Creating a good business website, especially when you're just starting out, can have a major impact on the success and future growth of your organization. Done right, your website can serve as an "online business card," presenting relevant information about who you are and what your vision is, showcasing your products and services and ultimately enabling you to create a dedicated following and a supportive community around your brand online.
These seven entrepreneurs offer some of their best design tips for creating a strong business website that reflects your brand identity and allows potential customers who find you through a Google search to connect with you more easily.
Use a template.
Even if you don't have big bucks to spend on design, you can still get a fully functional website by using a free template, especially now that there is currently a very diverse offering of quality templates available, says Andrew Saladino, co-founder and COO of Kitchen Cabinet Kings.
"It's better to have a website that has a great, easy experience for your users, than to have something completely unique that is hard to use," Saladino explains. "Don't be afraid to use premade templates -- chances are, your users won't even know the difference."
Use clean colors and fonts.
"Many business owners are opting for a simple web design with clean colors and text font," LTVplus CEO David Henzel says when talking about what makes a good, easy-to-use business website.
"If you're trying to build a flashy website with lots of code, complicated themes and plugins and an array of colors and images, take a step back," Henzel advises. "Sometimes, a grayscale, minimalistic website with a bold and clear font is all you need for a successful site design."
Remember the white space.
Besides colors and fonts, another crucial part of any website design is the blank space. According to Stephanie Wells, founder of Formidable Forms, "White space, also known as negative space, is a must-have on your website because it gives readers a moment to breathe."
When designing their website, any business owner needs to make sure there is enough blank space between content blocks to improve flow and readability for users, Wells adds. Visitors who open a site only to be met by large content blocks will most likely leave right away.
Make it easy to navigate.
Any good design needs to also take into consideration ease of navigation, so if you have little to no experience building a website and can't afford to pay someone to do it, just make sure you prioritize this aspect, LFNT Distribution co-founder Colbey Pfund recommends.
"If you don't, people that are considering doing business with you may find it hard to take you seriously," Pfund explains. "A convoluted webpage says that you don't pay attention to detail and you don't have a clear vision."
Never neglect mobile.
Design elements aside, any website nowadays needs to be optimized for mobile users, since a huge percentage of website traffic will come from mobile, says Jared Atchison, co-founder of WPForms.
"There's nothing worse than a poor mobile user experience, and people will quickly catch on that your site isn't optimized for them, which will lead to a higher bounce rate. Always design with mobile in mind," Atchison advises.
Create compelling content.
"The most important element of a website is the copy because that's what makes visitors convert into customers," thinks Kristin Kimberly Marquet, founder of Fem Founder.
According to Marquet, if an entrepreneur doesn't have a lot of funds to invest in a website, they should consider using a more affordable or free platform such as Wix or Squarespace to build on their own, and then use the funds to hire a good copywriter.
Have a prominent call to action.
Last but not least, a business website must have a highly visible call to action, insists ProTexting founder and CEO Kalin Kassabov: "If visitors can't easily see your phone number, opt-in form or icon to download your white paper, they'll leave without your gaining a new lead or customer."
People are distracted, and even if they may intend to come back to your website later, it's very likely that they will forget. This is why "you need to make it easy for them to take action right away," Kassabov concludes.