The Psychology of Websites – Giving Your Small Business Website the Designer’s Touch

According to Netcraft there are about 162 million websites on the internet today. From major corporations to your local “mom and pop” shop in your local neighborhood, it seems that every business has a virtual counterpart taking advantage of lucrative web market. It’s amazing how the internet has grown, where even up until 1996 the number of website was barely breaking the 100,000 mark. In less than a decade that number has proliferated to the point where the number of websites surpasses the population figures for most countries in the world.

If 162 million is a difficult number to register, but invariably, as a small business owner what this means is that if you have a website the competition to gain visitors is quite daunting. Now, it’s safe to say that if you are a small business with a website, you aren’t up against 162 million websites, however it’s always prudent to scope out the market you are in and find out who your competitors. In doing so, you can apply tactic to how you want to market your website as well as differentiate yourself and your products from the status quo.

So how does a small business, in a relatively small to medium market, differentiate their website from their competition?

Let’s say that after analyzing your competitive outlook you find that there are about 15 competitor websites in your market. You’ve got a great product or service that lines up or exceeds that of your customers and your organization’s brand is starting to gain traction, however your competitors have been in the game longer and are attracting a sizable amount of the total search traffic. If you have a website, and are looking to really make an impact on your bottom line, there are a few things you should ask yourself if your website isn’t getting you the attention your business deserves. Whether you’re business is up against 10 competitor websites or 1 million (and a few corporate giants) the internet is really a democratic place, and even though the dotcom boom is over, there are small business websites that are strikingly ingenious and incorporate an appreciative creativity that helps them stand out from the rest. Here are a few tips from a design perspective that will help your website stand out – or as I like to say, giving your website a megaphone in a crowd…

  • Creating the lasting first impression: Making a good first impression transcends across many aspects of life. From interviews to meeting your fiancé’s parents, you always want to make sure that you give people a positive and impactful characterization of who you are. A website designer helps you characterize your business from the homepage on out. They help you analyze your target consumer and translates what stimulates and engages these people directly onto your site so that when they come for a visit it’s not just a simple perusal of your products and services, it’s a meaningful interaction between your company and a customer you hope will return again and again.
  • Color really makes a difference: Do you know why McDonald’s has so much yellow in design? No, it’s not just coincidence that they utilize this bright tint, but rather, studies have shown that yellow actually stimulates and encourages a person’s appetite. Unbeknownst to most, colors do have a powerful impact on humans, and it may be an evolutionary trait as our early ancestors distinguished edible fruits by their color. Blending color and design is an art, and a designer can help a small business leverage the power of color in order to incite certain emotions when a person visits a website.
  • Turning your website into an experience: We all know how frustrating it is to go to a website and spending 30 minutes just trying to figure out how to get to the information you want. Website navigability is probably one of the biggest pandemics websites face today. It’s mostly because websites today are a glut of information splayed out on a webpage without regard for how an average person digests information. A website should be an experience and from the entry to each subsequent landing page should be a step by step process that your website designer has orchestrated so that the visitor goes from being an speculative prospect to an end client.
  • Incorporating Uniqueness and Individuality: I’ve worked with many small business owners, and the first thing they usually tell me when I start talking about the design and architecture of their website is “I’m not a designer.” While that may be true, what this usually means is they just want what their competitors have or are happy to go with redundant templates just as long as their business has some form of web presence. While this may be the route that some business owners take, it’s a road that eventually leads to subpar website performance and visitor disengagement. Try to envision how you want your business to be represented on the web, think about the experience you want your customers to have with your website, and imagine for yourself what the buying process would be for someone interested in your products. While the web is extremely competitive and saturated with similar product offerings and services, your website should be trying to convince your visitors why you are better and why they should believe you.

Getting a website to perform isn’t really that difficult. It’s just about knowing the in’s and out’s of design. To get more insights into website design for small business visit

Article By Giessel Razavi

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