brand exposure the latest greatest web design tips for better businessThe whole point of having and maintaining a website is to essentially advertise and sell your product or services, as well as a hub for people to learn more about you and the industry you’re operating in. Because websites today are doing double duty as content hubs, lead captures and digital marketplaces, businesses really have their hands full.

Here are some business website tips that will lead to a better user experience, and help you edge out the competition.

Make Your Messaging Clear

First things first. Even the most beautiful websites with dynamite color schemes, smart logos and on-tend infographics are worthless if your visitors don’t understand what you’re offering. People visit your website to read great content or to learn more about your services, or to buy a specific product. If you make this hard, visitors will not return, and that’s a guarantee.

To combat this problem, lay out everything you think people need to know about your product—what it does, the price point and how to buy, or how to get in touch with your company. It’s also a good idea to ask people outside of your organization to weigh in, as they’ll have a different perspective.

That Goes for the Visual Stuff, Too

In addition to the actual web copy, design elements like font, placement and color, all have an impact on the ease potential consumers can absorb the information. Keep things cohesive, don’t use more than three fonts, or text that is too small. Make sure colors echo your branding, and keep things easy to read – sticking to black font on a white background is always a safe bet, you can change things up a bit, but don’t try to be unique by sticking white text on an orange background.

In terms of imagery, make sure photos are organized and fit in with your brand, products and services. If you’re trying to sell cookware, for example, don’t put a picture of the beach on the site unless it directly ties back to your content in a clear and meaningful way.

Get Your Navigation in Order

Okay. This one is tough for many business owners, but spot on navigation is a really critical component in building a website that gets repeat visitors. Take inventory of the links you truly need — i.e. your product page, specific product categories, an about section, a blog, and so on. This area gets cluttered, which can confuse customers if they’re just trying to learn more about you. Keep navigation headers simple and indicative of what’s on the page. Consider hiring an agency like Convergent 1 to ensure you get things right the first time.

Another point about simplicity — many users are now browsing from smartphones or tablets, and overly complex web pages with too much text, or confusing navigation may make them leave before they take action.

Don’t Forget About Content

Content is a major buzzword as of late, and for good reason. Blog posts, white papers, articles, case studies, and of course, infographics, all these are great tools to build SEO rankings, as well as demonstrate authority within your own space.

What many businesses tend to forget is, you need to promote your content. Condensing a blog post into smaller bits and adding to social media helps, as does publishing your content on other outlets within your niche market. Getting content right is a little tricky, particularly if you’ve marketed in more traditional ways in the past, like sending out physical mailers or even relying on email blasts to do the heavy lifting. Social media helps, but those channels need nurturing to attract and maintain followers.

Calls-to-Action Should Be Obvious

For the uninitiated, plugging in your calls to action can seem like an exercise in aggressive sales techniques. But, it doesn’t have to be. Keep messaging clear, and do use language like “buy now” or “sign up for our newsletter,” while from a copywriting standpoint, these types of phrases may not win the award for innovation, they do tell consumers exactly what you want them to do. How they are placed, as well as how they are integrated into the rest of the copy, will dictate conversion.

While this all can sound daunting, especially if you are in the midst of starting a small business or revamping an existing one, websites are now a flexible entity. Experiment with different techniques and phrasing. Change blog headlines for more clicks, or update your pictures every now and again. You’ll find some things work, while others don’t.


Jason Hamilton is the Chief Operations Officer at Convergent1 and oversees the website design development process for all of our clients.