Are you aware that 2.14 billion people in the world are expected to shop online in 2021? And out of those, nearly half (49.2%) of them shopped via mobile devices.
Having a website for your small business is not an option these days. And we are not talking about a site with basic features. You need a modern website that is mobile-optimized and has all the advanced features.
It’s natural that online customers wouldn’t want to come back to a website if they encounter a bad experience. If you look at more stats, 77% of agencies say that a poor website UX is a weakness for their clients.
If you have been neglecting to update or redesign your website for a few years, you need to get down to business and act fast.
But before that, let’s look at some of the most crucial elements of a modern website.
What are the elements of an excellent modern website design?
There are many elements that combine to make a great website.
However, here is a list of some of the top elements of a modern website:
- Search engine optimized site
- Responsive design
- Fast loading page speed
- Doing away with homepage sliders
- Including the strategic call-to-actions (CTAs)
- Adding background videos
Implementing these design elements and trends will ensure that your website is up-to-date and offer a great UX. Check these marketing trends compiled by the Concept Marketing Group.
Now, let’s have a look at why your small business can’t succeed without a modern website and how these elements and trends will help enhance your site.
1. Mobile shoppers outnumber desktop shoppers.
Mobile shoppers are fast outnumbering desktop shoppers. Even statistics suggest that nearly half of all e-commerce purchases were made via smartphones in 2020.
And the same report indicates that e-commerce purchases via smartphones are slated to go beyond 50% in 2021.
These are huge numbers!
Thus, going mobile-first is a strategy you should implement. When you have a mobile-responsive website, the images will automatically adjust to fit the screen size the customer is using.
Apart from that, you will have dynamic content and the right layout depending on the device, making it easier for customers to consume the content.
Keep all these essential points in mind while designing a mobile-first website design:
- Researching and identifying your users’ pain points to place them at the front of your design
- Determining the user flows and user journeys
- Creating concise and precise content
- And keeping your design minimal and straightforward
Make sure your site is user-friendly, easily navigable on mobile, and the content is sized to fit the viewport. And apart from scrollable content, make sure to use mobile-friendly typography as well.
2. Customers want fast loading pages.
One study found that the average time taken to load a web page on the desktop entirely is 10.3 seconds. On mobile, it takes 27.3 seconds. However, it is crucial to aim to optimize your mobile page speeds as more people prefer to browse via phones.
The loading speed of a website page is related to the mobile-responsiveness of your site’s design. Following SEO best practices, reducing the size of your files by using software apps like Gzip.
Here are some of the tried and tested strategies to optimize your web page speed:
- Reducing redirects
- Leveraging browser caching
- Improving server response time
- Using a content distribution network
- And optimizing images
3. Eliminate outdated features like sliders
Does your business website still have Sliders/carousels? If so, you must be keeping your most generous offers and content there. But studies have found that web visitors don’t click or read the information in sliders? Why?
Sliders are said to create a poor user experience on websites. Users complain that they aren’t able to read past the first slide.
Image carousels that are designed to rotate automatically also make it hard to access the web as some people need an extended time to read the content on the slide.
Modern web designers, thus, steer away from building sliders for years now.
4. Not including Calls-to-Action will reduce sales
It may be surprising, but according to an old survey by SmallBizTrends, 70% of small business websites don’t have a Call to Action on their homepage.
How can you achieve your goal of selling your products or have clients reach out to your business when users don’t take action? Your goal could even be making users sign up for your newsletter.
Modern websites have a clear CTA above the fold so that it is the first thing visitors notice when they visit your homepage. You can even aim to place it in the utility navigation, margin, or above the footer.
Some great tips for writing CTA include:
- Using strong action verbs
- Making the action clear
- Creating a sense of urgency
- Appealing to emotion
- Using contrasting color and white space to make it stand out
- Strategically placing your CTA button.
Below is an excellent example of CTA used by Shopify on a mobile ad.
Mobile ad space, as you know, is limited. Shopify thus uses a concise and fast CTA.
“Sell Your Crafts on FB!” and “Sell online, in-store, and on Facebook…” are extremely brief and befitting for the Facebook platform, where briefness is critical.
They also made a smart move by using ellipsis right before the “Learn More” button as it takes users from one thought right to the CTA button.
Also, note the use of bold CTAs. It makes the CTAs visually and hence increases leads and conversions.
5. Your website has to be SEO-optimized.
The goal of any small business owner with a website is to attract more visitors. Search engines are a great way to get traffic.
When you rank higher in popular search engines like Google, your business will get the much sought-after exposure. The work of optimizing your site should not solely rest on SEO experts alone, though you need a skilled SEO specialist like Supple to craft SEO-friendly and optimized content.
Ensure that the web designers you hire have an understanding of SEO as well. Your site needs to be built on a foundation of SEO best practices.
Placing the right keywords in specific site headers and text areas will allow Google bots to pick up your relevancy.
6. Your website needs background videos.
A lot of modern websites use background videos. The reason? They attract the visitor instantly as they land on your page. If used correctly, video can be a powerful tool. Moreover, a study found out that visuals are processed 60,000 times faster by the human brain as opposed to text.
Add the key points about your company in the video, make the text legible and use high-resolution. Also, remember, less is more. Though you may use bold colors and animations, stay focused on your video’s purpose. Choose a simple design so as not to distract your audience.
In this day and age, where the number of online shoppers is increasing, and there are more mobile shoppers than desktop shoppers, not having a modern website for your small business will definitely have a negative impact.
Moreover, shoppers want to get things done fast and without any hassle. Thus, you need to optimize your site for page speed, responsiveness and do away with outdated features like carousels. Also, every website needs an SEO strategy, and your site must have CTAs and background videos.
These are the six popular reasons why your small business needs a modern website. Make sure to invest your time and resource in creating one lest your business lags behind.
About the Author
Lucy Manole is a creative content writer and strategist at Marketing Digest. She specializes in writing about digital marketing, technology, entrepreneurship, and education. When she is not writing or editing, she spends time reading books, cooking, and traveling.