Rethinking small business web design
Disclaimer: This is a quite long post, read it with care.
Some questions every small business owners should ask themself
Did you ever measured how much your website really worth in terms of positive impact on your business?
Are you aware of how much money did you made thanks to your website?
How many new customers did you get thanks to it?
Have you ever wondered how many hours did you saved on phone calls thanks to your website?
Are your potential customers really finding your website when they search your services on google?
I mean, are you able to number all these metrics?
Most likely not, but don’t worry you are not alone.
Websites as we know it are quite useless today
You may wondering why we are making all these questions to you today.
The answer is simple: those times when simply having a website to be present on the web is now over.
The proof of that is the brutal growth of social media that everybody use on daily basis even to promote their business and get connected with their customers that have surclassed the old times of websites browsing.
Your most likely outdated website cannot compete with these giants in terms of their capacity to reach your potential new customers and to engage with them.
So the question is: Is your website still an useful tool for your business?
Short answer is: YES, but only under certain conditions.
We need to rethink website design fundaments
The first move is to stop thinking at your website as something that should please you or the webmaster that has made it or the web agency that sold it to you.
If you think that the website is something that should simply meet your narcissistic aesthetic desires you are definitely out of the way.
For many years all of us believed that a website should be a sort of personal representation of our business ( ourself ) on the web and all the efforts to design it were focused on loading images, visual effects, logos, and tons of texts just because we liked them. And just because we liked them we were persuaded that even our visitors were happy to see all ( this most of the time ) nonsense stuff.
The explosion of the stock themes made us thinking that making a website is something that everybody can do just by choosing a template that liked us much and then replacing the dummy content with our ones, frequently worst than the dummy ones.
What are the final results of this sort of “egocentric” web-desing?
A web full of outdated, brutally slow, ugly or copy&paste designed, selfish content, confusing websites.
In most cases hosted on cheap and underperforming hosting companies, that are simply useful to no one.
Maybe only to the webmasters that have been paid for them and for the joy of those business owners that can be proud to say that they have made it by their self during week-ends.
Who cares if the real final users of these websites have been totally neglected in terms of “users problem solving”.
Every day the most part of visitors systematically shut down your website after few seconds because of the slowness of the page load or because of the mess of the contents that prevent them from getting basic information about who you are and what you do.
Are we too provocative with these statements? Maybe yes.
But that’s the sad reality baby.
If you are willing to accept that there is something real in what we have described, then we could start talking about the possible solutions.
A new paradigma for website design for small business is going to emerge
These days our team is really questioning all the work made to date. Thousand of hours spent on our customers websites for years give us a whole picture of the status of the art of the websites of small business owners like you that, at the end of the day, only need a real productive tool trough a web interface that helps your business on some specific tasks.
We arrived to a final conclusion: we need to change the way we look at a website, at our business website.
It’s time to understand that if we really want to benefit from it as business owners we need to re-consider a website for it’s original intrinsic nature: a tool at service of our final users.
We need to put our selfishness apart and start thinking at our prospects real needs and leave the design of this interaction oriented interface ( what we are used to call “website) to those people that work with this matter every fxxxing day.
Talking about professionals that provide services upon reservation, that is our main job matter for a long time,
we arrived to a possible and reasonable website definition:
A website is a digital interface that your current and future customers need to interact with to perform a limited but well defined actions:
– find your business trough search engines using relevant keywords
– get the information they are really care about your business in the first 10 seconds of browsing, not a second more
– make a reservation in a quick and intuitive way
– get in contact with you
That is it.
Now it’s time to verify if your current website does respond to the above requirements and start thinking what’s is still wrong with it.
On our side we are working at an our solution to this kind of problem, but we’ll talk about it later.
Thank you for your time and patience, but we made it because we really care about you and your business.