You know that small businesses with great websites help their customers find them. Great! Plus, you’ve also familiarized yourself with the basics of what every small business website needs, such as a strong user experience and an ecommerce platform.
That’s the “what” — now it’s time for the “why” and “how.”
Here are four things to consider when launching your small business website.
Every small business website serves a different purpose. Perhaps it’s a tool for sales, a place to educate your customers or simply a way to get your name out there.
Whatever the case, the goals of your new website should align and support your overall business goals.
If your goal is to increase sales, your site should include a robust ecommerce platform, but might not need a daily blog. But if your goal is to help and educate customers, you might need a strong content strategy and a simpler ecommerce platform for selling ebooks.
Branding is more than just a name and logo. You need to ensure that your site reflects the character of your small business — whether you have a brick and mortar location or not.
Create a brand style guide to set standards for the colors, typography, icons, logos and voice that will be used across your properties. Maintaining a consistent brand style will help you establish a consistent and recognizable identity wherever you communicate with customers, including in stores, online, on social media and through postal mailings.
At minimum, this document should include:
All iterations of your logo
Primary and secondary colors
Font family or families
Using search engine optimization, or SEO, will allow your customers to find you easier via Google and other search engines. An SEO optimized site is filled with keywords relevant to what your customers are searching for online. This means it will come up higher in results, making it easier for prospects to find your site.
SEO optimization is both an art and science. You shouldn’t stuff keywords, or attempt to trick Google into placing your site higher in search results, but you can’t ignore keywords either. A small business site optimized for SEO is readable and helpful to your customers, but includes searchable phrases.
Budget, Time & Skills
Money. Time. Talent. It’s three things we all wish we had more of.
When it comes to launching your small business website, it’s all about balancing your budget with your time and skills.
Think about these questions:
How much do you know about SEO, marketing and branding?
How tech savvy are you?
Would you prefer to be hands-on with your ecommerce platform, or allow it to fulfill orders without you?
Do you have the skills and time (plus the patience) to troubleshoot errors, broken links or a crash?
How much of your budget can you invest in a strong website?
Prioritize what’s most important to you, and honestly consider what you can accomplish. Consider bringing in outside help from a proven web development agency to assist with your big needs and ensure things get done right the first time.
Ready to get started? See how 312 Sites can help you engage your customers online with a small business website, ecommerce platform and more.