7 Must-Know Design Tips For Your Small Business Website

Are you struggling with your website?

If you are, you’re not alone. Small business owners haven’t caught up with modern technology. Over a third of small business owners get less than 5% of their business from their website.

To increase your small business website’s effectiveness, start with the design recommendations below.

By the time you finish this article, you’ll know seven effective, audience-boosting strategies. Improve your design and up your game for 2018.

Color Design

According to Kissmetrics, 85% of shoppers say color is the primary reason they bought a particular product.

So, what colors should you choose, and why?

People in the US attach the following values to prime colors:


  • Urgency
  • Energetic
  • Elevated Heart Rate
  • Seen in Clearance Sales


  • Trust
  • Security
  • Seen in Banks


  • Wealth
  • Seen in Relaxing Stores


  • Young
  • Optimistic
  • Grabs Attention
  • Used for Window Shoppers


  • Aggressive
  • Drives Action
  • Seen On Website Buttons


  • Feminine
  • Romantic
  • Seen in Stores/Products for Girls/Women


  • Soothing
  • Calming
  • Seen on Beauty Products


  • Powerful
  • Lustrous
  • Seen on Luxury Products

Look at the colors you’re using on your website. Compare them to the above.

How can you change your color scheme to better target your customers? Here are a few rules of thumb:

If you target impulse shoppers, focus on black, blue, and dark orange. If you target budget shoppers, focus on dark blue and teal. If you focus on traditional buyers, focus on pinks and light blue.

Experts consider these “bright” colors. They pop. Choose one bright color (two at most). Use it sparingly on critical areas of your page. (Examples: crucial details, major selling points, and calls-to-action.)

Then choose three neutral colors, like greys, beiges, baby blues, or light peaches. Use these colors for backgrounds, borders, and fonts on your small business website.

Text Design

Make headlines pop. Your headlines need to stand out. Make sure each headline is larger than the text in the body of your webpage. Headlines are also a great place to include a burst of color.

Use one of the bright colors you chose in the last section. If not, matte black is another good choice.

Choose a readable size. Make sure you use at least a 14 point font. Nothing smaller. Use 14-18 point fonts for the body of your webpage. Use 16+ point fonts for your headlines.

Make body font neutral. Stick to greyscale color schemes. Use no more than two separate tones of grey for the body of your page.

Button Design

Button design is actually a sub-topic of call-to-action (CTA) design.

A call-to-action (CTA) refers to any action you want potential clients to take.

It might be to call this number, fill out this form, or push this button. In most cases, CTAs are synonymous with pushing buttons.

Here are a few tips to get you started. (Remember, you can use these rules of thumb with any CTAs.)

Use benefit-oriented language. Think about it from your customer’s point of view. What’s in it for them if they take that action?

Will they receive a free e-book? (“Get my free ebook, now!”) Or will you respond to their query? (“Get your answer”)

Use reds and oranges. These two colors prompt people to take action. Use either dark orange or red on the button itself.

Put your button above the fold. The fold on a website refers to anything which visitors can’t initially see. Typical web pages require a user to scroll up and down to see the entire page.

So why put it above the fold? Jakob Nielsen found that only 20% of people read below the fold.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include a button near the end of your page too. Throw one down there as well, after all, your enticing copy has done its work.

Video Design

Add a video to your homepage.

In the State of Video Marketing 2018 Wyzowl interviewed marketers and consumers alike. 76% of the marketers polled said online video marketing increase their sales. And 72% of consumers said they’d rather watch a video than read the corresponding text.

So where do you put them?

Rules of thumb: If the videos are at the top or near the bottom of your page, then center them. Otherwise, justify them left or right. Also, limit the text on the page. Let the video do its work.

Testimonial Design

Choose the right size testimonial. Testimonials rarely run longer than three sentences.

First, look at the space in which you plan to insert them. How much room do you have? Can you cut the testimonial down to one powerful sentence, so it’ll fit? Will it have more impact?

Rules of thumb: Use a 14 or 16 point font. Don’t over-edit. Never fake a testimonial. Use the testimonials to address your buyers’ objections.

Also, don’t throw your testimonials willy-nilly about your small business website. Insert them next to your call-to-action. Their primary purpose isn’t to persuade your visitors to take action.

That’s what your copy is for.

Their primary purpose is to reinforce your persuasion. If they’re already thinking about pushing that button, testimonials will push them over the edge.

They’ll push the button.

Image Design

Use high definition images. Screen definition grows better each year. Get rid of grainy photos and introduce high-quality pics. This is especially true for any hero photos or other pics that extend the width of a desktop screen.

Crop your photos. Is your website responsive? What dimensions do you need your photos to be? Where will each sit on the page? What will it look like on a desktop? What about on a mobile phone?

You need to have these answers in mind when you adjust your photos. Crop your photos to the exact dimensions you need.

Larger photos take up more hard drive space. Larger files require a greater load time.

Keep your files small.

Also, the space under your images and graphics is prime real estate. Use it. Include keywords, key ideas, and inbound or outbound links. Never leave it empty.


Shoot for minimalism. Modern web users scan pages rather than read them. They pick out keywords and sentences to see whether a site has what they need.

Break up your page. White space, headlines, bullet points, and images all break up space on your page. They make the page easier to read and scan.

Remove unnecessary clutter. Each webpage needs one specific purpose. Build the page around that purpose, and remove any extraneous words, images, or videos.

Your Small Business Website Revamped

Don’t integrate these seven design tips then quit. Maintaining a professional small business website requires persistence.

What does your current website say about your brand? What does it say about your target audience? Are you hitting the mark?

Begin some A/B testing to see how your design changes affect your audience. How can you tweak your design to keep your visitors glued to your page?

Take a moment. Tour the rest of our site for more ideas on design and other ways to upgrade your business’s digital presence.

Start now. You’re the key to your business’s success.