Going Digital: The Top Tips for Building Your First Small Business Website

2 out of every 3 small businesses have a website. That means, if you don’t have a website, you’re part of a rapidly shrinking minority.

It used to be that a business could get by without a web presence. Today, people are increasingly doing their shopping online and even when they don’t shop online, they’re using the internet to determine which brick-and-mortar stores to engage with in the community.

If you’re reading this article, we’re willing to bet that you’re already sold on why you need a small business website. You are probably more concerned with how.

To that point, we’ll stop boring you with justifications and start educating you on key things that you need to keep in mind as you work to revolutionize your businesses online presence.

1. Planning Goes a Long Way

There are billions of websites online right now. Most of them don’t do anything for their owners.

These websites are poorly designed, are rarely updated and don’t serve a specific purpose.

Expanding on the last flaw, if you’re going to invest the time and money into creating a small business website, you need to make sure that its purpose is clear.

Why do you need a website? What do you want it to do for you?

Answering questions like those and getting as specific as possible with your answers will help you to create a roadmap from which you can effectively build out your online presence.

2. Consider Working With an Agency

There are a lot of advertisements online which promise to help small businesses create websites with the best website builder software. Given the robustness of today’s website creation tools though, do you really need the help of a professional agency?

Probably.

No matter how easy website creation gets, there are still barriers for non-tech-savvy people that will at best lead to them having a website that’s not optimized and at worst will derail their website endeavors altogether.

If you’re a business owner that values your time, find an affordable team such as this service to help guide the creation of your site. The team will make sure that your final web product reflects your ambitions.

3. Ensure That Your Website Is Built on a Simple CMS

Whether you have an agency build your website or choose to build a website by yourself, you’re going to want to make sure that your site has a simple CMS at its foundation.

CMS is short for content management system. A content management system is a user-friendly engine that your website runs on which allows the average person to easily manage updates.

If your agency forgoes building your site on a content management system like WordPress, you’ll have to call them every time that you need an online update made. Doing that would be antiquated, inefficient, and expensive.

4. Pay Close Attention to Your Web Host

A web host provides the online house that your website lives in.

If you have a good web host, internet users will be able to enter your website’s house easily and enjoy an excellent experience. If you have a bad web host, your website’s house will be plagued with issues that may cause slow-downs, data leaks, and other serious problems.

If you’re working with a development agency, they should be able to steer you in the direction of a high-quality web host that they work with. When you’re working by yourself, you’ll be responsible for vetting prospective hosts by reading their online reviews and sampling their services.

A bad web host can ruin any chance that your website has of propelling your business forward. Do not cut corners when it comes to selecting the right one to partner with.

5. Create a Blog

A blog is an addition that many business owners attach to their website. It serves as a great medium from which owners can share their expertise and build trust with prospective consumers.

We recommend that you follow in the footsteps of successful business owners before you and make having a blog a top priority when building your small business website.

Blogs are easy to set up, especially when your website is built on platforms like WordPress. They can also significantly increase your search engine exposure with the right SEO.

6. Ensure That All of Your Website’s Pages Support Your Goal

Is your goal for having a website to drive more sales? Is it to increase the number of newsletter subscriptions that you have?

Whatever your goal is, make sure that every page on your site works to move visitors closer to your desired end.

For example, all of your blog posts should close with “call to actions” that tell people to engage with your company further. Your home page should be clutter-free and should invite users to subscribe to your mailing list, check out your newest products or do whatever else will move the needle for your organization.

7. Check Your Website’s Mobile Performance

The vast majority of the world is accessing the internet from mobile devices. To make sure that they’re getting the best possible experience, it’s imperative that you make sure that your site looks and works great on cellphones and tablets.

A small business website that focuses solely on desktop/laptop performance is one that will alienate 75% of the market.

Our Final Thoughts on Creating a Small Business Website

Creating a small business website is something that is becoming increasingly necessary.

We admire your proactivity in taking this very important step towards modernizing your company. Feel free to browse more of the business-focused content on our blog if you find yourself in need of additional inspiration.

Adam Torkildson