To help you build a great small business website, we asked business owners and web developers this question for their best tips. From outlining the scope of services or products to including an SSL certificate, this post includes several best practices that will help you build a great website for your small business.
- Outline The Scope of Services Or Products
- Ensure the Website Meets Accessibility Guidelines
- Make it Easy To Navigate and User-friendly
- Maintain Uniformity in Design and Language
- Optimize Website for Mobile Devices
- Cater To Less Savvy Users as Well
- Keep it Simple
- Use Tried and Trusted Templates
- Include SSL Certificate
Outline The Scope of Services Or Products
Small businesses usually don’t have broad brand recognition and thus require an informative approach before anything else. Focusing on clear communication of the commercial offer can help connect with customers and keep the content useful.
Michael Sena, SENACEA
Ensure the Website Meets Accessibility Guidelines
When building your website it is very important to make sure the site is accessible and inclusive to people with disabilities – there are international standards for web design to ensure accessibility – WCAG (web content accessibility guidelines) and you should ensure that any designer/developer you hire creates a site that is accessible and adheres to these standards. If you are building your website, a very simple but important first step is to ensure that you can use your website with only the keyboard – using tab and arrow keys to move around without using the mouse. If your website is keyboard accessible this means it has a good basic level of accessibility for people with disabilities that may require screen readers and voice control.
Dale Reardon, All Accessibility Matters
Make it Easy To Navigate and User-friendly
Remember that, at the end of the day, you’re creating the website for your users and consumers and not for yourself. Aesthetics won’t matter much to your users if they get frustrated trying to navigate your website or can’t find the features or information that they’re looking for. Simplicity is key so break things down and ensure that your web pages are uniform and accurately direct the user toward the information they’re looking for by using a well-defined heading hierarchy.
Riley Beam, Douglas R. Beam, P.A.
Maintain Uniformity in Design and Language
Every brand has its own unique identity consisting of its logo, typography, colors, messaging, and tone of voice. For your website to truly make an impact on its audience it’s of the utmost importance that all the pages on your website are consistent when using these elements so that your users aren’t left feeling confused or in doubt about your credibility.
Demi Yilmaz, Colonist.io
Optimize Website for Mobile Devices
Building a great website is no longer optional for small businesses. Customers want a high-functioning and easy-to-use website if they are going to consider buying your company’s product or service. However, many customers today are making purchase decisions on their mobile devices which is why the mobile-first approach to website building is important to consider. Not only can a negative mobile experience deter potential customers but it can have an impact on SEO rankings. Ensure your website’s design is responsive and it functions well on mobile devices, in particular the flow and size of pages, animations, and alignment for a great small business website!
Jeffrey Pitrak, Transient Specialists
Cater To Less Savvy Users as Well
The biggest mistake I see people making is that they try to build websites and a marketing strategy that’s like the big brands. But if you have a small, local business, then your website needs to reflect that. Leave all the bells and whistles aside, you don’t need them. Your website needs to be clear. It should be intuitive and user-friendly. Think about the oldest lady in town – you want her business, but will she be able to navigate your website? If not, then make the necessary changes.
Rick Berres, Honey-Doers
Keep it Simple
One vital tip is to keep the layout simple. If you’re an e-commerce website, you want to make it easy for visitors to find what they’re searching for from arrival to checkout. When some sites are overwhelmed with content, finding what you need turns into a clicking game resulting in a waste of time and frustration. Aim to have the visitor seek their destination in three clicks or less. The site should be easy to read and navigate.
Sasha L., Sasha Talks
Use Tried and Trusted Templates
Starting with a blank page and no plan leads to dumping everything you can think of on your web pages – which leads to a completely ineffective website. Instead, start with some tried and tested copywriting frameworks – use them to guide you for every page of your site. Every page should have a clear focus and take the reader on a journey, and there are loads of free resources to help you. Start by Googling “website copywriting frameworks”.
Frank Prendergast, Frank and Marci
Include SSL Certificate
We all shop online, but would you go to the checkout after seeing the message that someone is trying to steal your data? Exactly. If you want to accept payments from customers online, your website must have an SSL certificate. Having such a certificate guarantees that customers will feel safe when placing an order and will significantly increase the chances of selling your product.
Piotr Buczynski, PhotoAid
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