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Web Design Limerick | Branding Design Limerick | Amy Mc Design



May 7, 2024
Hiring a designer | Website Design | WordPress

Website Designer for Small Business: 5 tips to increase your impact

Website Designer for Small Business

Having a well performing website for your small business is really important…

You put so much work into your small business, you want this work to be reflected online. Your website needs to be doing you justice and wowing your audience.

I often see a disconnect between the standard of the work someone does in their small business and the standard of design that represents this business – specifically website design. Website design is so powerful in creating the correct perception of your small business. For example let’s look at how I’m guessing you don’t want your small business to be seen.

Are these the perceptions want you really want for your small business:

  • Do you want your business to be seen as slap-dash?

No problem! Throw something together quickly (is this even possible?) on a DIY website building platform. Extra points if you a left tearing your hair out trying to do the most seemingly simple tasks on your own. Put the thing live and never look at it again!

  • Do you want to your small business to be seen as unprofessional?

This is a great one! Make sure you put no consideration into the experience your customers have on your site. A website that is both boring and confusing is a sure fire way to portray your business as unprofessional within your industry!

  • Do you want your small business to be seen as outdated and untrustworthy?

Easy! Let your 10 year old website do the talking! And if the website never even fulfilled your expectations in the first place, even better. Let people wonder if your business if even open anymore and quickly move on to find more legitimate alternatives. Decision made!

See how powerful website design is in creating perceptions of your small business now?

Getting clearer about what you don’t want from your website design is always a good start. But now let’s have a look at the positive steps you can take on your website to achieve the high-standard you’ve already reached with your small business itself.

1. Make your website stand-out from your competition and become memorable

As a Website Designer whose worked with many a small business, I’m see people struggle with the phrase stand-out’ all the time. It can be one of those business/design jargon terms that gets throw around a lot but can leave you scratching your head.

Maybe your thinking…

  • But what does ‘stand-out’ actually mean?
  • How do I implement ‘stand-out’ in my business?
  • Is standing-out’ going to actually make a difference to my business?

The best and most under-utilised way to stand out in any industry, in my opinion, is to invest in your Branding Design. This might be something you’ve heard before and tried to avoid, but hear me out. Branding Design encompasses every visual aspect of your business and ensures that you have a unique visual look that expresses you’re brand ethos and values. Since Branding is so powerful and takes time to get right, it is a significant investment that small business owners need to consider. It can often be out of reach of people’s budget in the early stages of their businesses, which is completely understandable. But once you’ve emerged from those early stages and you’re ready to step up to the next level, getting Branding that is right for your business will take you such a long way.

You can find out more about my Branding Design services here.

2. Make buying from your website easy

Sometimes all it takes it a pair of outside eyes on your site to highlight to you that the buying journey for your customer on your website isn’t actually as easy as you think. A strategic website designer will easily be able to spot unnecessary hoops you are making your customer jump through. People are busy and they are impressed by your business they want to be able to buy from you as quickly as possible. This isn’t just for product-based businesses, it also includes serviced-based businesses. For serviced-based businesses, you want your clients to be able to make a buying decision on your site as quickly as possible. This means make it as easy as possible to book a consultation call or take the next steps with you.

Don’t be shy…

When I’m working with a small business on their website, I often hear them say things like:

  • “I don’t want to be too pushy on my website”
  • “I would like the design to be really minimalist and subtle”

I approach this dilemma that a business owner might be having, by reminding them that the most important purpose of their website is to sell their business.

If you’re going sell your business anywhere, sell it on your website!

I understand the impulse not want to be too ‘salesy’ or ‘annoying’ on their website, but if you go too far the other way you may as well ask people to leave your website and buy from someone else. It’s all about getting the balance right and making your customers lives easier. You’re not forcing people to buy from you by having clear call to actions in important areas of your site for example, you’re making sure the right people will be even more excited to engage with your business because of how hassle-free you made the buying process. Remember that!

3. Encourage people to stay on your website

If people aren’t encouraged to stay on your website, they simply won’t. We need to capture your audience’s attention quickly and keep it.

This is achieved first of all by breaking down the content of each page on your website into different sections. This means each paragraph of text or topic will be clear and easily digestible for the site user. Capturing and keeping someone’s attention isn’t about throwing every piece of information about your business at them the second they land on your website. This is only will only overwhelm them and this is the last thing you want. That’s why as well as breaking down the information, you need to prioritise what’s most important. (Hint: Like I said above making the customer’s decision to buy from you easy, is always the most important thing)

Beyond breaking down and prioritising your website content, you also want to make sure the your audience can easily explore the site. Make sure there are call to actions/buttons in all the right places that will bring the user to a new pages on your site where they can discover more great things about your business.

No dead ends

Giving customers plenty of chances to explore your site is particularly important at the end of each page. Think of the end of a blog post for example. How often have you seen something like “Related Posts” or “You may also like…”. There’s a reason for this. Even though people could quite easily click back to the full blog and pick another post to read, you know what’s easier? If posts they may be interested are automatically served up to them.

There’s that word again – Easy. It’s always about making things easier for your website visitor/potential customer.

It’s not their job the figure out where they should go next on your site. It’s up to you, or more accurately your website, to do that and effortlessly guide them.

Although this may seem like a small thing, if you apply this “No dead ends” concept to every page on your site you are more in charge of how your customer moves around your site. And since your website is supposed to be selling your business, you bet you can be strategic about this. Think about the fact the if a user has scrolled to the end of a page they must be seeing something they like. So what do you want to hit them with when they get to there? Do you want it to be a half empty footer with a few links? Or an insightful question with a relevant call to action that will lead them to go from a curious window-shopper  to an excited customer? You get to decide.

Google will thank you for this

Not only is keeping people’s attention essential for the customer journey, but Google will also thank you for it. People staying on your site and exploring it throughly will show Google that what you have to say is informative and engaging. Once this becomes a pattern, Google will be more likely to rank your blog posts and web pages higher in the results. Google always wants to show websites that are full of genuinely helpful information. Keep this in mind, and if you’re like me, use it as motivation to be as informative, engaging and helpful on your site as possible!

4. Get email addresses from window-shoppers

No matter how easy you make the buying decision on your site or how engaging it is, their will always be a large percentage of people who are merely curious about what your business provides and are not ready to buy yet. This is nothing to worry about and happens in every industry. The key is to be prepared for this and capitalise your window-shoppers curiosity. The most effective way to do this is to collect their email addresses.

You will have come across the idea of an email list while you’ve been brushing up on your marketing skills. There’s a lot of talk about them for a reason.

It’s a great way to be able to directly reach these people again, without the will of an algorithm in your way.

Also once someone subscribes to your list (in a GDPR compliant way of course) you ‘own’ this information in a way. Unlike how a social media glitch or crash might mean you lose followers, you will have access to your email list’s contact info no matter what email marketing platform you move to.

I usually suggest my clients set up a free account with Mailchimp, if they currently don’t have an email list and they want to start somewhere. With a free Mailchimp account, you can set up an email to go out to a new subscriber when they sign up. This is where I attach the freebie/lead magnet/reason you give someone to sign up. This can be anything that you think will be helpful to your audience and move them one step closer to becoming a customer.

Freebie/Lead Magnet examples

  • Pdf How-to guide
  • Mp3 recording of something helpful. Think of it as a mini podcast episode
  • A video – it could be a tutorial or a detailed walkthrough of what to expect when working with you

5. Show your credibility

Like I mentioned before, I don’t want you to hide your light under a bushel. This isn’t going to do you or your small business any justice – not on my watch! Go back into your emails and Instagram dms/comments and gather all the positive feedback you’ve ever gotten from customers.

Get permission to share them publicly and do just that, share them publicly!

When your Website designer asks you for testimonials for your website, you’ll be ready to go. They’ll have more than enough testimonials to sprinkle throughout the site in strategic places, to easily sell what you have to offer.

Also if you have been gathering Google Reviews for your business, even better! It’s great to have reviews on a public platform like this that also helps improve your Local SEO. Maybe a site like Trustpilot or Tripadvisor makes more sense for your industry, but whatever it is share it with your website designer so they have the option to share some if not all of the best things people have said about your business.

Next Steps…

Go back to the start of this blog post and use the perception example to analyse your own website. What do you think strangers who come across your website would think of you business? It doesn’t have to be scary to look at this (although I know it can feel that way), it will just highlight what improvements you need to make. And hopefully, with the rest of the information I’ve shared, making improvements to your site will be clear and easy.

Let me know in the comments what steps you’ve taken to improve your small business website

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Celine Gill
Celine Gill
25 June 2024
I had a fantastic experience working with Amy on the redesign of my brand and my website. From the very start Amy took time to find out about my business values, my processes and where I wanted to take my business. As a designer it was important to me to work with someone who really understood my vision and Amy worked with me to bring that vision to reality. I am so proud of my new website and I am using the new branding and styles for my social media and getting a great response. Thank you so much Amy for all your hard work and for delivering a brand that really represents me and my business.
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17 January 2024
We worked on a brand and website re-design with Amy. It was a great experience, Amy was patient and supported our vision and desired outcomes. We now have a great website and are delighted with our brand look and feel.
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After 10 years in business, a brand redesign and new website was long overdue. During an initial discovery call with Amy McDesign, I was confident that Amy possessed the knowledge, skill and expertise to deliver the project to my requirements. Throughout the process Amy demonstrated a high level of creativity and superb project management skills to keep the project on track. I am delighted with the finished result and have received many compliments about the new brand and website. I can highly recommend Amy and assure potential clients that you will be in very safe and extremely competent hands.
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9 January 2024
Amy is incredibly talented designer and took great time and consideration to understand our business, brand, messaging and style. She created branding for two our brands and a website for one of them. She was always incredibly professional and communicated really well with us. Updates/edits were dealt with quickly. Can't recommend her enough.
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1 December 2023
Amy completely revamped our organisation's website. It was a huge undertaking as the website is bilingual (English and Irish), houses a lot of important documents and material for the schools we represent, and needed to have many extra functions (interactive map, sign-in option, access to documents for members only and so on). Not only does the website function seamlessly, Amy also ensured that the site looks and feels streamlined, modern and very attractive. Our brand feels strong and our school principals are delighted with the ease with which they can now access the materials they need. It has strengthened our professional profile ten-fold. Amy herself was attentive, patient and so easy to contact throughout the whole process. I understood that this would involve a lot of extra time and attention from her to get such a big site up and running but there was never a point at which I didn't feel supported and heard. Go raibh míle maith agat, Amy, táimid an-sásta le www.foras.ie
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I couldn't be more thrilled with the exceptional work done by Amy on my recent website revamp. Not only did she create a fantastic website, but her communication throughout the process was top-notch. I highly recommend her services for anyone seeking a stunning website that fulfills all expectations. She's an absolute professional and a delight to work with.
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What can i say - we were to do an ecommerce website and needed someone good and trustworthy. In Amy we found all of it and more. Creative skills, soft skills and problem solving Amy has it all and we could not be more pleased to have handed the digital part of the business to her. She created a gorgeous website. Thank you Amy - without you we would not be this happy today!
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Working with Amy was an absolute delight and I couldn’t possibly recommend her enough! She has done an amazing job designing our packaging, labels and branding guidelines. After a couple of zoom calls she managed to put my ideas in paper and she absolutely nailed it!
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Sinead Doherty
15 May 2023
Amy is just great at what she does. I loved how she worked with me. She understood this was a journey for me and she was with me on it, supporting and helping wherever she could. She absolutely nailed what it was all about for me with the branding and the attention to detail in her work is the best I've seen. It was a pleasure to work with Amy and I'd highly recommend her to anyone looking to put something together who needs her outstanding skills, guidance and support.
Michael Grace
Michael Grace
18 February 2023
Highly recommended! Amy transformed my website and branding. She was so easy to work with and kept everything on track. Amy quickly understood the kind of website I wanted to put out there and perfectly captured my brand feelings, and values. I'm more than pleased with the transformation and it is something I'm proud to share now. Don't hesitate, book her if you want someone to bring your vision to reality!

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