As a small business owner, nothing irks us more than realizing that we have to behave very much like any other company out there, which can really dampen our spirits and increase our hurdles in our efforts to be different than everyone else. However, when it comes to online presence and websites for businesses, there is an almost universal agreement that we only can be different within the limits of the possible…and that your small business website is a necessity.
Having to do what everyone else is doing is especially a downside for small businesses because part of why they thrive is that they can be different from everyone else. A smaller scale means more flexibility in terms of pivoting, better customer service, and better overall quality of the product or service offered due to less ‘mass production’ type of a business model.
Tips To Get Your Small Business Website Looking Great
However, that does not mean that it is all bad. Having a small business website and an online presence may be necessary for small businesses, but there are ways in which they can make better use of those limits, and truly unleash their creativity.
Start Off Your Small Business Website With a Great Domain Name
Your domain name is what your small business website can start getting creative. For one, yes, you have to make your domain name as similar as possible to your business name. However, in some cases, it might be better for SEO or other considerations where you can slightly tweak your domain name to better match other requirements to benefit traffic and customer acquisition.
These small and seemingly trivial changes can be host to plenty of benefits that might not reveal themselves at first. For one, it gives you a stronger foundation for SEO that no amount of post-launch SEO can fix. Second, it gives your small business website a sort of brand of its own.
Of course, you have to keep it short, simple, and easy to grasp. Too much complication can actually hurt SEO and organic traffic as well. Customers want ease of use, and any additional uniqueness your business has should not get in the way of it, but rather, complement it.
You also need to ensure that your small business website is ready for scale and growth. Amazon is the best example of a niche expanding into so much more. If, for example, their name would be ‘onlinebooksseller.com,’ then their pivot to a broader business model would have required a domain change and a name change to boot.
That is why this small and trivial little aspect of your small business website matters so much for the future, as it can either stifle your growth, or serve as its best foundational aspect.
Your Small Business Website Needs to Scale
Just above, we mentioned how the domain name for your small business website needs to consider future growth. Well, the same can be said for your entire website.
One of the most important considerations that most small business owners are quick to gloss over is the fact that your website needs to be scalable by its host. Getting the cheapest hosting option is rarely the best idea, not because it gives you what you need then, but because it limits your expansion prospects. What if your small business website needs to expand throughout the country? Well, now you will have to set up a new website host, which might be far more costly that it would be getting a server host that scales with traffic, with different packages for different scalability.
This consideration is critical due to how easy it is to have a host that charges just $2 per month (such as on shared hosting servers), and have hosts that can easily charge up to or more than $100 per month. This price disparity might seem strange, but there are far more behind the scenes aspects than just hosting. Server maintenance, traffic management, risk management, backups, and many more aspects are managed by your hosting provider that the $2 package might not have. It adds a headache where you are better of paying a slightly higher fee for better overall feature set and service offerings for your small business website.
Another thing about scalability via the server provider is that you might sometimes come across problems, such as the website failing to load, or not being able to handle traffic it is supposed to handle. Getting in touch with your hosting provider is important, so make sure they have reliable customer service before signing on with them. Perhaps they offer other services, such as digital marketing? Try that out and check out their service before you sign off on a 3-year hosting plan.
Make Sure Your Niche Knows What Your Small Business Website Is About
Your small business website can easily gloss over what you do without you realizing it. Maybe you don’t just sell bakery items, but rather, sell them with an added something that makes you unique. Maybe your restaurant has a unique atmosphere that the website is not mentioning.
Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP) is your most important asset in a small business website. Make sure your niche audience knows exactly what they are getting into, because they most likely visited your website for its informative assumption. If someone visits your website, especially if you don’t have e-commerce options or services that are ordered directly from it, make sure the information you provide is complete.
Don’t Ignore the Content Management System For Your Small Business Website
When you are managing a small business, you are lacking the necessary manpower to properly delegate tasks. That means you might be managing day to day aspects, recruiting, scouting, performing tasks, and even perhaps being the only employee of your business. If you add managing your small business website to that schedule, it can make things quite hectic quite fast.
That is why a proper Content Management System (CMS) is necessary. CMS such as WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla are a few popular examples of CMSs that have their own set of benefits and flexibility options. For example, WordPress is the most popular CMS out there, it is free, and easy to use, but has enough aspects to be available for advanced users as well. However, Joomla and Drupal have better security because they are less open-ended than WordPress.
Different CMSs also have different benefits for your small business website. The more unique you want to be, the more open-ended CMS you need, which allows for more customization and changes, but is also more complicated and expensive to handle in some cases. Getting professional work done on your website takes time and capital, considerable amounts of it to get that professional look, so don’t think a template-based website is better suited for you.
Your E-Commerce Platform Matters for Your Small Business Website
If you are planning on, or have decided to, sell anything on your small business website, it is not as simple as just adding a marketplace to your website.
First off, you need your website to have e-commerce functionality, which is done through platforms such as the aforementioned WordPress and Shopify. Shopify is the most easy-to-use and user-friendly CMS for e-commerce businesses, so you might want that. However, when it comes to scalability, the open-endedness of WordPress can be a better option, so you have to have these considerations in mind when deciding on a CMS for your e-commerce website.
You also need to acknowledge the fact that building a proper e-commerce website takes time. Even implementing a single button on a website can sometimes take a week of development, maybe more. Unless you have an in-house, dedicated staff that can do this, outsourcing your website development is necessary to create a professional small business website.
Different platforms might offer different designs as well. Shopify is more suited for template-based designs, whereas with WordPress, you can create one from scratch. That would mean WordPress is far more suited for a small business where you truly need to differentiate yourself.
A small business website may initially seem as if it is relatively simple. Just make a few pages, add your products, if necessary, get a host server, and call it a day. However, the reality is somewhat different. Here, we tell you all about what you need to know to get a basic idea of the small business website creation process, and the considerations you need so you can unleash your creativity however you might want. We hope you enjoyed reading about the necessities for having a business website. However, if you still have some questions in mind, feel free to share in the comments section.