For a small business owner still in doubt about creating a website for your small business, the most honest and straightforward answer you need to know is: YES.
For sure, you need a website. An excellent one. A professionally designed, engaging, lead-catching, sales-increasing, brand-differentiating website.
According to WPForms, “55% of people will search online for reviews and recommendations before making a buy, with 47% visiting the company website, 26% checking out the physical store, and 23% of people talking with friends and family”.
Small businesses will never be the same after COVID-19. Thus, launching an online platform or an online store and shifting from offline as much as possible could be a way out of the problematic situation.
While most small businesses have a website, some business owners do not see any value in it. But, no matter the size of your business, you need a website to reach the right audience to buy your products and services. Your business is not too small to have a website.
Here are some reasons why a website is important for your small business in this modern age:
Why Website Design Is Important for a Small Business
When to Design a Website for Your Business
You needed a website the day you started your business, but it’s better late than never. Here are some major factors that determine when to create a website for your small business:
When the products you sell/offer are being purchased by anyone, anywhere in the world.
When your prospective or existing customers are asking you about certain details of your company or products more than once. You can add all the important information on your website to save and automate resources.
To increase the number of customers and product prices for your business.
When you need to showcase all your products, packages and services to your customers at once in different locations.
When you need to be seen as a professional, clients can consult you if they need any advice relating to your expertise.
What You Need to Consider Before Choosing a Website Designer or Web Design Agency to Build Your Business Website.
With so many web developers around ready to give your business a presence online, it can be overwhelming to choose the right fit for you. While you may be the website designer’s customer, it’s your customers the designers/agency should focus on when developing a strategy for your site’s design.
Here are some tips to note to pick the right web designer for your business:
The best web design companies do the necessary research to determine the correct messaging for the targeted markets you are going after (before designing your site).
You should work with a marketing agency that offers web design and incorporates it into the marketing plan it has designed for you.
You should also work with a company that stays on top of leading trends in website design and content because this impacts how your prospects find you and how your audience perceives your business.
If the website designer/firm says they could make your website for free or at a very cheap price [my advice to you is to abscond!]. This is a bad idea for your business. It is like trusting a handyman to lay the foundation of a skyscraper. A LOT goes into having an optimized website. Such as SEO optimization, file compression, responsive design, schema markup, etc. And if it isn’t built on the right foundation, it will likely tumble over.
The company or web developer designing your website should include in the development of your website the following:
Building several web pages for a specific price.
On-page SEO including images.
Video embedding or linking.
Search engine verification.
High-converting CTAs (Call To Action).
Analytical tracking to measure the health and success of your website.
How Much Does a Website Cost for Your Small Business?
The cost of a website for a small business can vary depending on various factors, like the cost of a house may vary. It may depend on the environment in which you sell your products/services or the type of industry in which your business is being classified.
In the US, on average it costs around $200 to build a basic website for a small business, with an ongoing cost of around $50 per month to maintain it.
For small businesses in India, a basic website design package starts from INR 5,000 upwards, depending on your industry.
In Nigeria, website projects generally start in the ₦100,000 range for basic business sites and range upward depending on your unique needs.
Things That Make up a Good Website for Your Small Business
A Short Rememberable Domain Name
This is shown as “www.yourcompany.com”, also known as your website address is the entry point to your site. It must make a good impression for usability purposes, as well as for search engine optimization (SEO).
It should be short and easy to spell. Also ensure to use a proper domain extension (like a .com, .edu, .tech, .dev, etc) and should be catchy so people will remember how to access it in the future.
Secure & Reliable Web Hosting
A website hosting provider is a company that offers the technology and services necessary for a website to be viewed on the internet. You connect your domain name to your hosting provider so that when users visit your website address, they are shown the website that you store on your hosting account.
When choosing a web hosting company to host your website’s web pages, ensure that the company has good tech support so you can be helpedquickly if you have a problem. Also, make sure their services are reliable and they can be trusted with your business website.
Some recommended hosting companies from which you can buy a domain name and web hosting for your small business include:
A custom logo is a mark that makes your brand stand out anywhere in the world. Getting your brand logo right is a very good investment that makes customers want to associate with the values and stories that align with your business.
Images and videos get more engagement than texts alone, so add very clear images relating to the products or services you offer on your website.
Also, avoid using stock images or images with large file sizes. A single image file size shouldn’t be more than 120KB, and you can compress your images with an online tool called Tiny.jpg.
Strong, Clear Copy
The copy, or the words on the page, is a vital part of any website since those words convey all the necessary information to customers. Make sure that your copy is well-written and error-free and that it engagingly conveys your message.
Responsive Web Pages/Design
Most users in this digital age are accessing information and purchasing products online through their smartphones and tablets. So it is important to have a responsive website that works well on whatever device it is being viewed on.
A mobile-optimized website adapts to create a positive viewing experience, such as by resizing pages, adjusting menu formats and incorporating dropdown tabs.
Search engines also take the mobile layouts of websites into account first when crawling sites, so if you want to appear higher in search engine results, you should ensure your website is mobile-friendly.
Calls to Action
A call to action (CTA) is something that directs customers to complete a specific action. For example, a button they click to contact you or to subscribe to your newsletter. Your CTA buttons should be clear and eye-catching and conform to your branding.
Fast Page Speed
Page speed is how quickly your website pages load when a customer clicks them. Research shows that websites that load within at least 2 – 3 seconds have a 60% high conversion rate than a website with slow web pages.
You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to see how quickly your site loads and identify places where you can improve your page speed.
In summary, a website design is the first best investment to make for your small business. Get a website—it doesn’t have to be fancy and expensive, but it needs to exist, and it needs to be able to be found by search engines.
When choosing a website designer to build a website for your business, make sure they have marketing strategies included in your website design process and also build your website with your target customers and audience in mind.
The cost of building a website for your business need not be very expensive. You can hire a professional website designer that understands your market audience at an affordable price without breaking your bank account and still gets the best result for your small business.
Also, make sure to provide the necessary assets and note the important features that make up an excellent business website. E.g: Company images, product images, the content of your business, a memorable domain name, web hosting etc.
With a professional website for your small business, you would increase visibility, accessibility and sale for your business. You would also reduce the cost of advertising, rather than spending a lot of money on traditional advertising with no results.
So here we have it, a website design is right for your small business to increase, generate and convert prospective customers to buy your products/services. Good luck!