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Getting Started

Whether you’re building your first website or optimizing a current one, there comes a time for every entrepreneur to revisit what makes an outstanding small business website.

Afterall, you need your website to do it all: represent your business, capture leads, close sales, climb to the top of search engine results, and connect to all your other digital platforms seamlessly. And you—you have to do it all too: choose your content, write & design your pages, connect your marketing tools, test it out, and not spend a million dollars or hours getting from A to B to blastoff.

In this article, we’re going to walk you through the 5 proven tips that will help take you from ‘I need a website’ to ‘my website does wonders for my business.’

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1 – Start with preparing a website strategy

Any successful small business website has one commonality: a well thought through strategy. With a plan in place, you’re teed off for success when it comes to supporting lead generation goals. Your website plan should answer the following ten questions:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What is your website’s goal or goals? (Rank and prioritize them!)
  • What functionality will your website have? (what’s critical and what’s a ‘nice to have’?)
  • What information do you need/want to give website visitors? 

2 – Set a clear page hierarchy

After you have developed the overall goals and a blueprint with tips on creating a website for your business, the next step is making it easy for website visitors to find content. To do this, make sure your page hierarchy is clear.

Social Media Today suggests bucketing your content by theme and importance. Try physically drawing a plan as you create a high-level outline. Most people freeze up at this point so it’s important to visualize your website structure!

3 – Keep it (so so) simple

Simple design and text are essential to an effective small business website. An overly complicated website doesn’t convert. Too many page elements lead to website visitor confusion.

So, long story short, uncluttered visuals and text have the most significant impact on your audience. And, while we’re on the subject of simplicity, keeping your color scheme minimal is key, too. Two to three colors is all you need to make an impact.

Be pragmatic in your color selection and fortify the use of white space within your small business website design. 

“This is not the time to show off your design acumen, with lots of distracting sounds and lights on the site and every icon known to web-kind,” says Nationwide.  

4 – Maintain well-defined calls to action

As a small business, you don’t need to be coy, Roy. Clearly state what you want people to do.

Use phrases like, “Subscribe to our newsletter,” “Book your reservation now” or “Email us for a free quote today.” After you identify your page structure, sketch out your content sections and maintain well-defined CTAs, then layer in conversion opportunities like pop-ups, alert bars, and more! Your lead forms should be prominent and enticing as well.

5 – Make your design responsive

Did you know 90% of small business websites don’t keep the smaller devices’ screen size in mind when creating websites? And around 30% of all website traffic is mobile. 

Before publishing anything on the web, always consider desktop and mobile devices. “Having a site that isn’t mobile optimized can drive away customers, hurt your SEO and look unprofessional,” notes Small Business Trends writer Ann Pilon. 

The finale: last tidbits on small business website tips

So there you have it… we hope these 5 tips for building an effective business website were consumable and prompt action as you embark on creating your small business website. 

About The Author

Madeline Carpenter is the founder of Market ‘Til You Make It. When she’s not serving her clients, she geeks out on board games, cider, and challenging her friends to top her awesome karaoke skills. She calls Bloomington, Minnesota home.