A little more than one-third (36 percent, to be exact) of small businesses are currently working without a website. Is your business part of this group?
Without a website, you could be missing out on a lot of opportunities to expand your audience and increase your business’s revenue. Putting together a website isn’t exactly an easy task, though.
If you’ve wanted to create an effective website but aren’t sure where to start, keep reading. Outlined below are 10 beginner tips everyone should keep in mind when they start making plans for small business website design and development.
Why Does Every Small Business Need a Website?
Why is a website so beneficial to small businesses? There are lots of advantages that come with having an online presence beyond social media, including the following:
- Grow your audience and attract more customers (88 percent of small businesses with a website agree that it’s helped them find new customers)
- Establish credibility, build trust with your customers, and position yourself as an industry expert
- Gain an advantage over your competitors and ensure people find your business first when conducting an online search
- Utilize online marketing tactics like blogging and video creation to boost your search engine ranking
- Gather data to refine your marketing efforts in the future
The best business websites can offer these benefits and more. If any of them sound appealing to you, it’s time to start making website building and website design top priorities for your small business.
Why Does Website Design Matter?
It’s likely clear to you now that you need to have a website for your small business. It’s not enough just to have a website, though. You also need to think about your website design.
Here are just a few reasons why good website design is essential, especially for those who are running small businesses:
- Create a professional image so your target audience feels confident in your business’s products/services
- Reduce your bounce rate (the number of people who leave your website shortly after visiting it)
- Direct visitors to the most important aspects of your website (contact page, service page, order forms, email list signups, etc.)
- Improve load times and website functionality
All of this can help to boost your website’s search engine ranking, too. SEO (search engine optimization) is about a lot more than keyword usage. If you want to rank higher on search engine results pages and have more people find your site, you need to take design into account as well.
Small Business Website Design Tips
Okay, you’re ready to start focusing on website development and design. What do you do first, though? What do you need to prioritize as you tackle this project?
Listed below are 10 tips to remember as you start working on your website. These tips will help you stay focused and create a finished product that helps you reach your goals:
1. Decide Between Using Website Builder and Hiring a Website Designer
When it comes to figuring out how to design and how to build a website, this is one of the first decisions you’ll need to make. Will you hire a website designer or use a website builder like Wix or Squarespace?
There are perks that come with using a website builder and creating a Wix business website or Google My Business website. For example, there are lots of free website builder tools that are very accessible to small business owners with limited budgets.
On the other hand, a website designer can help you to create a more customized site that is better aligned with your specific business goals. They may charge more upfront for their services, though.
Some people also opt to take a DIY approach and handle website design on their own, then reach out to a designer along the way when they need assistance. This gives you a chance to learn the basics of design but also get an expert’s opinion when you’re stuck and require some extra help.
2. Choose the Right Domain Name
Regardless of which approach you choose to take (or if you pick a combination of the two), it’s important to select the right domain name for your website. This will help you ensure people can find you easily online. It also makes it easier for you to make a good impression when people visit your site for the first time.
Here are some guidelines that can help you pick the right domain name for your website, a name that puts all the other Google sites to shame:
- Make it easy to spell
- Keep it short
- Avoid numbers and hyphens
- Make it memorable
If you’re using a website builder, look for one that offers a free website builder and domain name for your website. That way, you’ll be able to find a name that’s readily available and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to start using.
3. Invest in Secure Website Hosting
Once you’ve chosen a domain name, the next step is to invest in secure hosting. A hosting company provides you with the technology and other services you need so people can view your website online. Some website builders also offer hosting through their platform to make it easier for you to launch your site.
When looking into hosting companies, pay careful attention to what services and features come with each hosting plan. What kind of security options do they offer? Is it easy for you to scale up to a different plan as your website grows?
4. Include a Clear Description of Your Business
Once you’ve taken these steps, you’ll be ready to start actually designing your website. When you begin this process, be sure to include a clear description of what your business offers on the homepage of the site. You don’t want people to be confused about what you sell or what your purpose is, do you?
5. Keep It Simple
In general, when it comes to creating a website for your business, the simpler the design, the better. If your website is cluttered with images and videos or features hard-to-read fonts, people will have a difficult time deciphering your content and deciding whether or not what you sell is right for them.
A cluttered, busy website can be slower to load, too. This is bad for your search engine ranking and can cause people to click away from your site before they’ve even had a chance to look around.
6. Make It Interesting and Engaging
Remember, simple doesn’t mean boring. You can have a simple, elegant website that is still interesting and engaging.
For example, pick fonts that are unique and use contrasting colors that make your text easy to read (the best website builder will give you lots of options to choose from). Add eye-catching graphics (make sure they’re compressed so they load quickly), too, and consider using video to attract attention and keep people on your website for longer periods of time.
7. Focus on Mobile-Friendliness
When designing your website, make sure that it’s mobile-friendly. These days, the majority of internet searches are made from a mobile device, so it pays to ensure your website is easy to view and use from a smartphone.
8. Be Consistent
Your website’s colors, fonts, and imagery should align with your other marketing materials as much as possible. This helps you to build a consistent brand and helps people to know they’re in the right place as soon as they click on your site.
If someone has engaged with you on other platforms, consistency will help them feel more confident in your business. It’ll also increase the likelihood that they’ll make a purchase from you now or in the future.
9. Showcase Your Products or Services
Put your products or services on display right away. Don’t make people guess what you’re selling.
Show them what you have to offer as soon as they land on the home page so they can get excited and interested in learning more. This will help you to make more sales and increase your likelihood of receiving a high rating on business review websites.
10. Include a Call-to-Action
Always include a call-to-action on each page of your website, too. Make it clear what you want people to do after they’ve visited. Should they sign up for your email list? Visit your online store? Call you for a consultation?
When you add a call-to-action, online marketing becomes a lot easier. You’re giving people directions and letting them know what next steps they should take. It eliminates the guesswork and can help you see better results from your website.
Do You Need Help with Small Business Website Design?
At first, the idea of taking on small business website design might seem daunting. If you remember these tips, though, you’ll have an easier time figuring out how to create a small business website that looks great and helps you to accomplish your unique business goals.
Do you need extra design assistance? Whether you’re using a website builder or starting from scratch, we’re here for you at We Rock Digital. Contact us today to learn more about our services.