Although the Internet has changed and is a standard, everyday utility for most, entrepreneurs still struggle to set up their websites. Small business website design doesn’t need to feel flashy, but it does need to work well. Many SBEs fail to recognize that your site uses more than visuals. There are many items that users won’t even see, but they control your website’s performance.
What Features Does a Small Business Website Design Require?
The first mistake any DIYer makes is finding every free tool available. A business owner might not understand that many different website types exist. 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 needed options, it’s time to implement them properly. Make sure that 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 to speak with someone should orders fail. Many resources for promoting yourself online also require a valid phone number. You need to have an office number listed, even if it’s not yours.
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 toward attracting customers. Don’t leave your clients feeling alone; include a way to email your company in your small business website design plan.
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. For example, companies near Chicago will display first for users in Illinois before other states. Many online map services will also highlight your general service area to confirm your location. Small business website design pretty much demands a service area, so do your best to pin that 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 toward redefining your customer segments and effective email marketing lists.
On-Page Search Engine Optimization
On-page SEO means anything a prospective client finds 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 a successful corporation. 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, hiring 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 secure purchase checkouts for confident customers.
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, leaving a customer’s financial information vulnerable. Protecting shoppers also extends to mobile versions of sites, if not more so. A well-designed website considers safety before applying any updates.
Also, remember that some payment processors aren’t compatible with specific shopping platforms, or they feel cumbersome. Some hosting service providers include these options, making them a top consideration.
Providing a safe and straightforward shopping experience doesn’t require a degree in software development. Remember small business website design should be easy and straightforward.
What About a WordPress Website for My Business?
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 offers several different plans and pricing, which could leave you to spend a ton. While it may work for some brands, it might not always be the best.
Focus on the User Experience
The primary focus of any new small business website 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, but everyone should understand the process. Small business website design needs 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 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.
We personally swear by WebHost Python. Their customer service is so fast they almost have the problem solved before you hit “submit” on the ticket. We have used them for years and have absolutely zero complaints.
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 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 small website design can save you money, but only when performed correctly. In the end, it may be more affordable to hire it all out.
When In Doubt, Hire It Out
When your small website design has you pulling your hair out, hire it out. There are many local website design companies to you that we’re confident will do the trick. Try to find a company with a solid portfolio on their website.