Why do I need a website for my small business?

Websites offer value as they enable your customers to locate and contact you through a professional platform that opens an avenue to promote and potentially sell your products or services.

When a customer searches for a product or service your business should be on that list. Consumers compare businesses and then choose one. Therefore, it is crucial to do a great job on the internet, otherwise your prospects will choose your competition. 

Here are five crucial features (there are a lot more) that your small business website must have for you to get customers:

  1. Logo and tagline should evoke positive feelings. Visitors must be able to quickly scan and confirm they are in the right place. Your logo and tagline should do this.
  2. Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Answer the key question “why should I choose to do business with you and not go with any other option available to me?” USP does not exaggerate anything, it should be short and simple and stand out.
  3. Google Analytics Integration into your website so you can review some of your customer’s activities.
  4. Testimonials and Reviews. A good website eradicates a client’s potential doubts for a sale. Have a lot of food reviews and testimonials from other clients, as prospects will trust in these much more than directly with you.
  5. No Flash files on your website as they cannot be indexed by search engines so when they decide how high you should appear in search results, you will receive a lower rating because of Flash.

What is the best website for small business?

In addition to these five crucial elements the best small business websites examples will have a clear purpose and goal. 

Great website content is essential to keep readers engaged and interested in your products or services and is key in a digital marketing strategy. It brings customers to your website, boosts brand awareness and expertise in your industry.

As a website builder your web design process should follow industry best practices. Here are 13 small business website design tips for an exceptional website:

  • Principle focus: make clear a particular major point for the customer’s understanding of your product to be strong. 
  • Easy flow: move your audience in the right direction with the page layout.
  • Maintain a balance: a well-balanced website to make customers love your website
  • Repetition is good: make sure no one misses anything.
  • White space: less is more and give your design ample space to breath.
  • Texture: to minimise the negative space
  • Minimal approach: limit your data but make sure no one misses a point.
  • Typeface selection: say it loud, say it clear and leave no one doubtful.
  • Size matters: people read bigger, use the right front size to entice your readers.
  • Go random: lack of symmetry can make a great impact
  • Clutter control: Alignment to make everything clutter free.
  • Be smart with contrast: use it wisely as it can make or break your websites design.
  • Colour and tint: bright stands out, use colours to accentuate important information.

These elements of purpose, content and design are part of the steps we take in building a website.

How to build a website for my business?

  1. Domain Selection and Registration. A domain name is for credibility. It is like a street address and it is how you get visitors. It is the first step to gain brand trust which leads to sales.
  2. Select A Trusted Hosting Provider. To host your website, choosing a provider can be a difficult task, balancing services and the costs. The key items to look for are bandwidth, storage, domain uptime, backup system, server response time and cost.
  3. Find a great Content Management System (CMS).
  1. Backbone for creation, editing and management of digital content. Most of them will include web-based publishing, content format management, small business website design templates, media library and usage and much more function.Examples WordPress (most popular), Joomla, Drupal, Wix, Weebly, Medium, and Tumblr.
  2. Make Your Site Mobile Friendly. As of today, 50% of online shopping is done on a mobile device, if your site is not supported on phones, this may mean a huge loss of potential traffic, sales, and reputation.
  3. Plan Your Content Strategically. Do not overload information and include everything about your businesses, it must be down to earth and user-friendly. It is essential to include what your business is about and what products you are offering. Capture their attention, place the product in the centre of your webpage so they can see it. Make sure that messaging is loud and clear, front and centre. Always include how customers can contact you.
  4. Add Your Business Philosophies, Value, and Mission. Use your website to share your mission and the core philosophy of your business, whether it’s customer service, product, or costs, or something else.
  5. Design Your Website. Use our tips for creativity but remember this is all in order to communicate information about the small business to the public. Do some research and try to understand the likes and taste of your audience.
  6. Avoiding Errors—Technical Errors. Avoid technical errors with your website as these can frustrate customers.
  7. Avoiding Errors—Clerical Errors. No clerical errors—be it typos, spelling mistakes, or grammatical errors.
  8. Full Website Setup and Launch. The final step is to run through the website several times, to see that all the functions and areas are working as intended.

The steps to create a good business website may be complicated and tedious to work through, but just remember the absolute importance of a website to your business. It promotes brand identities and attracts customers. A website is such a vital business tool and is almost free except for the design and hosting fees.

About the author

The Microsoft 365 team is focused on sharing resources to help businesses start, run, and grow.