Even if you are a modern business owner that understands, on a general level, the importance of having a website, there are plenty of things about the process and execution that you may not know. Your small business deserves a great online presence. Here are some things to chew on.
Simple is always better
Maximalist websites have run their course (if they were ever the popular choice at all). You don’t have to swing all the way to stark minimalist web design, but you should do what you can to keep it simple. Studies have shown that users are less likely to find a crowded, complicated website “beautiful,” and that people make up their minds in the blink of an eye. You only have a fraction of a second (literally) to make a first impression. Don’t be clunky.
Sure, you want your website to be beautiful. But beauty is only part of the equation, and it’s not the most important. Inc. outlines the three things business owners have to do to ensure their website is great, such as: “making sure it loads quickly (under three seconds); making the site mobile optimized (responsive), and creating an informative customer experience.”
You don’t have to do it yourself
Do you know close to nothing about website design? Or is running your business taking up all of your time? That’s ok. No, really, it is. There’s no reason you can’t have a great website anyway. If you’re looking for a professional-looking and unique website, you can pay someone to design the website for you. A professional website builder can even help you maintain your website by providing ongoing support. This will allow you to save time and concentrate on what’s most important—your business.
It’s best to throw all the important information at the visitor as soon as possible
You could call this tip a cousin of the one about keeping it simple, but many small business website owners don’t realize that the number one job of a website is to give customers pertinent information. Everything else is secondary. If your website is designed in a way where it’s hard for someone to find crucial things like your mission statement, hours of operation, location, and prices, then you’re failing.
Your website should be your e-commerce portal
Sure, you could simply link visitors to Etsy, Amazon, or some other e-commerce website. But if you’re trying to make your website really work for your business, you’ll set it up to allow customers to place orders for products and services right there on the website. It’s a small but important website design step that you shouldn’t skip.
It allows you to run your business from home (if that’s what you want)
The internet has given small business owners the ultimate freedom: the ability to run their business from home (or at least mostly from home). Though a strong online presence allows for this convenience, it’s also true that for home businesses, there is more pressure placed on the website to be functional, beautiful, and well-maintained. If it’s your only portal to the customer/client, it has to be perfect. A website is only one component, however. Check here for more tips on running a business from home.
In the end, you need a website that works in conjunction with your social media presence. Your Facebook and Instagram accounts should lead people directly to your website and vice versa. An online presence is more than just one site or one account. It’s synergy. That’s how you’ll survive in a world that’s crowded with online business competitors.
Article by Dean Burgess