October 9, 2020
One of the first things that many entrepreneurs think of doing when setting up their new business is creating a website. Even if it's just a small business website, it’s important to stake your claim on the interweb, set out your stall and start driving enquiries.
Once the decision has been made to create a small business website, it is very quickly followed by the following questions:
- How much will I need to spend?
- What information do I need to include on my website?
The answer to the second question will help inform the answer to the first and so for the purposes of this article, we will attempt to answer the question…
What makes the ideal small business website?
Our agency has been working with entrepreneurs and small businesses for a long time. Designing & building websites that help launch brands and services across a range of sectors. And although every business is unique, there is one thing that is largely common across all start-ups, and that is the temptation to start big. Too big.
The desire to throw anything and everything into your website can be great. It’s understandable that you want to tell the whole world about your wonderful products, how your business came to be and how you are going to change the world. The key is how you do it.
Overloading your website with too much content at an early stage of development can cause more problems than it is worth. Here are a few pointers to consider:
You will need to create the content that goes on your website
That can be a lot of copywriting for someone to take on board. And if you are the sole employee, writing the text for your website is going to be just one more thing on your giant list of tasks to do whilst trying to set up and run your company.
Your time is valuable and can probably be better spent on other tasks.
That includes blogging too!
Yes, blogs are a great way to drive traffic to your website. Every SEO company and digital agency will tell you that well-written articles will improve the ranking of your website. But who is going to write those articles?
Do you have the time to dedicate to this task? If the honest answer is no, then do not launch your website with a blog at this stage. Save it for the future.
Dash Rides started small. Growing their site over time, with the blog coming later in their growth.
Google and other search engines love to see websites that are changing over time. Adding a blog after 3-6 months will be a great way of sending a signal that your site is growing and so should be monitored regularly.
Visitors don’t like to read too much on screen
Not only can it be a struggle to write all that wonderful text for your website, but when it comes down to it, many people will not even read it. Especially if there is too much of it!
So, keep your text to a minimum. Work out what the most important messages are about your products, services and your USPs (Unique Selling Points) and distil them into short punchy statements that can be easily digested by the reader.
More pages can increase costs
When we quote for the design and build of a website, one of the driving factors will be the number of unique templates, such as:
Each of those pages requires its own unique template to be designed and built for desktop and mobile.
You may find that some pages can utilise the same template helping reduce costs. For example, if you are looking to launch an online store, all product pages will likely use the same template, as would category pages. But experience tells us that particular pages require their own unique layout, so try to keep the page number to a minimum.
In fact, you may even want to consider a one-page website.
Make the purpose of your site clear and drive viewers to your goal
When planning your website, you should consider your goals. What do you want your visitors to do on your website and why?
Use this insight to help inform the structure and layout of your website. Make it easy for the user to complete your goal from the point at which a visitor lands on your website, using clear CTAs (call-to-actions) which take the user to a contact form or buy button.
We can help you make these decisions and outline the structure of your site to best guide your customers and grow your business.
Launching your first business website can be a daunting task, but with the help of a good digital agency such as LWDA, you should be able to create an effective digital solution that grows your business and doesn’t break the bank.
Remember the following:
- Keep your text concise. Get to the point quickly, giving further detail only when absolutely necessary.
- Resist the temptation to add a blog. At least at the start. Save this idea for the future when the business is running smoothly and you have the time and budget to expand your website.
- Only include the number of pages that you really need to communicate your service. A 3-page website will cost far less than a 6 or 7-page website. De Havilland Gin is a good example of this approach.
- Make sure you know what you want your visitors to do once they land on your website and communicate this to your agency. The most effective websites are those that quickly convert viewers into customers via contact forms and buy buttons within one or two clicks.
If you are a small business that is looking to revamp its website or you are an entrepreneur – perhaps forced by COVID to forge ahead with your own business idea after being made redundant – get in touch and we’ll be happy to take you through our processes and send you a quote for an effective small business website.