You know why you need a website for your small business. Here’s the ultimate strategy to make it great.
A small business website gives you the ability to engage with your customers, build your brand, and share information. It makes you accessible. Whether you want to advertise services, sell products, or display your portfolio, a small business website is what you need to do just that.
You may be an established business ready for your digital debut or a start-up looking to hit the ground running. Either way, you want a website that produces results.
The key to building a great website lies in your approach. Identify goals for your website and segment your game plan into manageable sections.
This strategy breaks down small business web design into three phases:
- Small business web design: Prep work
- Affordable websites for small business: Build and design
- Get found by search engines: Optimize
#1. Small Business Web Design: Prep Work
Take any ideas circulating around in your head of colors, styles, and fonts, and save those for later. They’re important, but first, you need to lay the groundwork.
Secure your domain name. You’re creating the digital version of your small business. A simple URL makes you more accessible—this website does you no good if your customers can’t find you.
Research available domain names that are relevant, memorable, and easy to spell. Check if any similar websites exist to avoid potential trademark or copyright infringements. While it’s not a deal-breaker if you can’t, try to lock in a .com domain extension if you can.
Choose a secure web hosting service. Your website needs a place to live. A web hosting company stores your website data on their server so it can be visible to the public at all times. Consider your needs around site performance and security before making your decision.
Web hosting services offer a few options. With varying costs, there are plans for shared, virtual private, and dedicated hosting. Choose a provider that performs regular security maintenance and daily backups.
Pick a website builder. Create and manage your digital content with a website builder or content management system (CMS). Wix and Squarespace offer a variety of templates to choose from and a user-friendly backend design. They’re good for a quick set-up but are very limited in customization.
WordPress is a popular CMS that offers flexibility. You have more control over how your content looks and how your website functions. There are many plugins to choose from that allow you to build exactly what you want your website to be. Learning how to use it requires a little more effort, so choosing a CMS all comes down to what’s most important to you.
Also, consider how your website needs to function. You need an e-commerce platform if you are selling products or services.
Small Business Web Design: Prep Work Pro Tip
Look for bundles—many platforms now offer domain registration, web hosting, and CMS subscription plans at a discounted rate.
#2. Small Business Website Design: Build And Design
Now that you have the tools you need to bring your website to life, it’s time to craft your content and design.
Design a memorable homepage. Spend time on an engaging homepage that clearly states what your business offers. It should include just enough information to captivate the user and make them want to learn more. Use beautiful, fast-loading graphics and fonts that are easy to read.
Once you’re happy with the style and design of your homepage, use it as the focal point to stay on brand as you build the rest of your website.
Build your pages. Each page will represent a different aspect of your small business. Think of the key pieces of information your customer will want to know. Websites for small businesses typically include:
- About Us
- Contact Us
If there are one or two stand-out services from your catalog that you specialize in, you may want to dedicate an entire page to each of those. The goal is to show your customer what you’re capable of without them having to dig for it.
Set up clear navigation. There should always be a clear way to navigate to the other relevant pages of your website. Use both the main navigation and footer navigation menus. Think about the user experience and what they’ll want to see next. You want to be as accessible as possible.
Place your calls to action. You’re basically taking your navigation up a notch. If a user is browsing your consultation services, a conveniently placed “Contact Us” button could lead to a sale. These CTA buttons promote conversions, so make sure they’re sensibly placed throughout your website. For example, it makes sense for an “Explore Our Services” button to exist on an “About Us” page.
Affordable Websites For Small Business: Build And Design Pro Tip
Add teaser sections to your homepage that represent the most relevant pages of your website and include a CTA button in each.
#3. Web Design Services For Small Business: Optimize
You have a beautifully designed website with captivating content and clear navigation. Now you need to make sure visitors can find you.
Optimize your website for search engines. Optimizing your website tells search engines your content is relevant to display in search engine results. If someone searches for “gluten-free bakery” and your small business is, in fact, a gluten-free bakery, you want search engines to display your website in the search results. This drives traffic to your website.
There are many factors that contribute to SEO performance, like title tags, meta descriptions, keyword-targeting content, internal /external links, and site performance. Your CMS may have some SEO tools built in.
Be mobile-friendly. Over half of global web traffic is now mobile. You’ve already put so much work into your website, don’t let it go to waste by not optimizing it for mobile devices. Take time to test each page to see (and tweak) how it’s displayed on desktop and mobile devices.
Monitor your web traffic and performance. Analytics are so cool. Install reporting tools like Google Analytics to see how your website is performing, and make adjustments accordingly. These tools identify crucial data, such as:
- Weak points within your site that are likely hurting you
- What keywords your site is currently ranking for
- How much time visitors are spending on each page
Keep your content current. Your small business website is not something you can set and forget. Make sure your product listings and inventory are always up-to-date. Remove services you no longer offer or discontinue sales advertisements. Try to post blog content on a consistent basis.
Web Design Services For Small Business: Optimize Pro Tip
You gain nothing from your small business website if it can’t be found. Your best bet is to invest in a robust package of SEO small business tools.
Final thoughts on web design for small businesses
Building a website for your small business can be daunting. However, it becomes much more manageable if you tackle it one phase at a time. Let your goals calibrate your focus.
Want to sell products online? Go with an e-commerce platform.
Want to build your brand? Create a website that represents your business’ vibe.
Want to attract specific customers? Optimize your website for relevant keywords.
Understanding what each phase entails makes your small business website much more affordable. And if you invest in web design services for small businesses, you better understand what you’re paying for.
And the team here at Clutch is ready to help you craft a high-performing website — at an affordable price. We offer affordable website design for small businesses including:
- WordPress Website Design
- Quick Launch Website Design
- E-commerce Website Design (Shopify, WooCommerce)
- Small Business Web Design
- And More
Ready to learn more about professional web design? Check out our blog here for helpful digital marketing and design resources.