Design Your Website For Your Customer


Your small business website is an opportunity to take your user on a simple, clear journey. You can craft a single page that tells the story of your business and why your unique venture is valuable to your customer and convert a lead or sale from this interaction. Or, you can take the irrational approach, and make your website visually cool and all about your awesome-ness. When you take the latter approach, please cross your fingers that your site resonates with your customers.

First Impressions Matter

Your website is a tool, a place to educate your customer. It’s fundamentally a middle man who speaks on your behalf to connect you to your customer. When a potential customer lands on your site from a search, link, or social media platform you have mere moments to grab their attention and encourage them to spend their time learning about your business. Whatever first impression your website radiates, will either build a connection or encourage a visitor to click the close button. Single page websites are user-friendly, allowing a reader to scan the page quickly on their device, and make a decision.

What should you show your viewer right away?

It’s simple, but there’s common misconceptions. Your website doesn’t need to be “cool” or “clever.” All you need to do is put the customer’s need first and show them you have relief to their pain(s). The first thing to show a visitor is your name and title, who you help, and what specific problem you solve. Add in other relevant information that is vital to your customer, visuals and/or FAQs, then give a call to action to tell the reader the next step. All key information needs to be above the fold, and fill up the screen before a visitor starts scrolling down.

This positioning of your professional first impression online does 3 crucial things.

If the visitor isn’t who you help or have the problem that you solve, then they know this within seconds and can leave, neither party will lose any time.

If the visitor reads this and they are your ideal customer and have the problem you solve, then why wouldn’t they read on and perform your call to action?

It shows you can communicate who you are and what you do in a simple, clear manner. It’s like your digital elevator pitch that works 24/7. As Einstein said: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.

When speaking about the specific problem you solve, should you be brief or elaborate on your solution?

This depends 100% on who your audience is. There’s A/B testing data that shows longer copy around 1200 words work effectively, but so does shorter copy under 400 words. If you need a reference, this blog post is just shy of 800 words.

The length of copy depends on if the person visiting your website already knows what they’re looking for. If your visitors are going to learn something new from your small business, then make the copy longer. But if they already know about you and your business offerings, you can keep it short.

For Example: If you’re a designer that specializes in bamboo wedding jewelry, you need to consider who your audience is, and if they are aware of your product. If you’re getting most of your traffic from a blog that covers a catalog of bamboo wedding items, you can provide an overview about your product and the unique aspects. The viewer is already educated on bamboo wedding products, so you can keep general information brief. But, if you’re getting traffic from a large social platform like Twitter, taking the time and writing a detailed overview of your process, the benefits of bamboo jewelry and other positive facets of your product, will educate your viewer on your business and industry.

Once you hit 500 unique visitors a month on your website, you should consider A/B testing your site.

Each business interacts differently with its customers, testing two pages with different copy, layout structure, images, color and call to action is a way to determine what converts best with your customers. From testing you can experiment to see how your customers use your site, and refine the design into an ideal user-experience as your business grows.

You can sign up with A/B sites which do cost a monthly fee, but unless you have consistent traffic coming in every month, you can hold off for now. The best thing to do is to ask your current customers how user-friendly your site is, then document feedback to implement during the next redesign of your website.

Chris Brock