If you’re a small business, a website is as essential as ever. Think of your website as setting out your stall in the digital market place; it’s how you get your brand recognised to new customers.
Start by thinking carefully about your company’s mission and values, and those qualities can translate into a site that represents your brand. You might need help from experts of web design in Brisbane.
Here, we’ll help you learn how to craft a website for your small business that encapsulates your values, and gears you towards a larger audience.
An Ideal Small Business Website
The most effective business websites fit seamlessly with the rest of their company’s branding.
They have the following traits:
- They’re quick to load
- They look polished
- They are well-designed
- They’re easy to navigate
They’re also populated with well-written, informative and relevant content for their industry sector.
All these factors will help boost a small business website’s rankings higher up Google search results. The most effective websites are an efficient marriage of excellent copy, and beautiful, user-centered design. The site will answer visitors’ requirements and look superior to the competition. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Follow these steps to set up your small business website:
Register A Domain Name
A domain name is your website name. Your domain name must instantly, clearly reflect your company’s offering as your customers will find it using a search engine.
- Register a domain name as close as possible to your business name. You can check the public WHOis service to see whether your preferred domain name is available.
- Then find an accredited registrar authorised by auDA (the Australian administrator of domain names) to register your domain. Prices vary, but if you’re paying more then $15 a year, that’s too much. Our choice of domain registrars is VentraIP.
Choose A Web Hosting Provider
To put your domain name on the internet, you need a web hosting company. They charge monthly or yearly fees depending on the package you choose. Multiple email addresses are also available. Be sure to check that the web hosting provider has good-quality technical support available 24/7 if your small business doesn’t have its own resident IT guru.
Organise Your Content
Think about why your small business needs a website, and what you want to say. Equally important, consider why your customers or potential clients will head over to your website rather than your competitors. Take a thorough look at your competitors’ sites and analyse what they do well, and not so well.
At this stage, you’ll need to hire a freelance copywriter, or writer within a marketing agency, to help you with the competitor site audit. They will also organise, structure and write the copy. Factor in these considerations too:
Hone Your Elevator Pitch
People online spend less than 10 seconds on 90% of the websites they browse. So your small business website needs to be instantly impactful and clear, enticing your visitors to stay.
The way to do this is to have a concisely-written ‘elevator pitch’ on your home page about what your business does, and which sector your business helps. This reassure visitors that your business is reliable, knowledgeable and trustworthy. Someone they can buy from and do business with.
Invest In Quality Content
No matter how well-designed your small business website is, if the content is poorly-written, people will desert your site. Although, you may be tempted to save money and write the content yourself. Unless you’re a professional writer, it’s recommended to hire a freelance copywriter to define the tone of voice of your business.
A copywriter worth their salt will help you:
- Organise your website into clear, easy-to-find sections
- Write the sections in simple, targeted language relevant for your industry sector
- Answer customers questions
- Provide relevant information upfront without them having to dig for it
At Soak, we can help you with your website content needs.
Optimise Your Website Content For SEO
You may have heard about SEO or Search Engine Optimisation. It’s a key tool in your small business arsenal. SEO increases visitor numbers to your site by boosting your company’s ranking on Google’s search results.
To start, research the key words or questions that your customers use when they need your services. Use everyday language rather than industry jargon to be closer to your customer’s mindset.
Next, ask your copywriter to include those keywords or phrases naturally at important places in the copy: the page title, the first sentence of your home or landing page, and repeated throughout the page. Alternatives of that keyword can be sprinkled relevantly throughout the web content.
Craft The ‘About Us’ Page
Your go-to copywriter can also help create trust and confidence in your visitors when they click on the ‘About Us’ page.
Rather than chucking in some vague details about the founders, ask your designer to source up-to-date, friendly photos of you and your team. It helps reassure your customers that the company they’re buying products and services from are a bunch of relatable humans, too.
Ensure the content on this page shows how you can help fulfil your customers’ needs, and includes examples of relevant past successes.
Include Clear Calls To Action
Any professional web design agency or experienced developer/designer will be able to build your site so that your visitors can easily find their way around it. As part of this ease of use, every page of your small business website needs to have information that your visitors can access quickly in the header or footer. This could be your company’s phone number, other contact details or links to relevant pages or sites.
When used effectively, calls to action (CTA’s) can convert browsing visitors into active prospects. CTA’s encourage the visitor to:
- Call the company
- Signup for a newsletter
- Fill out a contact form
- Ask for a quote
The ideal CTA needs to be short, simple and instantly understandable. Make sure any links from these CTA’s are working.
Prioritise User-Centered Web Design
Keep the following questions in mind when you and your web design team are working on the design:
- What do my customers need help with?
- What information can I provide to assist with their problem?
- How can I help them resolve their problem?
Use these questions to inform your SEO on-page content. Make it clear that you have the answer to their problem – you’re the solution to their dilemma!
Opt For An Attractive, Usable, & Functional Web Design
Ensure your site design is simple, easy to use and attractive to look at. Your web designer will know to avoid visual clutter and the importance of white space to make sure that all of the elements on the page sit comfortably and don’t fight with each other.
This includes the:
- Body copy
- Call to action
- Images or illustration
Your site needs to represent your company’s brand, inspire confidence, reflect authority and professionalism – and invite customer interaction.
Here’s some web design trends to help make your small business website stand out from the competition.
Ensure Your Web Design Is Mobile-Friendly
Your web design must be optimised for mobile, so people can access your site on smartphones, tablets or other mobile devices while out and about. Over 50% of visitors to your site will be using their mobiles as research shows that people spend less time on sites that aren’t mobile-friendly. Google is now penalising sites that aren’t optimised for mobile – so your search rankings will drop.
Here’s another 5 Advantages of Mobile Website Optimisation.
A professionally-designed website by a web design agency can significantly help your small business. Not every small business has the time to design a site that’s ready to rank highly. We can help you organise your website, enrich your content with SEO tactics that work, and polish the design with beautiful imagery.
For more information on making a really effective website for your small business, get in touch today.