In nearly every industry, having an effective online presence is crucial for a small business’s success. But how can a small business know exactly what its website needs?
Your website may serve as:
- A virtual store, where you sell directly to customers
- The first point of contact between you and your customers
- An information hub that lets visitors know what you offer (and why they should hire you)
In fact, most business websites are a combination of all three!
What Do Small Business Websites Need?
Small businesses are unique: many don’t have the time, money, or collateral to build huge, comprehensive websites that cover anything and everything from detailed company histories to current corporate policies and community initiatives.
So: what are the top things to focus on when designing a website for a small business?
Avoid cluttering your website with too many elements or overwhelming graphics. A clean and organized layout not only makes your website visually appealing, but it also enhances the user’s experience by reducing friction. Your customers should be able to use your site with ease and find the information they need without feeling overwhelmed.
Navigation, for example, is crucial: your small business’s website should have a logical menu structure that helps users find what they’re looking for quickly. Use clearly-named labels and categories to make it as simple as possible for visitors to explore your site. Another navigation-friendly idea is to add a search bar to your website so customers can find exactly what they’re looking for.
Now that most web traffic comes from mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly website is a no-brainer. Your website needs to be responsive: it should adapt to various screen sizes and resolutions so that users on different devices can all have a great experience. Plus, Google prioritizes mobile-friendly websites in search results, so a responsive website is more than just kind to your customers!
If your small business’s website is slow to load, there’s not much stopping visitors from hitting the Back button (which can also lead to lower search engine results). But you’re a small business owner, not a web developer—how are you supposed to know what could be slowing down your website?
Google’s PageSpeed Insights can help you diagnose performance issues, identify areas for improvement, and provide suggestions for speeding up your site. It’s a fantastic resource for small business websites because it provides an at-a-glance view of how to adjust your website based on the platform you’re using to host it. It can get pretty complex in the details, though, so if you need help deciphering it, don’t hesitate to call us for help!
Your website’s design is important, but so is the content you’re putting on it. Ensure that your small business’s website offers valuable and engaging content that addresses your audiences needs.
High-quality content can attract new visitors and keep them coming back for more. Plus, it’s an excellent way to showcase your expertise in your industry!
The best way to determine what kind of content to publish is to understand your target audience.
- Who are your potential customers?
- What are their needs and preferences?
- At what stage in their buying journey are they coming to your website?
By answering these questions about your ideal audience, you can tailor your small business’s website design to meet their expectations and requirements.
Testimonials and reviews from satisfied customers are always reassuring to first-time visitors. Providing proof of your quality as a small business owner builds trust and credibility. Encourage those on the fence to make the decision to work with you by sharing the positive experiences others have had with your products or services.
Your social proof strategy can be as simple as featuring blurbs from positive reviews on different pages of your site or as deep as writing detailed case studies in blog posts. Depending on your industry, it might even make sense to have a page of your website that showcases videos of happy customers.
To make it as easy as possible for potential customers to get in touch with you, make sure to have your contact information everywhere! Your email address, phone number, and physical address (if applicable) should be prominently displayed, either on its own page or on the footer of every page of your website.
Hire the Experts
Your small business’s website is a vital tool for attracting and retaining customers. By implementing these tips, you can create a visually appealing, user-friendly, and effective online platform that will help your small business thrive.
A well-designed website is an ongoing project that should evolve with your business’s needs and the ever-changing digital landscape. If you need help managing your small business’s website, contact Kirkpatrick Creative today. We’re a small business ourselves, and we have years of experience optimizing existing websites and building new ones from scratch using these tips and more.
Ready to get started? Call (501) 663-6364 or contact us online to get in touch!