.

I thought having a website was cool, but I underestimated the amount of effort required to make it effective and successful.

To cut a long story short, I gave up because I started it for the wrong reasons and it ended up costing me more money than it made.

Don’t make the same mistake. Don’t do it yourself, especially if you have no design skills. Hire a professional designer that knows the foundations of website design and can even suggest layouts for a better user experience based on your industry.

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