Information & E-Commerce Small Business Website Design

Website design

We create information, e-commerce, and database websites for:

  • Plumbers, electricians & appliance repair companies
  • Nonprofit agencies
  • Local retailers
  • Custom glass & window treatment manufacturers
  • Local newspapers
  • Heavy equipment rental companies
  • & more

We design for mobile first. Your site will look grand on a 70″ screen, but the truth is that 60% of your audience will view it on a smartphone.

We’re confident we can build a high-conversion, search-friendly site to promote your business and expand your service area — at a price most agencies can’t match. Call us today for details.

Why Good Web Design Is Critical For Your Business

Web design deals with a site’s visuals: the colors, images, layout and typography, and even navigation.

Good website design goes beyond the visuals to incorporate UX concepts (user experience), fast-loading pages, intuitive navigation, compelling calls to action, and so on.

According to BrightLocal: “93% of consumers used the internet to find a local business in [2020], with 34% searching every day.”

Plumbers, electricians, and many local retailers depend on internet searches for their leads and sales. Some searches go to their Google profile; others land somewhere on their business site — usually the home page — but a search could take customers anywhere, including pages buried deep.

Getting traffic to your site is only half the battle. Conversion is the other half. A percentage of your traffic should convert to sales — and the higher the ratio, the better it is for you.

High conversion sites don’t happen by chance. They happen by design. Great UX makes the browsing seem natural, and engaging copy motivates customers to action.

Website design elements

Web Design & UX: What Makes a Site Work

The prettiest sites aren’t always the best for business. Don’t get us wrong — we like pretty websites. But did you know that decorative images are mostly ignored?

Descriptive images, especially product and real-world service images, enhance a website, but overloading a page with stock photos and clip art can slow it to a crawl and pose a barrier to conversion.

We believe that established UX principles should inform site design. The user experience always comes before aesthetics because customers won’t stick around if a website is confusing and slow.

  • We won’t slap a new coat of paint on your old site and pass it off as “design.” We’ll keep anything that works and discard what doesn’t.
  • We build pages to load fast, checking load speed as we approve templates and upon site launch.
  • We make information easy to find. Customers will know where you do business and how to contact you.
  • We front-load the essential information on a page, realizing that many visitors don’t scroll.
  • We make links obvious and don’t arbitrarily color text blocks and headings (which baffles users who see them as links).
  • We use only high-contrast text with generous spacing between lines. This keeps your site in compliance with Google and ADA guidelines and makes life easier for all users.
  • We discuss form design and map out the customer click path. At some agencies, form design is an afterthought. It shouldn’t be.
  • We design pages to fit the copy and not the other way around. Search-optimized copy drives the traffic that leads to sales. We won’t allow template design to get in the way of what you have to say.
  • We make pages flexible and easy to edit. Rigid designs take longer to edit at no benefit to you or the user, and they’ll cost you more in development time.

Web Design vs. Web Development

Some people, and even some inexperienced digital marketers, confuse web design with web development. They’re different activities requiring different skill sets and modes of thinking.

Web design is a creative process concerned with a website’s presentation, feel, branding, and experience.

Web development is an analytical and linear exercise focused on solving problems and achieving specific objectives.

Web design aims to make a site visually appealing, easy to navigate, and informative. The end product of web design is a set of mockups — essentially images of web pages.

A web developer takes those design mockups and builds a functioning website, often connected to a database.

Web design = images, interfaces & UX (user experience).

Web development = code & databases.

It’s rare for a web designer to excel at development. The reverse is also true, which is why design and development are separate, collaborative, and mutually dependent roles at most marketing agencies.

E-Commerce vs. Information Website Design

Most websites fall into one of two categories: informational or e-commerce.

A less common category is a hybrid site, typically an information site with limited e-commerce for a handful of products or services.

E-commerce and information websites are different species in the same animal kingdom.

E-commerce sites feature products in database-driven categories. Internal search, the product page, and the checkout process are critical design elements, more important to sales than even the home page.

Information sites are online brochures of your business. They should feature search engine-friendly copy — and a lot of it — intuitive navigation, and easy-to-find contact and service area pages.

They should be able to convert relatively modest traffic to phone calls. More than half of small business sites average fewer than 16 visits daily! Not yours, however, because we’ll optimize it for search.

Web Design at Culture Cube

Design is a website’s exterior. Customers online will subconsciously evaluate your website’s design before they notice anything else. It’s their first impression of your business and services.

A well-designed information website attracts prospects organically and converts them into leads and sales. Your website should be easy to navigate and use. It should provide all the information, guarantees, and assurances a visitor needs to complete a transaction.

A good web designer considers the target audience and the desired outcome of a site visit, balancing colors, typography, imagery, and functionality in a seamless website experience.

At Culture Cube, we measure the success of our websites by their results.

We’re not satisfied unless your new website generates more traffic, conversions, and business for you.

Our Design Process

We define the objectives of your website

We consider your budget and business goals and frame a website strategy to meet those goals.

Does your business need a broader market reach? We’ll write search-optimized content to draw new customers to your site.

Would limited e-commerce boost your bottom line, as is often the case with retail and rental sites? We’ll discuss your options and devise a cost-effective ecommerce integration.

Our team works with you throughout the planning process to ensure your satisfaction.

We research your target audience

Heat maps, click data, and Google Analytics help determine how customers will interact with your website.

Based on data and not habits and hunches, we’ll create a user-friendly website that gives people a reason to call or fill out a contact form.

  • Information will be easy to find.
  • Copy will be written in the language of the customer, not jargon.
  • Calls to action (contact us) will be impossible to miss!

Keyword research for your industry guides our content development and site architecture: what we write and how we organize your site.

We produce sitemaps, wireframes & mockups

A sitemap is a hierarchical list or flowchart of web pages illustrating site organization. It helps us understand and plan site navigation.

A wireframe is an outline of each page type (template), depicting the layout or placement of images, text, and navigation.

Mockups are fleshed-out versions of wireframes, showing how a page will look when it goes live. Not every page needs a mockup, so we restrict their development to a few templates (home page, menu page, information page, blog page, shopping cart, etc.). Mockups should reflect your brand in color choices, images, navigation bars, and even fonts.

We draft the copy

It may come as a surprise that copywriting is the most time-consuming project in the development of an information site.

The average high school essay contains 300–1000 words. The average graduate essay weighs in at 500 to 1000 words.

Yet, for a page to rank for even moderately competitive keywords, it mightencompass 1,000 to 3,000 words. And not just any words, but well-written, search-optimized content that establishes your authority and expertise.

The articles, blogs, and service information copy we write are essentially college-length essays, with the additional thorny considerations of SEO and conversion.

Every page on your site serves a purpose.

  • To direct visitors to the information they need.
  • To describe and advertise a service or product you offer.
  • To attract search traffic and direct that traffic to a high-conversion page.
  • To encourage a transaction and collect customer information. We never write copy without first reviewing the function of a page and its potential to drive new business.

We develop the website

Our developers (coders) take approved mockups from the graphic designers and copy from copywriters to build a secure, responsive website that displays correctly across all platforms and devices.

Sometimes the site is connected to an e-commerce store or database. The developer makes everything work as planned.

We build pages to load fast without sacrificing aesthetics. We convert most images to efficient next-generation formats like WebP and SVG, avoid bloated code, limit server requests, and adjust server settings for optimal file delivery.

We tend to the SEO

Culture Cube is unusual in several respects. One is this: the person responsible for your site’s SEO also does much of the front-end development.

Why? So we won’t have to do the work twice. We know that the pages we build will have schema and metadata, search-friendly headings, keyword-rich links, and other niceties that factor into SEO.

Before launch, we customize your robots.txt file, set up redirects, and create XML sitemaps allowing search engines to find new pages.

Then we track your site on various SEO and analytics platforms.

We test & launch the website

Finally, we check your development site for errors and performance, give you time to review, and launch it for the world to see.

Your new site will see significantly more traffic in the long run, but in the short term, expect a temporary traffic drop and a potential decline in calls as search engines re-index your site. This can last anywhere from a month to three months.

We can compensate for the decline by optimizing your Google My Business profile, another affordable service we offer at Culture Cube, and initiating a temporary, low-cost paid search campaign.

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