Small business web design is about more than creating an online brochure advertising your goods and services and letting your customers know where they can find you. It is a portal towards providing more value to your customers and establishing your brand as an authority in your industry.
A website for your business also opens up new ways to attract more leads, and forge long lasting connections with your existing customers. Not convinced? Maybe the following will inspire you into getting your small business presence online.
Customers Expect a Business to Have a Website and Online Presence
Today, most customers will think twice about visiting a shop in person when the organisation does not have a website. Why would they when a competitor’s site teaches them all they need to know before they call you on the phone, or visit you in person?
Upon first hearing about a business most people head directly to the company website. When one is not forthcoming, you can expect that most of them will head straight to the search engines, where it is highly likely they will be directed to a competitor’s site.
A Small Business Website Provides Social Proof
An incredible 90% of consumers have stated that online reviews affected their final buying decision.
Why let Four Square, Yelp, and Yellow Pages have all the fun with online reviews when you can put glowing customer testimonials on a web property you own and control.
When are potential clients looking for reviews about your business would not it be better for them to see your business website pop up in the search results? Consumers are more likely to head there first to find out what they need to know.
You have complete access over what the customer sees, so it is easy to ensure they read nothing but good things.
Small Business Websites are Cheaper than Traditional Advertising
Once your site is up live and running, the costs of maintaining it year after year are much less than what traditional advertising would cost. Plus, as the internet becomes more entwined in our daily lives traditional advertising is only going to become less effective moving forwards – but it is not going to get any cheaper.
By continually providing more value to your customers through the content on your website you will be able to reach more people year after year, without the subsequent increase in fees.
Everybody Else is Doing it
The fact that your competition has a website should provide much motivation for you to seek out a company who specialises in small business web design, and who can help you create an attractive online presence that showcases your business in the best light.If you do not have a website, you can bet that all your competitors do, and they are reaping the rewards – while you are left wondering where all the customers have gone.
Your Business Will Show up in the Search Results
The statistic showing 81 percent of consumers heading straight to the search engines before parting with their money on a purchase is a sobering one – especially if you have not got your business online yet.
If you do not have a website, your business firm will not be seen in the search engines. That equates to sending more customers over to your competitors. No doubt they appreciate it.
The statistic discussed above also means that a website is often the first impression visitors see about your business.
You can be sure, as they browse the website, that they are forming an opinion about your business. Web sites are increasingly the first step people take in getting to know, like, and trust business.Your website creates a sense of what a customer can expect to experience when they finally do get around to visiting your establishment or meeting you in person.
On the other hand, if you do not have one then you have not even got your foot in the door.You want your customer’s impressions to be the best they can be when they think about your business, so it is important you make use of a professional web design business.
Creating a website yourself is easier than ever, but without the benefit of design experience, it will most likely fall short of your customer’s expectations.
A Small Business Website is Like a 24/7 Salesperson
When done right your small business website can be your always friendly online seller. Any time of the day or night, your customers can learn more about you, or shoot you an email.With the right software running your website, you can even come into work in the morning ready to ship out orders which were placed while you were sleeping, or while you were enjoying your day off.
The website also won’t take sick days, doesn’t need holidays, and won’t have to take time off to pick up the kids from soccer.
Websites Save Time
Not too long-ago customers had to visit a business in person or call up on the phone to find out more about whether a company could help with their problem. Communication, whether it be on the phone or face-to-face, costs a business time and money.
A web site can answer many questions about your business, while you get on with the job of running it. When customers ask a question, your website cannot answer you can quickly put the new information up on the site for future reference.
These are the eight key questions you should be asking yourself when it comes to new website design or an existing website redesign for your small and medium business:
- Do the site represent an active, energising and engaging look and feel?
- Are my website conversions increasing every month?
- Do my website keywords match the search terms my market is using?
- Are my site visitors needs aligning with what the site is offering?
- Does the design demands attention and is geared for more enquiries?
- Is my tracking in place (Google Analytics or other) in place so I can determine which keywords are generating enquiries, most visits?
- Do the pages that have high page views provide value to the users, and are they user-friendly?
- Does the website respond to the user’s behaviour and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation?
Nine Essential Components
The fact that more than 50% of Australian businesses still haven’t got around to creating a website is a shocking statistic. It’s even more sobering when you know that 97% of consumers will research their buying options online before making a purchase.
The above statistics can only amount to one thing, if your business doesn’t have a website, then it’s missing out on hundreds, if not thousands of new leads every year.
In our search of award-winning small business websites, we discovered that all successful sites had the following features in common.
1. Intuitive Navigation
You don’t want to frustrate your visitors by forcing them to figure out what they need to do once they land on your website. Include a navigation bar at the top of every page, with links visitors can use to reach every other important page. Always include a link on your logo which takes the visitor back to the homepage.
Drop down menus can keep everything organised if you need a large site with lots of information. Navigation must also work just as well on a mobile device as it does on a desktop.
Google is lending more importance to mobile navigation because mobile has overtaken desktop when talking about search volume. Discuss mobile responsiveness with your web developer to ensure your site looks good on every device.
2. About Us Page
Many businesses give only cursory attention to the About page, and some ignore it altogether, but it happens to be one of the most visited pages on all the award-winning small business websites we examined.
Potential customers appreciate being able to learn more about the people behind a business so make sure you tell your company’s story on this important page. You can include a little about yourself as well as introduce your staff members.
3. Include a Blog
Once you have set up all your static pages telling your prospects everything they need to know about your business, a blog is the logical next step and essential for several reasons.
The information you post to your blog will help to establish your business as an authority. Potential customers also appreciate the free, but useful information, which builds trust. The thinking goes if they get this much service for free, then your paid service must be exceptional.
The search engines prefer sites which are regularly updated, so add a new post to your blog every week or so. Plus, every carefully crafted post creates more potential to increase traffic to your site through the search engine results pages (SERPs).
4. Detailed Contact Information
It’s surprising how many businesses fail to incorporate adequate contact details on their site. A comprehensive contact page should include:
- The name of your business
- The address of your physical locations (and a way to navigate by State if you have multiple outlets).
- Telephone numbers
- Mobile Phone numbers
- Fax numbers if applicable
- Opening hours
- A form for contacting you via email
Adding maps is also a helpful addition to your contact page that your visitors will appreciate.
5. Social Proof
Customers are more trusting of a business which also has an active presence on the popular social media sites like Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and more recently Instagram (a growing powerhouse of advertising potential).
Social proof sits right alongside personal recommendations in importance for the majority of customers. Regularly updating your social feeds also keeps your business actively engaged in the community and on their mind.
Include links to all of your social media profiles in a prominent location of the site, such as in the footer, or just below the navigation bar.
6. An Appropriate Design
Every business website should be designed in a way that will appeal to the demographic it serves, with a focus on usability, rather than an excessively creative design which can make the site clunky to use.
Mobile responsiveness, as stated above, is increasingly essential and getting more straightforward to implement. It also ensures your site always appears professional no matter on what size screen it is viewed.
Every page should have at least one call to action (CTA), so your customers aren’t left guessing about what to do next. A call to action is a simple, unambiguous statement such as:
- Contact Us
- Shop Now
- Download Now
- Learn More and so on
7. A Testimonials and Awards Page
Include a page where you can display your accolades, such as awards and certificates as well as a few glowing customer testimonials.
When it comes to testimonials, consider asking a few of your customers if they wouldn’t mind appearing in a video recommending your company for its quality service and reliability. Most customers deem video testimonials to have more integrity than text-only testimonials.
8. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
It may be last on the list, but that doesn’t make SEO one of the most critical strategies for gaining more traffic to your site. Your SEO strategy should be included in the initial design phase, not as an afterthought once the site is up and running.
Neglecting good SEO practices will mean your website will not get found by the customers you want to serve. Use a competent SEO strategy to ensure every page on your site is optimised around keywords for which you want your organisation to be found.
Local services such as painters, builder, plumbers, dentists etc., can also benefit from local SEO, which is a strategy that targets customers who live within your company’s service area.
9. Secure Socket Layer (SSL)
You don’t have to worry too much about the technical details of SSL but suffice it to say that it’s imperative your site has it. SSL sets up a secure pathway between your site and the device your website visitor is browsing on. Anybody who happens to be snooping in on the data transfer won’t be able to get their hands-on personal information.
Google is serious about keeping its customers safe and will eventually start to overlook sites for listing in the search results if they haven’t implemented SSL – if they’re not doing it already.
There’s an internet-connected mobile phone in just about every pocket in Australia, which means that not having a website is costing you money. Discuss your options today with an award-winning small-business websites designer today and get started future-proofing your organisation.
Other Significant Features for Small Business Websites
Nevertheless, the final standard holds out on obtaining a website is primarily because the owner does not understand where to begin. Acquiring a website can sound expensive, complicated, and also technical. Just trying to figure out what you would like on your website may be challenging. To give you a hand, listed below are features that are important to your small business website in 2020:
- Powerful Home Page
- User-friendly Navigation
- Search features
- Access to help
- FAQ page
- Responsive website
Powerful Home Page
Your own website’s home page is the very first impression you give the internet concerning your business. Without a doubt, getting across your business’s brand image can be achieved via appealing visuals. Also by identifying what your small business does, whom it serves, exactly why it exists, and also why a customer ought to care.
There are numerous creative tips on how to design your homepage. Nonetheless, it should consist of, at least, your logo, a brief description of your small business along with a navigation menu that guides users to various other crucial pages on your website.
Also important, your website should contain responsive design features that guarantee it is as simple to see, and also get around on smaller sized screens, as well as traditional desktop computer.
Whether or not your navigation menu gets larger across the top of your website or even in a sidebar, it has got to be an easy task for visitors to your site to locate. They also ought to contain logical categories which ensure it is easy for site users to discover the information and facts they seek out. Always bear in mind it is very likely for individuals to leave a website as a result of very poor navigation.
Think about the best way to best structure your navigation menu, along with the categories, and also possibly subcategories, to contain common questions a new customer to your small business might ask.
Ultimately, a clean navigation ought to make use of logical sequencing, and also titles that assist customers very quickly find the part of your website they ought to visit.
Include things like a search box along with your site navigation menu, so your customers can insert in or type keywords and also phrases to locate the valuable information that they want when the navigation menu does not satisfy their particular needs.
At any time potential customers insert content into the search box, they will be given relevant pages to visit, so they do not need to take care of their search manually. Take into account, the more content you have got on your website that handles almost all probable keywords, the significantly better the search box feature becomes.
Access to help
Regardless of the marketing benefits that a website deals and provides small businesses and also online customers, there are occasions when customers would like to connect with a human being. Your website ought to include the choice to connect through phone, email as well as at your physical location, in case you have one.
The more you interact with potential customers online and also offline, the more you will sense patterns in the kinds of information potential clients seek, along with the inquiries that surface with regards to your products or services. Make available a page of regularly asked questions as well as their answers on your website to ensure it is less difficult for customers to come across the detailed information they need.
Men and women will likely be looking at your site on their laptops, computers, smartphones, and also tablets. It is critical that your official site be mobile-friendly or even responsive. There are two ways to achieve this. One is to develop an independent website that is going to have a URL comparable to your site. These sites are built exclusively for mobile devices and also require a separate internet site, URL, host, domain, and so on.
The number two alternative is to make use of a web development platform which will instantaneously adjust the website to the device. This is a considerably less expensive option if it is on the market. The most significant thing, nonetheless, would be to make certain that your website is mobile friendly because Google is currently giving preference in ranking to websites that happen to be responsive.
If you are a small business and you do not have a website, then you need to rethink your strategy. 81% people looking for a business start their search online, in most cases completely bypassing the offline publications businesses have had to rely on in the past to advertise their goods and services.
This number is only set to grow, so the time for getting your website up and running is now. Fortunately, when starting your search for professional small business web design, Sydney is home to many quality services, but if you are after the best rates then be sure to get in touch with the dedicated team at Keen to Design. Their production values and prices will be hard to beat.
Helpful reports and links for Small Business in Australia
Small Business Counts – Small business in the Australian economy
MYOB Business Monitor
Yellow Digital Report
Australian Small Business – KEY STATISTICS AND ANALYSIS
Business Connect Support – NSW
Small Business Cyber Security Guide Australia
Frequently Asked Questions
Small businesses are exactly that, small. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that you can’t use the internet to have a greater reach. A website allows you to communicate your offerings, in a professional way, to a large audience; it’s key to operational success in today’s digital world.
Firstly, you’ll need to register a domain name to ensure that the name you want for your website is available. Once you’ve done that then you source a designer who will design and develop your website according to your specifications. You’ll work closely with the designer in regards to things like visuals, the way you want the user to experience your website as well as the content you want.
Firstly, you need to consider what you want the website to do, for example do you want it to be an eCommerce website where you can sell goods? Once you’ve determined what you want it to do, you need to think about how you want the user to experience the website as they move through it; the easier it is to use the more likely customers will return to it.
Then think about the visuals, including the layout and the message that you want to give to potential and existing customers through your content and images. Images should be unique and striking whilst information needs to be concise and informative. You’ll also need to consider search engine optimisation (SEO) for your content to ensure that you’re visible when potential customers search for you online. Your website is your digital face; it represents your business and the unique offering that you provide to your customers, so keep this in mind at all times throughout the design process.
The cost of your website depends on what you want included, the more complicated the functions are, the more it will cost. While costs differ between design studios, the general rule of thumb is that a well-designed small business website can cost you between $800 – $3,000. If you want to maximise business revenue then investing in your website is the way to go. If you’re looking for a cheap solution, you can get a template online for around $50, but like anything in life, you get what you pay for.
What you need to consider is, what is the likely return on investment (ROI) to make it worthwhile to outlay an investment of time and money to get the website built?
The simplest way to work it out is to ask yourself what your average gross profit per sale is. Then, ask yourself how many additional sales you need to make to cover the initial investment to build the website.
If your Average Sale Value is $ 1,000.00
Less Cost of Sale $ 300.00
Equals Gross Profit $700.00
If the website investment is $7,000, it needs to bring in an additional ten customers to break even; one new client a week will cover the cost to build the website within ten weeks. Before you start designing your website, set goals to determine the ROI time to break even. If you’ve got limited resources or time now, then choose a website option that meets current requirements; you can always update it in the future without having to start from scratch. You can have a website that’s flexible so it’s easy to add ‘modules’, features and functionality later on as your cash flow grows.
Yes, it’s the most popular content management system out there for a reason. You can take control of your website from day one, it’s hugely flexible in terms of themes and other items and has basic SEO tools for it’s users.
We also extend on WordPress’s functionality to make it even easier to add content by allocating extra time to our admin sections.
Wix, GoDaddy, Hostgator and Squarespace are the best on the market.
The first step in our process is to find out what your needs and budget are. From there we’ll work closely with you each step of the way; we consider all aspects of a website, both front and backend. So, once we’ve determined what you want from your website and what your goals are, we’ll provide a quote that meets your budget. We’ll then start the design process where we build the website functionality as well as layout. Each layer we add will be as per your specific requirements, keeping your end goal in mind at all times.
We’re goal focused
We keep your end goals at the top of our minds throughout the whole process. We’ll make sure that we have a clear understanding of your goals at the start, to ensure that those goals are represented at the end of the project.
We provide unique designs
We know how important it is to stand out from the crowd so create websites that are unique and appealing. Our websites are not only beautifully designed, but they are the online representation of your brand so ensure that they express exactly that. We focus on attention to detail, making sure that every corner of your website is perfect.
We plan for the future
We understand that businesses grow so we keep that in mind when we create your website. We will identify future features that you may need, but we’re also able to include those unexpected items that may come up down the track; whatever you will need, we will have a solution for it.
We’ll make you visible
We understand how important it is for your potential and existing customers to find you, so our websites are built with search engines in mind. We focus on ‘onsite optimisation’ during the development stage. We will identify key terms to ensure that your content is SEO optimised. When your site is launched we’ll ensure that it’s is indexed by Google, getting you into their search results as soon as possible.