5 Website Tips Every Small Business Owner Should Know


These days being a small business is tough. With so many external factors affecting small business owners, we need any leg up we can get.

I’m a small business owner and I know firsthand the issues we face. Hopefully, this list I put together of 5 website tips every small business owner should know will help you get the edge on your competition.

Even if you have already started your website design/setup you will gain valuable tips from the list. Let’s get started…

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1. Have a well-thought-out strategy when it comes to your website.

Several small businesses launch a website without really considering what its purpose is. In the rush to “just get something up” many small business owners will try to build their website themselves as quickly as they can without any real goal in mind.

Writing out a basic plan will go a long way to saving yourself headaches later on in the cycle. It helps keep you focused and on track.

By asking yourself the questions below, you will build up a basic outline for your website that you can refer back to when planning content. If you are looking to take the paid option route and hire a developer, this list will also prove very helpful to them.

  • Who is your target audience? (Age Range, Demographics)
  • What goals do you want to achieve with your website?
  • What kind of functionality does your website need?
  • What information are you going to give visitors?
  • Do you have social media accounts you want to post on?
  • What do you consider success and how will you measure it?

2. Your website represents you and your company.

Having a good website design is crucial to your online success. Your prospective clients will use your website to assess the credibility of your business and ultimately, whether to buy your product.

No matter the platform you are working with, WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Wix, etc., you will have access to free themes. Another option, if you have the budget, is to use a paid theme. Paid themes generally offer much more functionality than free ones do thus giving you more control over how your site looks and acts.

3. Pick your domain name wisely.

Picking a domain name can be a daunting task. Lots of small business owners just pick a random name and hope for the best. This is not the way to do it and will become a much bigger issue in the long run.

Think about the domain names of websites you already visit (Amazon, eBay, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.) and see if you can spot a pattern. There is no perfect domain name, but there is a perfect domain name for your business.

When choosing your next domain name use these tips to help identify a winning domain name.

  • Optimize your Top-Level Domain – This simply means if you’re looking to target Canada, get a .ca domain. While this isn’t strictly required it can put your customers at ease and also helps Google target your intended audience.
  • Keep it short – try to aim for the shortest name that makes sense. 15 characters or under is okay, 8 characters or under is better.
  • Keep it simple – Do not add hyphens, underscores, complicated words, or any other funky junk.
  • Do not use numbers – Unless your brand name has a number in it, steer clear of adding numbers to your domain name.
  • Spell Commonly – eg: mikestools.com NOT mykestools.com

With these tips in mind, it can be hard to find a good, short, and simple domain name. Thankfully there are some great tools to make this task a little easier. Here is a list of some free ones to use.

  • https://www.nameboy.com/ – Nameboy, although an older site, is still a good resource for domain name generation. When you visit the site make sure to uncheck the “Check domain availability with Bluehost” option right below the submit button to avoid annoying popups.
  • https://www.domain.com/ – Domain is another good resource for domain name generation. Drop in a few keywords and away you go.
  • https://www.namecheap.com – Namecheap has a nice domain name generator. It is easy to use and has some great options including a price range filter.

4. Treat your website as a tool to further your business’s growth.

So many of the clients I deal with initially treat their website as just another expense, another “thing” to take up their time. I have no issues in saying they are wrong, that’s part of what I’m paid for. Your website is more than just a giant ad for your business. It’s your voice when you can’t answer the phone. Let us look at what your website is:
  • A salesperson that works 24/7, doesn’t take breaks and never wears crappy cologne to the office.
  • A customer service agent who never sleeps and is always there, waiting to help your potential client with any questions they may have.
  • A brochure showcasing your professionalism and talent.
  • A marketing vehicle.
Keeping this in mind will help you realize the potential your website holds and the value you will gain from investing in it.

5. Define your budget. Be aware of website costs.

As a small business, you will need to define your budget before you start. A website, when hiring a developer, can cost anywhere from $1000 to $300,000 depending on the required functionality, developer, and requirements.

Be honest with your developer about your budget. Don’t fall into the “they will charge me my max budget if I tell them what it is” trap.

Being honest about your budget at the start helps me give you the best quote/service I can for your available budget. Maybe your budget covers a custom design, or perhaps we need to go with a premade template so we can free up some of the budget to spend elsewhere.

If you are not comfortable giving your budget to the developer/company you are working with, then it may be time to step back and ask yourself why. If you don’t trust them, don’t work with them.

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