740 words|2.9 min read|

Much is asked of small business web design. Everyone wants their website to look terrific, but ultimately they want it to drive sales. You don’t have to have a weak online presence just because you have a small company. Though you may not be competing with huge enterprises (yet), there’s absolutely no reason why you should settle for a small business web design that isn’t visually appealing.

Most shoppers search online before making the decision to purchase something, particularly if that something is expensive. Your website makes your company’s first impression, and how it looks and works are primary drivers of positive first impressions. Users form opinions about websites in a half-second or less. Therefore your site design should be considered an integral part of your overall business strategy. Here are some ways website aesthetics affect your business.

Fair or Not, People Make Snap Judgments Based on Website Appearance

The impression your site makes on visitors happens quickly, and these first impressions have a lasting effect, often shaping opinions on your trustworthiness and competence. Visual complexity and color choices can convey understated confidence in your products and services, or they can convey desperation or lack of understanding of what works in small business web design. Visitors’ first impressions of your site affect how likely they are to make a conversion, and how they perceive you compared to your competitors. Sites can stand out for the right reasons or the wrong reasons.

Visual Identity Can Set You Above Competitors

Many businesses are guilty of adopting a “me-too” approach to small business web design. In other words, competitors may have remarkably similar website designs. Perhaps the very first business in your industry did it a certain way, and they’re still in business, so you perceive their design as safe. But it’s just as likely that their website is holding back sales rather than increasing them. There’s no rule that your site has to be similar to those of your competitors. Rather, your site should use images, fonts, and design elements to differentiate you from the competition. A strong visual identity is important to brand differentiation.

Sites Can Be Conversion-Focused and Aesthetically Pleasing

Naturally, you want as many conversions as possible from the people who visit your website, and you should incorporate design elements that facilitate conversions. You can do everything right in terms of facilitating conversions, but if your site doesn’t have enough visual appeal to make people stick around longer than a split second, you won’t benefit.

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For conversions to happen, your site has to look good enough to encourage people to stay on it.

For conversions to happen, your site has to look good enough to encourage people to stay on it.

Fortunately, design choices can positively influence conversions. Clear headings, a logical font hierarchy, an uncluttered feel, and obvious navigation provide visitors with a positive experience, increasing the chances they will remain on your site long enough to decide to click on a call to action button or make a purchase.

But Great Visual Appeal Can’t Make Up for Poor Functionality

Outstanding aesthetic appeal is essential to small business web design. However, the site’s functionality is equally as important. A great looking site that happens to be buggy, contains dead links, or is impossible to navigate won’t help business. Navigation should be intuitive and simple from every page except for your landing pages (which should only navigate to a post-conversion page).

Your site should load quickly, and you can ensure it does by using online tools that evaluate load speed. Every link should be tested, and your web designer should be easy to contact if you discover functionality problems. Before you sign a contract with a web designer, make sure both parties are clear on what the designer will and will not do to address any problems discovered after the site goes live.


A beautiful web design can’t save a dysfunctional website. At the same time, a perfectly functional site may not get any attention if it is not designed to be visually appealing. Both elements are critical to small business web design. Choose a web designer who understands what lead generation is and how design elements can add to or detract from effective lead generation.

At LeapGo, we are thoroughly committed to outstanding website aesthetics and design that facilitates conversions. Please feel free to reach out to us for answers to your small business web design questions.

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About the Author: Jason Corgiat

I started building websites in 1999. Through the years I've worked with hundreds of businesses in various verticals and have built, implemented and managed digital strategies for companies of all sizes. My education is not formal and neither are my methods. Chances are, I can add value to your organization from day 1 but I'll let you be the judge. I'm a proud father of 4, luckiest husband in the world, and enjoy the occasional gym session. How was that for a bio?

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