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Strategies for Small Business UX/UI Website Design

Written by Brittany Degnan

June 3, 2024

Designing a website for a small business starts with understanding who your audience is and what they like. By analyzing how users interact with a website, businesses can ensure that the website is easy to use and captures attention. This thorough approach to understanding a business’s audience guides decisions about design, content, and functionality, ensuring that the website meets the needs of a company’s user base.

Understanding Your Audience

Knowing your target audience and what they like should always be the starting point when designing a website. Using an SRM tool helps in understanding a business’s target audience through market research. Determining what websites the audience visits often and how they like to use the internet. Then, begin designing the website to fit those preferences, making sure everything is easy to use and catches attention. After the website is live, track how users interact with the website using tools like heat maps and analytics. This helps a business see if their website is performing well for their target audience and, if not, make changes to improve it. In this way, a company can track if the website meets the needs of different types of users and stays up-to-date with what those users are more likely to engage with.

Conducting Comprehensive Audience Research

Understanding the target audience’s demographics, interests, and behaviors involves a multi-faceted approach. Businesses can gain insights from market research combined with input from clients with firsthand knowledge of their customers. Tapping into the wealth of online data aids in thoroughly analyzing the target market. Tools like Google Analytics provide invaluable information about user behavior on websites. Proprietary methods, alongside tools that conduct competitor analysis, allow the identification of strengths and weaknesses with competing brands and allow a company to refine its approach. Integrating data from various sources and employing client collaboration and online research can help comprehensively understand the audience’s needs and preferences, guiding design, content, and functionality decisions.

Analyzing Audience Behavior, Preferences, and Persona Development

Businesses use complex analytics systems to track and understand user interactions with their website, identifying conversion paths through set funnels. Businesses should continuously refine methods, as informed by years of website development experience. For instance, adjustments like changing button text are made to enhance conversion rates. Meanwhile, creating detailed user personas starts with comprehensive market research and SRM framework utilization to guide decision-making. Complex analytics setups aid in prioritizing client needs, and funnel development tracks user journeys for conversion optimization. This iterative refinement, informed by extensive website development and analytics experience, ensures seamless integration of user personas into the design process, shaping user-centric experiences.
holding target audience in the palm of hand
audience engagement through mobile device

Simplifying Navigation and Layout

Determining a small business website’s most effective navigation structure and layout involves balancing simplicity with comprehensive content access. Avoid overfilling the navigation bar, limiting it to three key categories to maintain focus. Place the most important information furthest left on the navigation bar for easy access upon landing. Follow with conversion actions like services or industry pages, and include validating content such as the company story or blog. Managing redirects preserves the SEO. Then, post-website launch, seek feedback from trusted individuals, whether friends, family, or co-workers, to help identify and address navigation and layout challenges, ensuring a seamless user experience and easy access to content.

Implementing Intuitive Navigation Structures and Clear Call-to-Actions

Making sure users can easily find what they’re looking for within a few clicks involves different approaches depending on where they’re coming from. For organic traffic, like from blogs, the goal is to quickly answer their question and provide more information, followed by a clear call-to-action for conversion. Ads already direct people to specific pages, so it’s important to make sure those pages emphasize the conversion point and match the ad’s message. Design elements like button color, text, placement, and mobile responsiveness. For instance, using orange buttons with rounded edges and changing colors upon hover enhances visibility. Conducting A/B tests optimizes these elements, guiding users to take the desired actions more easily improving navigation and UX.

Designing for Mobile Responsiveness

For a smooth user experience (UX) across different devices, particularly mobile, companies should prioritize building mobile-first and enhancing content for usability and aesthetics. Starting with the mobile design and then expanding ideas for desktop caters well to younger audiences, who mainly use mobile devices. Adding extra details on mobile, similar to designing an app, will boost user engagement. Prioritizing content, especially conversion points, ensures key information is readily available on mobile devices. Techniques like incorporating sticky buttons for easy access to conversion actions improve mobile usability. These strategies will create a cohesive and user-friendly browsing experience for visitors across all devices, maximizing engagement and conversion.

planning navigation for small business website
call to action buttons leading towards the objective

Enhancing Engagement and Speed

DebtMD debt solutions analyzer

For example, WiT Group created a debt analyzer tool for our client, DebtMD, providing an avenue for users to input information and receive valuable information—a successful strategy to increase user engagement and drive conversions. By installing monthly analytics and closely monitoring website activity, we identified areas of low engagement and high intent users, enabling them to effectively optimize and enhance conversion rates. The DebtMD debt analyzer, designed to match users with suitable loan providers, demonstrates this approach by leading users to unique, visually appealing pages tailored to their needs. This fosters a sense of value and trust among users. Small businesses can utilize emerging trends like interactive content, personalized experiences, and faster website speeds to boost performance, engage users, and increase conversion rates.

Creating Engaging Visual Content

Visual storytelling is vital for capturing the audience’s attention and conveying a brand message effectively on a business’s website. Ensuring consistency in visual style and branding across different pages strengthens the brand’s identity, fostering trust and recognition among users. Our team designs the website using Adobe Illustrator before building, which allows for a comprehensive overview and coherence in visual elements. Utilizing a style guide and unique module identifiers, such as those in atomic design, maintains consistency in look and tone throughout the site. This enhances user experience and reinforces the brand’s message and identity, ensuring it resonates effectively with the audience.

Optimizing Website Speed and Performance

Improving website loading speed and overall performance for a better user experience involves several factors, depending on the size and structure of the site. Initially, examining the code to ensure no unnecessary or unused code is on the backend and then assessing the HTML-to-text ratio to optimize the content display. Considerations such as image size, font loading, and page attributes play significant roles; utilize tools to monitor page loading speed and identify optimizations. Monthly analytics reviews allow the team to analyze performance metrics and strategize accordingly, either reinforcing successful approaches or adapting strategies for improvement. Continual website speed and performance enhancements are checked by assessing performance trends and identifying controllable factors.

Understanding your audience, simplifying website navigation and layout, and improving engagement and conversion is key to small business website success. By implementing these strategies, small businesses can increase their visibility, better engage customers, and drive more conversions. Continuous improvement based on user feedback and market trends is crucial for long-term success. A well-designed website that offers a seamless user experience empowers small businesses to thrive in a competitive market. Therefore, it’s essential to prioritize UX website design to achieve transformative growth and success.

<a href="" target="_self">Brittany Degnan</a>

Brittany Degnan


Brittany Degnan is a PR and Brand Manager for WiT Group and works out of the Columbia SC office.
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