If you own a small business, you know that building a website can be overwhelming. There are so many things to consider: How do I create an attractive and professional-looking site?
Do I need to hire someone else to build my site or can I do it myself? Should I just use one of those free template sites instead? The truth is that there’s no right answer for every situation.
That being said, here are some tips that might help the choice be a bit easier when deciding how you want to build your small business website.
1. Choosing A Quality Domain Name
A good domain name is crucial to the success of your website. However, there are a lot of things to consider when choosing and registering a domain name.
In the first place, you should avoid choosing a domain name that is already taken. It’s not hard to do this; just search for your preferred keyword in Google and see which domains are available.
You can also use NameCheap’s tool for finding available domains based on keywords or phrases.
In addition, if you have an existing business or brand name that you want to use as part of your new website’s identity (or vice versa), it would be wise to make sure that no one else has already claimed ownership over it with their own web presence before making any plans based on those choices!
It is also important to check social media handles to see if that name is taken. A domain name should reflect your branding and your branding should be solid so it does not get confused with another company.
Check out these 12 Tips For Choosing A Solid And Scalable Name For Your Brand.
Also, take a peek at these 30 Unintentionally Inappropriate Domain Names
2. Include the basics
This might be obvious to some because many times we visit websites without any basic information because it has been overlooked.
Some of the basic things that you need are your business name and contact information, as well as a menu of your services and products. In addition, you should include a way for customers to contact you (and if possible, leave reviews).
If a potential customer or client can’t find your address, your services or a way to contact you it can be very confusing.
Also people like to get to know who you are, if you have nothing about your and your business such as a history or who you are that also seems weird.
3. Have a Strong Call to Action
Whether you’re trying to sell an item, sign up for a newsletter, or get people to contact you about your services. The most important thing is to tell them what they can do. Make it clear and easy!
In addition to telling them what they can do, give them a reason why they should do it. A strong call to action calls out what and how they can interact with your business. Some examples of call to actions that work great on websites.
- Get more information on the product/service.
- Sign up for our newsletter.
- Download something for free (Consultation, sample, etc.)
- Contact us about working with us.
4. Make sure your site loads quickly
It is important for your website to load quickly. The speed at which a website loads has a significant impact on the way users perceive the website and its responsiveness as well as it impacts your SEO.
You can use the GTmetrix website to check your website speed (see our speed test for our website above for an example). There are many factors that go into making a website load slowly, including:
- The number of files (images, stylesheets, etc.) on your website.
- The size of those files and where they are hosted
- The complexity of the code used in those files (e.g., HTML5 vs. Flash)
- Where your website is hosted.
- The amount of plugins or other 3rd party resources being used.
5. Be consistent in your layout and design
When it comes to building your website, the overall look and feel of your site should be consistent. A website that is not consistent can be confusing for visitors as they search for information or products on your site.
Consistency also helps you build brand recognition and loyalty with consumers.
Consistency in design means keeping things simple by having a similar and familiar layout through the website.
This will help visitors find what they are looking for easily because there won’t be any unexpected surprises when navigating through different areas of your website.
A good way to keep consistency is by using a simple accent color for links, the same fonts for your headers as well as the text being a consistent font as well so that a visitor can tell the difference between a header and normal text.
6. Build your site to be mobile-friendly
Being mobile-friendly is crucial to a great small business website. It’s important to make sure your site is responsive, meaning it will load quickly on mobile and be easy to read, navigate and use.
Google favors websites that load well on mobile devices. It does take time to build a site that looks and works great on desktop and mobile. As of November 2022, 59.5% of all website traffic comes from people using mobile devices.
7. Make Your Contact Information Easy to Find
This is similar to the basic information we just mentioned but it is one of the most important things on your website so we wanted to highlight it specifically.
Include a phone number and email address on every page of your website. A good place to put that information is in the footer which is consistent on all pages. Also include a contact form on your website for those who prefer it over email or over the phone.
If you don’t have an office with a landline (and many small businesses do not), use Google Voice or Skype for Business with numbers that are routed through those services for separate voicemail boxes that can be set up automatically at different times throughout the day if necessary.
8. Avoid pop ups and auto play music
Popups and auto play music are not good for your website, and they are especially not good for business. Although popups have become something that we see more often, it is best to use them sparingly.
A good place to place them is on a blog and not on your homepage.
Music is never a good idea, even if you think it might be. No one wants a website to start playing music. It is something we have been able to do in the early stages of website design, but has become really annoying nowadays.
Just because you can do it, does not mean that you should.
The reason to avoid music and annoying or repetitive pop ups:
- They stop people from finding what they need on your site. When someone lands on your website, they want to get to the information they need as quickly as possible. If you have a popup or auto-play music that interrupts their experience, there’s a strong chance that they’ll never return to your site again.
- They make users feel trapped in one place without options—and this makes them angry! A user who is forced to do something is less likely to do it than if he/she were presented with all of his/her options up front (and given time).
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Get feedback from friends, family, and other small business owners
Get feedback from friends and family. If you have a website, ask your friends, family and other people you know to tell you what they think of it.
What did they like?
What didn’t they like?
What didn’t make sense?
This is great for seeing how others who are not part of your target audience perceive your website.
Hire a professional web designer or developer to do the redesign for you (or pay someone at least). Doing this can help ensure that any revisions made are done correctly and don’t negatively impact SEO or functionality on mobile devices.
A good website helps bring business to your door
A good website design is especially important for small businesses, because it can help you reach new customers and build trust with existing ones.
Your website is an opportunity to showcase what makes your business special in an attractive way. It’s also a chance to explain how your products or services are different than the competition, and why people should buy from you instead of them.
If the design of the site doesn’t make clear what makes it unique—or if people don’t understand what they’re looking at—it won’t be effective at attracting new customers or retaining current ones.
These are just a few of the things you can do to make your small business website stand out from the crowd. If you’re not sure where to start, consider hiring an expert who can help you create a website that will get results for your business.
If you have any questions about building your website, feel free to contact us! Our team is always happy to help with anything from advice on content to making sure that everything looks perfect when we go live on your new site.