Business Tips & Tools — Africa

Factors to think about when designing a new business website

A business website is important as it increases credibility and gives more information about your business's story.

A business website is essential as it increases credibility and gives more information to targeted clients about the business's story. A website or web application for a business gives more than just information about the business but also gives users a chance to interact with your products and services from wherever they are. 

Building a good website for a business has become easier and less complicated by the use of no-code tools. Tools like Wordpress which mostly specialises on information-based websites, Webflow and  Shopify which is well known for building e-commerce sites as well as Wix. All of these examples have built-in templates that  make the process of building a website easier. Other popular website builders are Squarespace and GoDaddy .

Benefits of having a business website

There are so many benefits to having a business website. They include:

  • It gives your business a professional and credible look to attract more customers and build trust quickly.
  • It gives your business a chance to be a hub of information sourcing through the content you will provide concerning anything related to your industry.
  • It helps your business stay relevant as everything is migrating toward the digital era, including potential customers.
  • Saves costs on print advertising. One can launch multiple ad campaigns with a website that will reach potential customers faster and easier. 

This article will highlight 9 key design practices you should consider when laying out the plan for your new or soon-to-be revamped website with a team of developers and designers. They include:

  • Use a consistent color theme
  • Include calls to action
  • Use relevant graphics
  • Make your site responsive
  • Have a blog page
  • Integrate a chatbot 
  • Integrate Mpesa payments
  • Have easy-to-find contact details
  • Have same size features

1. Use a consistent color theme.

A website or web application should have a consistent color palette across all pages. UI/UX designers often create a website’s color palette from the colors of the business logo.

A consistent color palette is suitable, especially for people who experience difficulty with color contrast. This is also called designing for accessibility.

2. Include calls to action

Calls to action are good features to add to your website, engage with your customers, and break the monotony of too much wording or information that may go into the website. Calls to action are essential because they will likely convert onlookers to paying clients.

For example, when a customer reads about your business, you can add an input form at the bottom of the page that will prompt the user to subscribe to your email list for more information about your products or services. 

A call to action button on the first landing page is also a good design practice, and this will capture your customer’s attention quickly and lead them directly to what you are offering. An example can be a “Get started” button.

In the case of an e-commerce site or section of the site, make sure to include a “Buy now” or “add to cart” button to prompt potential customers to go ahead and start purchasing your product or service.

3. Use relevant graphics 

Your website should not only include words and color themes, you can make it more interactive by using graphics or pictures that are entirely related to your business.

If your business is in the food industry,  add pictures of the actual food you sell or some inspiration, not pictures of nature or trees, which might confuse the user.

The use of relevant graphics in your website helps your customer understand more about your business even without reading all what it’s about.

4. Make your site responsive.

A good website is mindful of its users and the devices they may be accessing the website from. Responsiveness of a website is the ability of its contents to resize proportionally according to the screen size in use without leaving out any important content. 

Your website should be responsive on all 3 standard devices, a desktop or laptop, a mobile device, and a tablet. While designing a responsive website, the contents and features of the website are the ones to be resized and not the page as a whole. Resizing the page as a whole can cause users with smaller screens to struggle with zooming into your site to see properly which is not good. If the contents on the large screen have a big font, on a smaller screen, the font should be slightly reduced; same goes for features like dimensions of graphics, forms, buttons, and the general layout. If contents in a website have been developed in columns of two, in a smaller screen, the contents could be in block format, one column.

5. Have a blog page

A blog page in your website is an excellent way to add more targeted keywords for a good ranking on Google. You can also advertise new products or services and their benefits in one of the blog posts, write about trends in your industry and what your business is doing concerning them or your views, write about your best selling products or services and testimonials, write about your business story and how you started, the challenges you and other businesses may experience and your most proud moments.

These blogs are an excellent way to increase your site's traffic and visibility through the use of key words.

A blog will not only help with google rankings but will also be an excellent avenue to connect with your customers deeply through your writing. 

6. Integrate WhatsApp chatbot

WhatsApp is the most widely used communication messenger in Kenya. A chatbot that connects to a WhatsApp business chat integrated into your website is an excellent way of communicating with your customers directly.

7. Integrate MPESA payments

Mpesa is the most popular payment option used widely across Kenya and other parts of Africa, including Ethiopia, which was recently added to the list. Because of the Daraja API, it is possible to integrate Mpesa to facilitate payments within a website. 

Visit this article on How to integrate Mpesa to your Website or Application  and learn how Hello Duty can easily help with the Integration.

8. Have easy-to-find contact details.

Your contact details should be spotted easily on your website. This is because people are most likely to contact you if they are interested in any of your products or services. 

Standard sections where you can place your contact details on your website are at the navigation bar, the footer, or the “contact us” page, which should be accessed from the navbar or the footer. 

Placing your contact details in the middle of a web page is a bad practice because they can easily be overlooked.

9. Have the same size features.

A website has standard features technically known as common or reusable components like buttons, input fields, navigation bars, and the footer. It is good design practice to ensure that all features, like buttons, are the same size and color across your website and this will make your website look organized and proportional. 

Apart from color and size, common components should also have the same variation. For example, if one button is box-shaped, all should be box-shaped. The disadvantage of having two variations, like box-shaped and round-shaped buttons both mixed within a website at different places is that it will confuse the user on which button is the official one to click.

Last updated
June 12, 2024
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