Having a website is no longer an option. You must have a website, even if you are a small business. But you may be worried about its success when you launch. Well, you are in the right place. You are about to learn 8 strategies to build a successful small business website. Starting from most important (not that they aren’t all important – you will see what we mean soon), let’s get into it.
9 Key strategies for a successful website
1. Choose a dependable hosting provider
While this does not overtly have anything to do with your website, imagine what would happen if you followed all our tips only to find that your website is not visible to your potential customers. That is why a good host is important when building a small business website.
You want your website to be up and available always for your customers and potential customers to access. Choosing a reliable and knowledgeable site builder to host your website is the glue that will hold all our other strategies together.
2. Pick a Stand-Out domain name
Invest some time in selecting the domain name that will describe your small business website. You may know it as URL or website address. Because this is what people will use to locate your website, be deliberate in your actions.
You can do that by:
- Keeping it short and catchy: people will need to easily recall it
- Avoiding all special characters and numbers, exotic spellings and any other variation that may hinder recall or pronunciation
- Ensuring the name represents what you do: people must hear your URL and get an idea of what your small business website offers
3. Design a winning homepage
We have now arrived at the website itself. Now the fun really begins. There are some elements or features that your website’s homepage will need to have to capture and maintain attention. Some of these are:
- Clearly visible calls-to-action (CTA) above-the-fold. You can use different colors from the background or main website color scheme, include graphics or an animation (be careful how you do this last one).
- A navigation system that includes the products and services that you offer. Your visitors should never be left to figure out what you do, or where anything is.
- Contact information displayed at natural locations, such as a tab on your menu, in your footer, and internal links.
4. Definitely include these pages on your small business website
Having just spent some time looking at features the homepage should have, let us look at the website overall. Other pages that you should definitely include are:
- About Us: this is the best way to add a human touch to the two-dimensional face of your site. You want to include a backstory, possibly how the business was formed and/or the profiles of the owners. But certainly, you will want to include photos of the team.
- Products and Services: as we said earlier, your visitors should not and will not guess what you do. Clearly tell them, and help them select the best products and services for their needs.
- 404 error ‘page’: while there will not be a page dedicated to this, you should bear it in mind. A 404 error message is displayed in the event your server could not locate a particular webpage. Instead of driving visitors away (into the arms of your competitors), create a stunning 404 page that will keep them moving around your site to other functional pages.
5. Consider your e-commerce options
First, there is no law that says you must sell directly from your website. But offering your customers this option will go a far way in terms of their convenience and willingness to do business with you. You will see this reflecting in your business’ bottom line.
If you decide to, there are several options available to you, including directly accepting the payment, or using the services of a third-party payment scheme. If you choose the former, ensure that you are PCI DSS compliant.
6. Involve the customer
Another factor that can influence customers’ decision to shop with you is how much they trust you. To help them feel reassured that your small business website is the face for a legitimate and trustworthy business, include testimonials, reviews and other customer-led feedback on your homepage. You can also include any awards that your product, service or website has won.
7. Make your small business website responsive
Stepping out of the realm of the physical website once more, we look at user experience. Now that you have built it, you need to ensure that your small business website is responsive. Search engines just love websites that can detect the accessing device and reshape to fit the size of that screen. In fact, Google ranks for mobile-friendliness. This is because chances are, most of your visitors will be using a mobile device to access your site.
8. Take website security seriously
When we say take security seriously, we mean both protecting your website from hackers, as well as creating an atmosphere of trust for your customers. How can you do that you ask?
- Use SSL certificates (in fact, Google will penalize you if you do not)
- Show off your security tags definitely on the checkout page of your website, but you can also display them on your homepage
- Backup your website regularly, and keep all software and applications updated
9. Maintaining your small business website
Having done the hard part, you need to ensure that you keep it successful. One key tool to help with this is analytics. Find out where your customers are from, which pages they visit most, length of time, and much more.
The take away
Using analytical tools will help you provide content that will keep your small business website improving in rankings, and your profit margins going up. Start with a great host, and put in the extra work to have top-notch website analytics.