Although the Internet has changed and is a common, everyday utility for most, entrepreneurs still struggle with setting up their websites. Small business website design doesn’t need to feel flashy, but it does need to work well. What many SBEs fail to recognize is that your site uses more than visuals. There are many items that users won’t even see, but they control your website’s performance.
ALYKY creates stunning sites for large enterprises and small businesses alike, so we know what works. Our talented team of designers and marketers maximize your online presence at affordable costs. Of course, we also know what things an owner can handle without our help. Continue reading to learn what to do before you hire us.
What Features Does a Small Business Website Design Require?
The first mistake any DIYer makes is finding every free tool available. What a business owner might not understand is that there are many different website types. It’s best to determine what you will ask of your site. Consumers need to have a way to contact you, read reviews, and learn about your services.
Major search engines like Google, favor local businesses first, so don’t forget your contact details. Even if your company is hands-free, it still needs a physical address and other items such as:
- Phone Number
- Email Address
- Mailing Address
- Product/Service Descriptions
- Pricing and Fees
- Service Area
- Contact Forms
- On-Page Items
- Off-Page SEO Items
- And other required objects
Once you have determined what options are needed, it’s time to implement them properly. Make sure that all of your features work as expected with professional Web designers.
Business Phone Number
While no one wants to take phone calls these days, customers need to see a number. They need the peace of mind that they can speak with someone should orders fail. Many resources for promoting yourself online also require a valid phone number. Even if it’s not your personal one, you still need to have an office number listed.
How frustrating is it when you want to know more and no one is available? When your users can’t contact anyone, even with basic questions, it leaves them feeling isolated. Providing even an automated email system goes a long way towards attracting customers. Don’t leave your clients feeling alone, and include a way to email your company.
While snail mail these days is good for little more than junk, it’s still necessary. It becomes challenging, if not impossible, to add your business to Google without it. Unfortunately, many marketing resources no longer allow P.O. boxes but demand a physical address. Even if you don’t face customers directly, you’ll likely need a mailing address displayed.
You already know that Google wants to promote local businesses first over nationwide ones. That means that you need to have an accurate service area listed. Companies near Chicago will display first for users in Illinois, for example, before other states. Many online map services will also highlight your general service area to confirm your location.
Customer Contact Forms
It’s amazing how many business owners don’t have contact forms. How can someone purchase or hire you if they can’t reach you? Contact forms double as a practical way of capturing user information as well. That goes a long way towards redefining your customer segments and effective email marketing lists.
On-Page Search Engine Optimization
On-page SEO means anything that a prospective client would find while on your site. When you rely on designs that are old enough to remember the 90s, they don’t work. Researching what items perform best can take time, but it’s worth it. It’s one of the many ways ALYKY creates superior websites for your brand.
Off-Page Search Engine Optimization
Where many entrepreneurs get stuck is from working with off-page SEO elements. These can be much more technical than their on-page counterparts. Off-page items are where many problems stem from, especially when pages start linking together. If your site doesn’t load correctly, we can almost guarantee it’s a busted technical aspect.
Understand How a Website Design Company Operates
When you hire a website design company, they make you look like successful corporations, right? Unfortunately, that is the attitude of many owners, and it isn’t always correct. Premade website templates often aren’t enough to wow your customers, especially without updates. However, a digital marketing agency offers tools to help you succeed, including professional customization options.
If you need an e-commerce layout, designers also focus on shopping tools. That includes site security, functional baskets, and protected purchase checkouts for confident customers.
Plus, focusing on responsive web designs for mobile users is also vital for today’s startups. You must include UI/UX best practices to guarantee smooth scrolling on any device.
Will Consumers Make Purchases from Your Website?
If a website will exchange money in any way, it demands proper security. Some shops don’t even have HTTPS in place, leaving a customer’s financial information vulnerable. Protecting shoppers extends to mobile versions of sites as well, if not more so. A well-designed website considers safety before applying any updates.
Also keep in mind that some payment processors aren’t compatible with specific shopping platforms, or they feel cumbersome. Some hosting service providers do include these options, making them a top consideration.
Providing a safe and straightforward shopping experience doesn’t require a degree in software development. It’s important to know how to defend your customers or choose our trusted design services today.
What About a WordPress Website for My Businesses?
While it’s already 20 years old, many one-person design teams prefer WordPress websites for businesses. Whether it’s the plethora of plugins or their customizability, it’s a top alternative to Squarespace. However, some still see it as a place strictly for blogging or to raise awareness. WordPress is also useful for content creation and social media marketing too.
As an open-source platform, it can and does become breached occasionally. Multiple plugins and improper security settings will leave you an attractive target for hackers. WordPress also offers several different plans and pricing, which could leave you spending a ton. While it may work for some brands, it might not always be the best.
Focus on the User Experience with Business Web Design Considerations
The primary focus of any new design project is the user experience. Customers should feel a seamless transition from Facebook to your store, even on mobile devices. Unfortunately, many brands instead will choose the wrong design package, making matters worse for shoppers. When your pages have sluggish launch times, potential customers will bounce quickly.
Other companies show off expensive custom software and templates that only work sometimes. Instead, choosing the right design tools and calls to action help keep shoppers engaged naturally. Plus, major search engines today also treat your website like business cards. If it doesn’t seem like a well-designed page, they won’t show you off as often.
What is Your Content Strategy?
While you don’t have to be a so-called “influencer,” you do need to have a content strategy. Without it, your brand won’t make it long after you launch. You could hire a digital marketing agency (*cough* us), but everyone should understand the process. Business websites need to have the right mix of SEO features to rank and attract customers.
That means more than bringing ideas to life, but targeted keywords, images, and loading times. On top of that, you need to prove yourself as an authority to build long-term relationships.
Finally, e-commerce sites should upload frequent professional service or product updates, complete with visuals. That can mean either video or still images and calls to action that feel natural.
How Do I Choose the Right Hosting Service?
Finding the right service provider for your website hosting needs is also a top consideration. While some hosting companies do offer digital marketing services, not all of them will. For example, GoDaddy is among one of the original domain registrars and website hosting services. Some companies swear by GoDaddy, but often only when choosing their premium e-commerce packages.
These prebuilt templates also offer limited customizability and also have a tendency for slow load times. This isn’t ideal, because you want a more flexible console for admin features and design teams.
Some service providers also overcharge for their hosting, causing you to burn through your budget faster. The right company is affordable and keeps you in control of your pages.
What Social Media Channels Will You Integrate?
Today’s brands can no longer ignore the importance of social media platforms. As the most readily available inbound marketing avenue, your site needs to include them somehow. While Facebook is still the reigning champ, it’s not the only one. Finding out which social media channel compliments you best is key to affordable marketing.
However, DIY e-commerce means not spending a ton of money on the wrong platforms. Every year, sponsored posts get more expensive while leaving less of an impact. YouTube videos are also a great addition that can embed directly into your page. Pinterest is also useful at sharing images to attract potential customers.
Beware of Custom Web Design Pitfalls
Perhaps the biggest reason to hire a design agency is to avoid common mistakes. Not only do you need to include SEO features that work, but also features that are appropriate for your site. If you operate a hands-free company, you wouldn’t feature many contact forms. Instead, you may only need to rely on email for speaking with customers.
If you include too many SEO choices or those not compatible, it will only harm your ranking. When that happens, it gets even more challenging for possible shoppers to find you. Custom website design can save you money, but only when performed correctly. In the end, it may be more affordable to hire it all out.
Hire the Best Digital Marketing Services for Small Businesses
DIY web design is more than keywords and technical aspects. Instead, it’s acting as a one-person tech support team, even without the know-how. You can step back as the project manager and put our digital marketing services to work. We offer affordable design packages for any line of business and step-by-step recommendations.
Count on us for any marketing channels, social media platforms, and business goals. When DIY web design fails, choose the experts behind ALYKY today.