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small business websitePlanning to launch a new website for your business? There’s a lot to con­sider when designing a small business website. Have you thought about how its design may affect vis­ib­ility on Google or how people per­ceive your business?

Gone are the days where a free Geo­cities or Word­Press tem­plate could do the job for you.

The com­pet­ition is tighter now, with 71% of small busi­nesses already oper­ating a website of their own. Your site has to stand out amidst the sea of com­pet­itors. Get started the right way with these 5 top tips to create a good small business website:

1 .On-Site SEO is a Must

First and foremost, keep Search Engine Optim­iz­ation a pri­ority for everything you do on your site. Whether it’s designing how the site looks to the content you post on the pages and blog, SEO should be a part of the design philo­sophy.

With that said, focus first on on-site SEO. This means working on a func­tional schema markup and optim­izing ele­ments like title tags and meta descrip­tions to help Google’s crawlers index every portion of your pages.

Most small busi­nesses should also focus more on local SEO to start with, rather than national SEO. It’s easier to gain traction in niche markets like local ser­vices. You can achieve even more with cost-effective digital mar­keting help from a local SEO expert.

2 Be Mobile-Friendly

Since Apple revealed the first iPhone back in 2007, accessing the Internet has never been the same. Now, over 52.2% of all web pages are served to mobile devices.

More people now browse the Internet on their phone than they do on a desktop com­puter. As a result, Google’s algorithms now pri­or­itize mobile-friendly sites.

This means your site should focus first on the mobile crowd. Maintain a responsive, mobile website design, pri­or­itize quick loading times, and ensure the design caters to the limited inter­action presented by touch­screens.

3 Have Clear CTA’s

Always have a clear Call to Action (CTA) on your site. Make sure there’s a spot for people to sub­scribe, click to your social media handles, and easily find the tab to your Contact page.

Running an e-com­merce site, with a gallery or bro­chure of items for sale? Make sure there are clear buttons to add those items to their shopping cart. Make sure people can access their cart at any time or alter the items they have in it.

4 Maintain an Updated Blog

Content is king. This remains true even in today’s fast-moving world. Google loves sites that stay fresh with new content, so having a blog is great for SEO, but the benefits don’t stop there. Others include:

  • Short, time-sens­itive content is easier to write
  • Cus­tomers can look forward to regular updates, so repeat visits are more likely
  • The option to write content and set it to publish on a regular schedule

You can also use new blog posts to discuss the products or ser­vices you offer. This not only advertises your business but it also edu­cates your cus­tomers.

5 Invest in Design

Free themes offered by some ser­vices may work for college pro­jects and per­sonal sites, but not for busi­nesses. Cus­tomers can tell when you’re cutting costs by cutting corners, and it won’t impress them.

You don’t have to go down the exact opposite route either, though. A full bespoke design process, involving wire­frames, mockups and many rounds of revision is more than most small busi­nesses need to get started. Those things are partly a hol­dover from print design, in which any over­sights have per­manent impacts. They still matter for estab­lished sites, but until yours builds up an audience, you’ll have some leeway to fix mis­takes even after pub­lishing.

Whilst you can invest your time into DIY instead of paying pro­fes­sional designers and copy writers, don’t under­value your own time, or imagine that it’ll only take a few hours. You’ll be up against com­pet­itors who do pay pro­fes­sionals — who spend dozens to hun­dreds of hours honing each site, and years honing their craft.

Don’t imagine that “design” is all about looks, either. Artists create pretty stuff, and that can improve sales, but no-one chooses which website to visit based on how good it looks. Pro­fes­sional designers study best prac­tices like responsive design and con­version rate optim­isation, based on lots of stats they see across dozens of web­sites. Still, if you’re happy to do that, DIY may work for you.

Get More Tips to Design the Best Small Business Website!

With these 5 small business website design tips, your site can rise above the com­pet­ition. You can achieve more traffic, higher con­version rates, and better lead gen­er­ation.

But why stop your online strategy there? Sub­scribe to this blog for more tips and tricks about web design, SEO and digital mar­keting. If you’re not sure where to start, contact me and let me help your small business site find success.

Remember the “Clear CTA” bit?