Design isn’t a problem
Before you rush to hire a designer thinking that a new website is going to change your company realize that the only ones with design problems is the designer you are hiring. As a small business your problems are marketing, branding, communications, sales, etc not design.
Define your goals
What do you want your website to accomplish? Be specific answers such as generate more leads are too vague, but if you make a goal to increase sales by 10% this is something you can measure.
Don’t confuse cheap with simple
A lot of small businesses think what they need is simple, and because it’s simple it shouldn’t cost much. Simple and cheap are two separate things and if it was easy you wouldn’t need to hire a professional.
Content is important
Small businesses love to focus on the looks of the website but remember the content is equally if not more important. Content comes before design, and the design itself should enhance the reading experience.
Be generous with the information you share. Often times we like to hold back and think this is how we entice people to contact us. Instead provide immense value for your audience by providing as much information and expertise as possible
Create real calls to action
A brochure website is fine but don’t think that a page called contact us is going to generate leads or like us on Facebook will increase your social profile. Create calls to action that will actually get the users want to do what you ask them.
Minimalist design is best
Don’t be afraid to keep the design as minimalist as possible. Designs that are simple almost always provide information quickly, get your message across faster, and create a better user experience. When you think about some of our favorite websites they rarely are the most busy. Less is always more.
Hosting is important
Design companies almost always fail to bring up hosting, but picking a bad host can mean more problems for your company down the road. Generally the hosting companies that you pay more for offer better support and have a better infrastructure. With something so cheap there is no reason not to spend the time and pick the right one.
This website isn’t for you
Yes you’re paying for it and it’s meant to improve your business, but the website isn’t for you you’re not the one who needs it. Your customers and visitors are, don’t build the website based on what you want or cool features you see that your competition has instead build the website for what your users want.
One and done doesn’t work
Small businesses still think that a website is a build it and forget it marketing plan. Don’t treat your website as some sort of separate entity devoid of the business. Invest in your website monthly checking Google Analytics and making it tweaks to run better.