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What are the Do’s and Don’ts of a Small Business Website?

5-minute read

Emily Thompson

Emily Thompson

17 October 2023

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You have 8 seconds or less to capture someone’s attention on your website. In the blink of an eye, you could lose your next customer if your business website isn’t up to par.

Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to create a great website from scratch, especially by using a site builder. You can even get a website for your business using a service like UENI, which will take care of the site-building process for you.

But if you’d prefer the DIY route and you want to know how to make your own company website, you’ll want to follow best practices to ensure your site captures attention and secures sales.

If you’re looking for website tips for small business owners, look no further. Here are a few small business website dos and don’ts to get you started on the right foot and help get your business online.

Small Business Website “Dos” That Will Reel in Customers

1. Do keep the website consistent.

Remember the early days of the Internet when people built rainbow-colored websites with wonky navigation? Yeah … don’t do that. Consistency in navigation, fonts, colors, and layout is important. It helps people get the information they need and make a purchase.

What is a small business website if not an opportunity to make a good first impression? To add consistency to your site:

  • Keep your navigation’s font and design the same across all web pages. Make sure it’s easy to read and understand.
  • Add a branding element, like a logo, to every page. It’s also helpful to use the same brand colors and fonts across all pages, especially for links.
  • Repeat page layouts. This way, visitors will know what to expect when they click through your site. It’s also helpful to design the site in a way that your visitor expects — don’t try a new “out-of-the-box” layout.

If you’re wondering how to get online reviews for your small business, remember that an intuitive, user-friendly website is a good place to start.

2. Do design for your buyer.

One of the top website tips for small business owners is to build your site with your target customers in mind.

Just like a date, it’s a turnoff when you talk too much about yourself. Instead, think about your buyer first. What’s their biggest problem? What’s on their minds? Then design your website for them.

  • Write down your customers’ biggest problems. Consider how your business solves those problems.
  • Create separate pages of content for each type of customer. For example, if you own a landscaping company, create a page for homeowners. Then create a separate page for business owners.

3. Do spend time designing for mobile.

Did you know that the average person spends nearly 5 hours a day on their phone? And also, over half of all internet traffic happens on mobile devices? Don’t make the mistake of designing for desktop only.

Here’s how to make your own company website mobile-friendly:

  • First, make sure your site is responsive. This means it’s sized for viewing on different screens, such as tablets, mobile phones, and the web.
  • Add a viewport meta tag. This is code that ensures your site is scaled for mobile devices. Add this meta tag in the head of every page’s HTML.
  • Make font and button sizes bigger. What looks good on the web doesn’t necessarily work on mobile devices. Make sure your mobile fonts are at least 14 px and, according to recommendations from Apple, button sizes are at least 44 px by 44 px.

4. Do add value with content.

Content is arguably the most important part of a website. It keeps visitors interested, sells your products and services, and boosts your site in search results. That’s why it’s important to invest resources into creating great web content. Either hire a professional copywriter or write it on your own, using best practices.

Consider adding:

  • A company blog. Add articles that speak to your customers’ questions and concerns.
  • An ebook download. Put an ebook download behind a form that captures custom email addresses.
  • Strong video content. Video is a great way to tell your business’s story. And it doesn’t have to be high-production. In fact, you can grab your smartphone and film a video on your own.
  • Links to social media sites. Post regular content on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media sites. Social media content supports search engine optimization (SEO) and keeps you connected to your customers.

Small Business Website “Don’ts” That Will Send People Running

1. Don’t have too much going on visually.

You’re probably wondering how to make your own company website stand out from your competitors. The secret? Sometimes less is more.

When it comes to your business’s website, scale back on visuals. Go for a simple, clear design with carefully designed white space. Simple sites place a focus on content and are easier to comprehend. The end result is a buyer who is ready to purchase.

Unsure if your site is too busy? Ask yourself if the design serves a purpose. Do you need that extra graphic? How many different colors and fonts do you have? If the design isn’t serving a purpose, reconsider it.

2. Don’t skip search engine optimization (SEO).

Why is a website useful for boosting your business? The truth is that having a strong internet presence is more important than ever. Every day there are roughly 8.5 billion searches on Google. Most likely, it’s the primary way people find your website — and business.

To support your site’s SEO:

  • Research keywords and phrases that customers search. For example, “hair salons in Boston,” or “affordable pool installation services.” Be specific.
  • Add keyword phrases into your website’s metadata (page titles, descriptions, and headers). Here are tips for writing metadata.
  • Build relationships and boost “backlinking.” This is when another website links directly to your site. As a result, Google deems your site more credible. Links to your site can appear in news articles, social media posts, or on blogs.

3. Don’t forget a call to action (CTA) button.

Ultimately, there’s an action you want website visitors to take. That’s why one of the most important website tips for small businesses is to perfect your calls to action. For e-commerce businesses, It might be “click to buy.” For others, it's to fill out a contact form or view your location’s address.

Once you’ve determined your main CTA, it’s time to design a strong button for it. Make the button sizable and a standout color, like orange or red. Use compelling, actionable language on the button that tells visitors what to do. And above all, make your CTA noticeable, clickable, and upfront.

4. Don’t ignore analytics.

Once you’ve launched your website, use Google Analytics to measure its performance. The more you know, the more you can improve your site. Make sure to measure:

  • Bounce rate — % of people who left after viewing a page.
  • Conversion rate — % of people who took a particular action, like filling out a form.
  • Sources — From where your site’s traffic is coming from.
  • Unique visitors — The number of unique individuals who have visited your website.

Protecting Your Business Online

Exploring the dos and don’ts of web design for your business is only the beginning. Whether you’re learning how to make your own company website or simply using software to manage customer data, bringing your business to the digital world opens it up to new risks, like data breaches and fraud.

In the event of a cyberattack, cyber insurance can help protect your business. Say, for instance, that a hacker gains access to your customers’ private information. This type of breach could leave affected customers vulnerable to identity theft and fraud. Fortunately, cyber insurance typically covers costs related to:

  • Finding and fixing the breach
  • Notifying customers
  • Offering credit monitoring to impacted parties

With Simply Business®, you can find coverage to protect your business from both online and in-person threats. Our quote comparison tool allows you to explore policies suited to your business and review pricing options to find what works best for your budget. Get started today and protect your business for tomorrow.

Get Insured in Under 10 Minutes

Get an affordable & customized policy in just minutes. So you can get back to what matters: Your business.

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Adding ‘Net Worth

So why is a website useful for growing your business? The internet has put everything right at our fingertips. A well-designed website will make it easier for customers to find and learn about your business, and even help you build brand credibility.

Learning how to make your own company website might seem like a lot to handle. But don’t let that stop you. A little knowledge of the dos and don’ts of web design can go a long way in helping you get started. You don’t need to know how to code in order to get a website for your business up and running. Putting some time into learning about website best practices will get you on the right path in no time.

Emily Thompson

Written by

Emily Thompson

I earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin at Madison (go Bucky). After realizing my first job might involve carrying a police scanner at 2 am in pursuit of “newsworthy” crimes, I decided I was better suited for freelance blogging and marketing writing. Since 2010, I’ve owned my freelance writing business, EST Creative. When I’m not penning, doodling ideas, or chatting with clients, you’ll find me hiking with my husband, baby boy, and 2 mischievous mutts.

Emily writes on a number of topics such as entrepreneurship, small business networking, and budgeting.

This content is for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. Please obtain expert advice from industry specific professionals who may better understand your business’s needs. Read our full disclaimer

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