11 tips to building a great small business website

Whether you own a small bakery or are a freelance photographer, a great website is essential for your business’s success and growth.

A website allows potential customers to find you in their searches and creates a central location for your contact information, product list, prices, etc. Additionally, a website increases your credibility and allows you to compete with other small businesses and well-established organisations.

So, how do you create a great website for your small business?

Here are 11 tips to get you started:

1. Obtain a good domain name

Your domain name or website address is the first entry point to your site. Therefore, it must make a good first impression both for usability purposes and search engine optimisation. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a domain name:

• It should be easy to spell/ type
• Keep it as short as possible
• Avoid using numbers, symbols, and hyphens
• Use a proper domain extension. Your country code extension or .com are the best options

2. Purchase a good hosting

A web hosting provider offers the technology and services necessary for your website to be viewed on the internet.

Depending on your budget, you can choose between two routes; shared hosting or dedicated hosting. The former is cheaper, but the latter gets you a private server, so you don’t have to compete with other sites that could potentially drag down your speed.

SiteGround offer secure and scalable web hosting and they have one of the highest-rated customer care teams.

3. Make sure your website loads fast

Page speed is a critical component of your website. Websites with faster loading speed have lower bounce rates, higher rankings, and higher conversion rates.

So, how fast should your site load? Ideally, your site should load in under three seconds.

Many factors influence how long a page on your website takes to load, but luckily there are just as many solutions.

Click here for tips on how to speed up your website.

4. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly

54% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. Therefore, you’ll be doing your business a disservice by not optimising your website for mobile devices.

Test your site on Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool to see how well it’s fairing. It will help you hone in on specific areas that need work and give you useful recommendations.

5. Keep your design simple and user-friendly

Less is more when it comes to web design.

Not only is a simple design cheaper to make and easier to fix, but it also provides a better user experience for your customers. As a result, your business will enjoy more sales and improved customer loyalty.

6. Keep your pages uncluttered

A cluttered site with too many pages and busy design elements can lead to a negative user experience, causing higher bounce rates.

Standard pages for small business websites include a home page, about us, product/service page, blog, and contact page, so remove any page that doesn’t serve a specific purpose.

Next, avoid too many links and images and use more negative space.

7. Make it easy to navigate

A well-designed website with poor navigation is of no use because users won’t be able to find the information they need. So, design an intuitive navigation system that allows users to get the pages they need with little effort. A navigation bar and search bar can help make your website easy to navigate.

8. Place your contact information above the fold

Providing contact information like your physical address, telephone number, email address, and social media pages goes a long in building credibility. But where should you place your contact information? Well, you should always put your contact information above the fold. Above the fold is the visible section of a web page that viewers see before they scroll down. It is prime real estate in web design and is best utilised by adding valuable information such as your contact details.

9. Choose a good website builder

WordPress is the most popular website builder in the world and for a good reason.

It is free, has numerous plugins to extend the functionality of your site, is easy to install and use, and has a large and active support community.

Click here for a detailed guide on how to build a website using WordPress.

10. Include a clear call to action

A call to action acts as a signpost that lets a visitor know what to do next.

You can use CTAs to persuade visitors to fill out submission forms, share your content, sign up for your newsletter, read more of your content, shop your products, or get in touch with you.

When writing a call to action, state a clear benefit and use actionable text such as “buy now” or “sign up.” Your CTA should also be short and hit the nail on the head.

11. Optimise your website for search engines

Search engine optimisation involves implementing different practices to ensure search engines index and rank your site appropriately so it ranks high on search engine results pages.

Here are a few practices you should follow to optimise your site for SEO.

• Pick a responsive website design so that your content works on all devices
• Use appropriate keywords in your pages and content
• Optimise your site for speed
• Ensure your site is secure by installing an SSL certificate
• Include internal and external links throughout your site

If you need help creating a website for your small business, contact us for a free consultation.

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