10 Tips For Making an Effective Small Business Website

These days, an online presence is vital for any business, whether you are a freelance videographer, own a clothing store, or have any other type of small business, having a great website is essential for your business success. Here are more reasons why it is important to have a website for your business Click Here To Read

As a web developer who has worked on building and marketing over many small business websites, I know what it takes to create an effective and engaging business websites.

If you want to build a new startup website or make your current website more effective, here are 10 Tips to help your small business website compete effectively in the online marketplace.

1. Obtain a relevant domain name

Your domain name, also known as your website address, is often the entry point to your site. You need a domain name that either matches your company name or describes your business in some way. 

It is important that it makes a good impression for usability purposes, as well as for search engine optimization (SEO). You can even have multiple domains that point to the website.

2. Describe your business clearly

It is crucial to let people know who you are and what you do right away so that they don’t feel confused when they visit your startup website. 

Make sure both your main and footer navigation menus have “About Us” page links easily accessible so people can click them and read more about your business in depth.

Make sure your hero image (main homepage banner) and other banners are visual representations of your services, and also have an introductory text that describes who you are and what you do.

3. Implement the best CMS for your business

A content management system (CMS) is a software program or application that is used to create and manage digital content.  You should choose a CMS that suite your needs; different systems are used for different reasons, functions and budget. 

A good CMS will help you maintain your site with easy, and you don’t need much technical knowledge to use it. 

4. Optimize your website for search engines

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a set of practices you apply to your website to ensure search engines index and rank your website properly and then show it to search engine users. 

Once your website is “crawled” by search engines, it competes with websites that have similar content. The better your website design and content is, the higher your site will show up on search engine result pages (SERP).

5. Create and publish quality content regularly

If you want to rank higher in search engine results page and encourage people to visit your site often, you will have to update your website with new and relevant content as frequently as possible.

Both content quantity and newness are important to search engines, so it’s important that you create a plan to publish quality articles and/or blog posts on your site and on external sites that link to your site.

Another great form of content to post on your website is testimonials. Asking for testimonials from your customers and then publishing them on your website is a great way to build trust with your audience.

6. Apply beautiful graphics and easy-to-read fonts.

Stay consistently on brand throughout your website design. Search engines like Google will penalize your ranking if your website is slow.
Make sure your graphics are optimized for fast loading. Research the competitors to see how they have designed and optimized their websites; implement similar components that will work for your small business website.

7. Design an intuitive navigation system

 A well designed intuitive navigation system allows users to get to the pages they need quickly. Publish easily accessible contact information. Incorporate obvious call-to-actions (especially “buy now” buttons). 

Create pages that are standard for small business websites, such as:

  • Home
  • About us
  • Products/Services (with descriptions and visually appealing images)
  • Sitemap (for SEO purposes)
  • Management team
  • Contact us
  • Terms of use (the online contract governing how users can use your site)
  • Privacy policy
  • Additional pages relevant to your specific small business

8. Make your website mobile responsive.

Most people spend more than five hours on their mobile phones every day, while more than one-third do all of their shopping online via mobile device. 

If potential customers land on your site but find it difficult to read or navigate on a mobile device, they may simply abandon you in favor of a competitor.

 Furthermore, a negative mobile user experience affects your website in search engine rankings. Needless to say, Mobile responsiveness is critical for a website to be effective.

9. Keep it simple.

This is especially important when it comes to mobile responsiveness, which is a major factor in how Google ranks websites in its algorithm. Limit the use of fonts, colors, and images, which can distract and pull the eyes away from the focus of the webpage.

Short paragraphs and bullet points also make the information more scan able and likely to be read. If a competitor is mobile-friendly and your website isn’t, you could get pushed down in your customers’ search results.

10. Include a call to action.

Each page on your website should entice the reader to do something. In other words, you need to give them a call to action. These landing pages should encourage users to take a certain action, such as to call your company, sign up for a service, buy a product, or do something else that benefits your business goals.

Give them a noticeable invitation to take the action: a button, a link, or clear verbiage. Keep it above the fold if possible so that readers do not have to scroll before finding the call to action.

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