15 Key Small Business Website Success Tips
So You Are Getting a New Business Website!
Getting a new or redesigned small business website is a big step for most small business owners. There are a lot of options, and costs can vary wildly. And most business owners are not clear on the elements of a successful business website. To help you do better we wanted to share some key small business website success tips you can use to get more traffic, generate more leads and have fewer problems with your small business website.
“29% of small businesses do not have a website.” Clutch.co
Small Business Website Success Tips
Develop Priorities for your Small Business Website
Most likely you are building a small business website because without one you can’t really compete in 2017. However, keeping specific objectives and results in mind will help you create a much more successful small business website. These can include educating prospects, generating inbound leads, increasing sales through e-commerce, or capturing leads for email marketing, etc.
“Low-revenue small businesses (those earning less than $1 million a year) are about 30% less likely to have a website than higher-revenue companies.” Clutch.co
Getting Traffic to Your New Small Business Website
Unfortunately website traffic does not just appear by itself. After you launch your new website there are things you must do to get it noticed by search engines and human visitors. Some available options include online or traditional display advertising, submitting your site to business directories, Social Media, PPC (Pay-Per-Click or Google AdWords) advertising, and SEO (Search-Engine-Optimization).
Consider Your Web Designer’s Needs
To avoid delays, give your website designer everything they ask for accurately and early on. Delays building your website will cost you in lost opportunities. Here are some common questions that web designers usually have for their clients. You should also familiarize yourself with some essential web design terms.
Select Your Content Management System (CMS)
Choosing a common CMS means you will have more options to add functionality later. One thing to watch out for are custom-built CMS. Getting support, upgrades or changes made for your small business website may be difficult or impossible later. Here are some popular small business content management systems for you to consider.
Focus on Page Speed
With mobile users outnumbering desktop users since 2015 a fast loading small business website is absolutely essential. Not only do your human visitors expect it; Google is using page speed as an important ranking signal. For best results and user experience your small business website must load in 3 seconds or less. You can use tools such as tools.pingdom.com, GTMetrix, and the Google Page Speed Tool.
Make it Easy for Google and Bing to Index Your Website
Search engines look for certain elements in websites. These include a clear site and content structure, sitemaps, meaningful URLs, relevant keywords in titles, etc. Your small business website should be built with at least basic SEO in mind. Selecting a SEO friendly CMS like WordPress is a great place to start. If your web designer is not familiar with SEO best practices you may need additional help. And be sure to follow Google Webmaster Guidelines and Bing Webmaster Guidelines for maximum SEO love.
Select Reliable and Fast Website Hosting
The performance and security of your new small business website largely depends on your website host. You must make sure that your hosting company is reliable, and your data is safe. Performance (speed) is also a key consideration. Here are the different types of business website hosting you should consider.
Keep it Simple
Bad design makes visitors go away, really! A cluttered website design with poor navigation is a great way to get people to leave your website as quickly as possible. Your small business will best be served by a simple, easy to navigate and clean website design. You should focus on user-friendly design and avoid outdated web design elements if you want your new site to really stand out!
“Of the small businesses that do have a website, 79% say their website is mobile friendly.” Clutch.co
Ever sine Google announced the Mobile-First Index in November 2016, your new business website better be responsive. This means that your site will rearrange itself when viewed on mobile devices. But that alone does not make your small business website truly mobile-friendly. So be sure that your new site provides a great user experience across all mobile devices.
Avoid Outdated Technology
Not only does outdated technology make your new website appear outdated; it makes your entire business appear to be out of touch. So unless you are in the antique business make sure that your new business website appears fresh and relevant.
Capture Inbound Leads
One of the most essential functions of any business website is to capture inbound leads. Many visitors to your website may be doing initial research; they are not ready to purchase right away. Capturing their email addresses allows you to keep in touch for when they are ready. So be sure to add opt-in forms to your site. But don’t make them too persistent or annoying, and remember Google has a penalty for using popups on mobile devices!
Have a Consistent Brand Identity
Before you even begin to create your new business website you must have brand elements such as a brand logo, colors, fonts etc. Be sure that these brand elements are consistent on your new small business website. The design of your website should complement any existing marketing material you have, both online and in print. Here is how brand building and web design work together!
Meet Visitor Expectations
Most of your visitors will have some expectations about what information they will find on your small business website. Therefore telling your story, showcasing your awesome products or services, and showing examples of how dealing with you benefits consumers are absolutely essential. It is also important for your visitors to find what they expect quickly and easily.
“High-quality web content and increased mobility are top website priorities in 2017.” Clutch.co
Keep Your Website Updated
A stale and outdated business website will kill any potential engagement. Yet 27% of all small business websites are updated less than once a year! So be sure your website is kept up to date with useful and current information. A regularly updated blog is a great strategy for content marketing, and it keeps your visitors coming back. And be sure to remove any outdated info, such as your last holiday sale!
Focus on Essentials
Remember that your small business website has to do much more than just to look pretty. Simply put, your small business website is there to make you money. To achieve this it should help visitors and prospects find you, engage them, and convert them into consumers of your product or service. It is that simple!
Implementing Our Small Business Website Success Tips
One of the biggest problems with small business websites is that business owners usually try building their own. While we certainly admire your drive and initiative we really want you to think about this a bit more. You need an effective website to grow your business. But you may not be ready to invest that much effort on your own.
There are a lot of things to consider as you build an effective website for your small business. Creating effective website content, building search engine friendly links, and building an effective small business website takes a lot of different skills. Doing this yourself is very tempting, but we definitely do not recommend it! Get the results you need, and hire a professional.
If you do want to try this on your own you can follow our small business website success tips. That will help you avoid any serious errors and mistakes. But remember, it is perfectly OK to ask for professional help. We actually recommend that. Hiring a professional web designer will provide you with the results you need in less time and at a lower cost than frustrating yourself endlessly without getting any results. Trust us on this one! We are here to help.
Did Our Small Business Website Success Tips Help?
Did you follow any of the tips and strategies outlined in our small business website success tips? How did that work out for you? Did it help you achieve your business objectives? Or did you have problems with our suggestions? Please feel free to let us know so our audience can benefit as well, and grab our feed so you don’t miss our next post! And feel free to share our post with your audience!
Thank you! We appreciate your help to end bad business websites, one pixel at a time!