10 Examples of Effective Web Design Strategy for Small Businesses in 2020

Building a website that doesn’t engage and convert customers is a complete waste of time.

Even if you hire a web design agency to build your website, you still need to give the right project specifications on what website elements and layouts to include.

In this in-depth article, I’ll show you 10 examples of well-designed websites of small-medium businesses. Plus, you’ll discover key web design strategy ideas that make these websites beautiful and effective…. So you can apply it on your own.

Quick outline for this article:

  1. Benefits of a Well-Designed Website
  2. Examples of Strategic Website Design Ideas
  3. Summary: How to Build a Strategic Website

Benefits of a Well-Designed Website

You can’t underestimate the value of a good website design for your business. According to a discussion on Quora, a beautiful and strategic web design can result in:

  • Increased brand awareness & trust
  • Better user experience
  • Higher conversion

CrazyEgg suggests that a strategic web design provides a good first impression to your visitors, resulting in better user engagement. 

And the longer they engage, the more chances they’ll buy from you.

Now let’s consider some ideas of what a good business website looks like.

Examples of Strategic Website Design Ideas (for Your Inspiration)

Obviously, there’s no perfect website. One style can work best on your website that doesn’t work on others.

That’s why we believe that continuous performance evaluation and growth is necessary when building a website for a business.

But here are 10 websites that use certain web design strategy ideas that you could also apply to your own.

1. Build Guild

website strategy example 1 - Build Guild

Build Guild is an organization that encourages regular social gathering among “web folks.” But even if your business isn’t organizing events, you can apply these important web design strategy elements.

CLEAR “BRAND STORY”

The first thing you’ll notice on their website is the statement: “BUILD GUILD is a friendly, monthly gathering for all web folks that enjoy chatting over drinks.”

That’s a straightforward way to tell visitors what it’s all about: It’s a regular social gathering; it’s for people interested in the web; and it includes drinks.

All in just a few seconds.

According to HubSpot, 55% of website visitors will spend fewer than 15 seconds on your website. Another study cited on QuickSprout also shows that people spend 80% of their time looking at the first part of your home page.

above the fold web design strategy
Image Source: QuickSprout

So give a brief and clear message of what your business is all about and its value for your visitors RIGHT FROM THE START.

• LARGE TEXTS AND HIGH CONTRASTS

Build Guild also uses high contrast colors: blue background and white text. This makes the content easier to view.

Based on the color theory, using the wrong colors in the web page can decrease readability and quickly tire the user’s eyes. 

So use light colors over a dark background (or vice versa) in your website.

2. Andersson/Wise

website strategy example 2 - andersson

Andersson/Wise is a business focused on designing and building different architectural structures. Especially if your business involves a kind of art, you can apply these same web design strategy ideas.

• PORTFOLIO

There’s no other best way to convince your potential clients than giving them a preview of what you can do for them.

If you’re a graphic designer, include a gallery showing logos and business cards you did for previous clients. If you’re a web agency, post a gallery showing websites.

• EFFECTS

Andersson/Wise includes effects when you hover your mouse to each piece in the project gallery. That hover effect gives you the signal to click and view the project in detail.

According to Smart Bug Media, effects and animations draw attention to specific website elements like buttons. It tells visitors what they will or should do next with your website. And that leads to better engagement and conversions.

Of course, don’t overdo it since animation codes could slow down your website.

Unless you’re a digital animations business, add effects just enough to keep your website from looking plain and dull.

3. ETQ

website strategy example 3 - ETQ

ETQ is an online store that offers sneakers and casual shoes for men and women. If you’re an ecommerce business too, you can apply this web design strategy.

• ALTERNATE VIEWS OF PRODUCT IMAGES

When you hover your mouse to ETQ’s products, you’ll see a different perspective of how it looks. Seeing different angles is much similar to checking an actual product at a retail store.

According to Volusion, this gives customers a fuller experience with your store.

So make sure you have plenty of images for use in your business website.

• INSTAGRAM PHOTO TIMELINE

Another important element is the Instagram feed on ETQ’s homepage. This allows viewers to see actual photos and updates from the business and its customers.

Sometimes, customers are not willing to buy immediately when they see your business. But they could be willing to follow you either on social media or email newsletter..

It’s like courting someone. They may not say ‘yes’ YET but soon will… once they see your business active and valuable.

In a study on consumer behavior by HelpScout, it shows that a small action can make people more willing to make an action.

So give viewers the option to follow you on social media or subscribe to your newsletter. If they do, they’re a step closer to buying from you.

4. Mikiya Kobayashi

website strategy example 4 - Mikiya Kobayashi

Mikiya is a Japanese designer. As mentioned above, a sample works gallery is the best way to get clients for designers and artists.

But Mikiya did a very good web design strategy for this.

• SIMPLE & CONSISTENT LAYOUT

His website has a plain and consistent layout from top to bottom. 

Although there are hover effects for each piece of the portfolio, all photos have the same sizes and text format. No long descriptions either, except when you click.

As HubSpot explained, visitors come to your website not to see stunning animations or evaluate the design. They want to know what you offer.

With a simple (but not dull) layout, visitors can easily focus on your business offer instead of getting distracted with unnecessary layouts and elements.

5. The Teachers Guild

website strategy example 5 - Teachers Guild

The Teachers Guild is another social gathering that targets… well, obviously, teachers. The goal of this kind of business is to reach more people to join.

So here are some of their web design strategy ideas.

• CLEAR CALL-TO-ACTION

On the homepage header, there’s a clear call-to-action “JOIN US.” It directly tells visitors what to do.

In her article for HubSpot, Brittany Leaning said that the most common call-to-actions on homepage are:

  • Sign Up
  • Subscribe
  • Try for free
  • Get started
  • Learn more, and
  • Join us.

So always include clear call-to-actions throughout the website. Direct your visitors to whatever action you want them to do.

• BLOG AND NEWS

Another important element in The Teachers Guild website is the blog section.

In an article for Simple Marketing Now, Christine Whittemore lists down 31 benefits of blogging for your business. This includes educating your target market.

It could be product guides, success stories of your customers, or news about your business.

And the more they know about you, the more likely they’ll buy.

6. Paper. By We Transfer

website strategy example 6 - Paper by We Transfer

Paper by We Transfer is an app for professional graphic artists. This is how today’s artists could create awesome graphic designs… and do it quickly.

So if you’re selling an app or software, here are key web design strategy ideas from Paper.

• USE VIDEOS FOR PRESENTATION

Just below the homepage header, Paper includes a video of different graphic designs one can create using its app. And it’s convincing! 

(If only I’m a graphic artist too, I’d buy it).

Videos are a powerful marketing tool for product demos or business presentations.

According to Forbes, an average user spends 88% more time on websites with video. And Oberlo shows that 8 out of 10 people purchase software or app after watching a video.

video as web design strategy
Image source: Oberlo

• HIGHLIGHT FEATURES AND BENEFITS SIDE BY SIDE

Another website strategy of Paper is highlighting features and benefits together. In one section on the homepage, the title goes: 

“The quickest way to collage.”

And the paragraph follows:

“Add multiple photos to a single page and cut, stick, move and fix without the fuss of complex layers…”

The feature? Multiple photo editing. And the benefit? It’s quick.

According to WordStream, a “feature” is something your product or service has. While a “benefit” is what your customers will (hopefully) experience by using it.

And that benefit is ultimately what drives customers to purchase.

So when making a list about your business or product, include the value it gives to your customer. Not just the features.

7. Boosted Boards

website strategy example 7 - Boosted Boards

Boosted Boards is the maker of the revolutionary electric skateboards and scooters.

If you’re selling useful and innovative technologies, here’s what you can learn from their web design strategy.

• CREDIBILITY USING TESTIMONIALS

On the homepage, Boosted Board includes reviews as featured in popular online publications like Wired and TechCrunch. They even feature a personal recommendation from a professional racer — Tyler McQuarrie.

According to BigCommerce, 95% of people read customer reviews before buying, while 72% say reviews increase trust in the business. 

Another study states that B2B customers consider reviews as more important than information from the business itself.

So make sure to include testimonials on your website.

Just take in mind that you don’t always need recommendation from celebrities. According to a study by Nielsen, customers are most likely to buy because of recommendation from friends and family or the general public.

Testimonials as web design strategy
Image source: Nielsen

• A COMPLETE WEBSITE FOOTER

Boosted Boards also includes a classic footer. Especially if your business website has many pages, a footer is a must.

While the header includes links to the top primary pages, the footer includes the rest of your website pages. According to TechBear, this keeps readers from having to scroll all the way up after reading your pages.

If they want to browse more on your website, they can simply check your footer. That’s a good user experience.

Now Smashing Magazine suggests to include these in the website footer:

  • Links to all main pages or product categories
  • Links to your terms and policies
  • Link to the sitemap
  • Your business logo and contact details
  • Small email subscription form
  • Links to your social media accounts
  • Notice of copyright.

What exactly to include is up to you.

8. Campos Coffee

website strategy example 8 - Campos Coffee

Campos Coffee sells only one primary product — quality coffee. If you’re a small business with “focused” product/s, you can learn from their web design strategy.

• STICKY HEADER

An obvious element in their website is the sticky header with the navigation links. 

As UX Planet explains, a sticky header boosts website usability. It provides your visitors a navigation area available at any point of their browsing experience.

Just make sure to optimize the header for mobile view.

• FREE GUIDES

Another helpful element in Campos Coffee website are the free guides like how to brew using a French press or aeropress. This builds the connection between the brand and the customer even AFTER the customer buys the product.

According to ClickFunnels, the goal of a good sales funnel isn’t to make a sale but to give returning customers a lifetime value.

So think of a FREE tool or guide you can give to users whether they buy or not. If they find it valuable, they will gladly be your loyal customers.

9. Nearly Impossible

website strategy example 9 - Nearly Impossible

Nearly Impossible is an organization-based business that provides resources for business owners through seminars and social gatherings.

If you’re a B2B business, you should consider this one marketing and web design strategy.

• CLEAR IDENTIFICATION OF TARGET MARKET

In Nearly Impossible, the target market are business owners — but only “product makers,” not service providers. And they’re “physical product makers,” not digital ones.

If a physical product maker lands on that page, he could easily think: “This is not a general business organization. This is specifically for me.”

According to HootSuite, narrowing down your target niche this way enables you to target them effectively with relevant content, messaging and even ads. 

So make sure your target market is narrowed down and specifically mentioned on your website. Give them the impression that what you do is specifically for them.

10. Hardgraft

website strategy example 10 - Hardgrafted

Hardgraft is another online store that sells luxury leather products like wallets and bags. Here’s their web design strategy.

ONE-PAGE WEBSITE AND MINIMALIST STYLE

Of course, the website also has a navigation menu, but it’s omitted and links only to the product categories.

The homepage features ALL the products in a single page, including the variations for each product. There’s only 3-4 website colors, and 2-3 types of font.

And this makes the website easy to browse.

According to HubSpot, it’s recommended to use a maximum of 5 colors and 3 font styles when designing a website.

If you’re an ecommerce business, you don’t need too many layout styles and texts on the homepage. What visitors are looking for are the products.

Summary: How to build a strategic website for your business

So based on the 10 websites above, here are the effective web design ideas to engage and convert your customers:

  1. State what you offer right at the header of the homepage
  2. Clarify who your target customers/audience are
  3. Put clear call-to-actions
  4. Use a sticky header for easy navigation
  5. Offer free guides or sample of your product
  6. Use videos for product/service presentation
  7. Highlight features and benefits together
  8. Add alternate views when selling physical products
  9. Include testimonials, recommendations and awards
  10. Write blog articles or news about your business
  11. Feature your social media feed
  12. Add effects on website elements like hover effects
  13. Use a consistent layout
  14. Use high-contrast colors for backgrounds and texts
  15. Use a maximum of 5 colors and 3 font styles
  16. Create an organized footer section.

Creating an effective website strategy isn’t easy. But with the examples from others and regular analysis on your website, you’ll know exactly what works for your customers.

P.S. If you need help with building a strategic website — check out Marketing by Rob!

We offer customized websites with unlimited revisions and ongoing maintenance for as low as only $99/month. You also get access to our graphics designers and 1000+ plugins for your website.

To get a custom quote for your small business, just send an email to rob@marketingbyrob.com.

Rob

Rob

We understand how it feels to be frustrated and spend too much time with geeky website codes and multiple social media platforms

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