It is every bit as important for a small business to have a website as it is for a large corporation. Customers, potential clients, prospective employees and investors, all expect a business to have a website regardless of its size, and the good news for small business owners is that getting a new website built needn’t cost the earth.
A well thought out and elegantly designed website is within the budget of most small to medium enterprises, but it is important to go about it in the right way and to use your resources wisely. By understanding exactly what it is that you can reasonably expect your website to achieve, and cutting any unnecessary extravagances, there is every chance that even the smallest of companies can benefit from an effective online presence, with a good visitor to customer conversion rate.
All shops need a shopfront – the first thing that a potential customer sees – and for almost all business in the 21st century those shopfronts take the form of websites. Every company, no matter what’s its size, needs a website, and a company without one stands little chance of competing or attracting new customers. However, nothing will turn away customers quite as quickly as a badly presented, ill conceived or poorly written website.
A good website for a small business should have great content, that appeals directly to its customers, and is updated regularly, so that nothing is out of date or irrelevant. The content should be written clearly and accurately, in a tone that is appropriate to the business and its client base. The website should also be easy to use and navigate, and its information should be presented in a clear and coherent manner. Ideally, a good small business website will also have a good visitor to customer conversion rate – whether this conversion is in terms of online sales, the submission of contact details or requests for quotes, depends on the business model.
Whether or not a small business can build its own website depends entirely on its human resources. A company that does not employ any web developers, programmers or designers can either use cheaper web design templates, or employ the services of a web design agency that will be better placed to deliver a website that is unique and truly reflects the company’s core concerns.
What is also crucial however is the text that appears in the website itself. Not only does this text need to be well written, so that it is a pleasure to read while also accurately explaining the business’s key message, but it also helps if it is written by someone with an understanding of search engine optimisation (SEO).
Badly written text that is riddled with spelling mistakes and misuse of grammar can make a small business appear amateurish and lazy. If you do not have a skilled writer in-house, it can be of considerable advantage to employ the services of a professional copywriter. Not only will they be able to create engaging content that visitors will actually want to read, but their work will also help your website to attract new visitors.
SEO is about helping people to find your website. Search engines, and particularly Google, are essential for getting people who are interested in your service, but may not have heard of your company before, to visit your website.
One of the main ways to do this is with keywords – the words that people type into a search engine when they are looking for a product or service. A copywriter can help you to optimise your website by making sure that the text includes certain keywords. You can find what keywords that you want to rank highly in search engines for using Google’s Adwords tool.
It’s very important that you use the keywords with restraint, however, and this again is something that a copywriter can advise on. Throwing your keywords all over the text in a scattergun manner will not only result in a bad reading experience, but you may be penalised by Google as a result.
Such an investment is a website that when it comes to design, structure and navigation, it pays to use the services of a professional web design agency. Costs vary depending on the size and scope of the project, but by getting multiple quotes from various agencies, you will be better placed to make an informed decision and hire the agency that is best placed to meet your company’s needs.