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Why every entrepreneur needs a small business website

Why every entrepreneur needs a small business website

If you’re a business owner, you could miss opportunities if you don’t have your own website.

Many small business owners today rely heavily on social media platforms for their online presence. While social media can be an effective tool for marketing and customer engagement, it should not be the sole digital strategy for any small business. Recent legislation, such as the mandate for TikTok to sell to an American company or leave the US market, highlights the inherent risks of relying exclusively on third-party platforms. This article explores why every small business needs a dedicated website and the comprehensive benefits that come with it.

Small Business Website: Examples of Why You Need Professional Web Design, Not Just Social Platforms

Everyone in business sells something. Your web page tells your site visitors much about your business. Fair or not, they will judge within milliseconds of viewing your page. Some leave almost immediately, a metric we call “bounce rate.”

Keeping site visitors on your site – whether an online store or reading about the service you offer – starts with beautiful, user-centric small business website design.

Besides immediately piquing the interest when someone sees the great website design, here are reasons you seriously need a site:

1 – Ownership and Control of a Beautiful Website Sets Your Small Business Apart

A primary advantage of having a dedicated website is ownership and control. When a business operates solely on social media platforms, it is at the mercy of the platform’s policies, changes, and potential shutdowns. Besides the TikTok example, some claim that other platforms will throttle content they don’t like and with little recourse but to fill in a report form.

Small businesses have full control over their content, design, and user experience with a dedicated website. They are not subject to sudden algorithm changes, policy updates, or the risk of account suspension or deletion. This autonomy ensures that the business’s online presence remains consistent and reliable.

2 – Your Site Helps Establish Credibility and Professionalism With Potential Customers

A well-designed website enhances a business’s credibility and professionalism. New customers often search for a business online before purchasing or engaging. If they do not find your business name in the search engine results pages, you don’t exist to the shopper.

A website is a professional storefront that can leave a lasting first impression. It allows businesses to showcase their brand’s commitment to customers, identity, values, and offerings. Plus, they engage visitors in a way that social media platforms cannot fully accommodate.

3 – Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Powers Visitors to a Small Business Website

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is crucial for increasing a business’s visibility on search engines like Google. If the search engines can’t see your site, or worse, they refuse to index your page after you took time to build it, you won’t see organic traffic from site visitors. A dedicated website enables businesses to implement comprehensive SEO strategies that can improve their search engine rankings.

This includes optimizing website content, meta descriptions, and images and incorporating keywords that potential customers are searching for. While social media profiles can appear in search results, they do not offer the same level of customization and optimization as a dedicated website.

4 – A Professional Website Gives You Access to Comprehensive Analytics and Insights

A dedicated website provides access to detailed analytics and insights through tools like Google Analytics. These insights offer valuable data on site visitors, user behavior, conversion rates, and more. This information is essential for understanding what works and doesn’t. Thus it allows small businesses to make informed decisions and effectively tailor their strategies.

Social media platforms offer analytics. However, they are often limited compared to the depth and breadth of data available through website analytics. By leveraging this data, small businesses can optimize their marketing efforts, improve user experience, and increase profitability.

5 – Customization and Personalization of Your Site to Support Your Brand

A dedicated website allows for a high degree of customization and personalization. Businesses can start creating content that makes an online experience that aligns with their brand and meets their customers’ specific needs. This includes custom design elements, interactive features, personalized content, and more.

Social media platforms, on the other hand, offer limited customization options. All businesses on a platform like Facebook or Instagram have similar layouts and functionalities, making it challenging to stand out from the competition. A website allows you to differentiate your brand and offer site visitors a memorable brand experience.

6 – E-Commerce and Direct Sales Come from Customized Web Design

For businesses that sell products or services, having an e-commerce-enabled website is indispensable. It allows for direct sales to potential clients without relying on third-party platforms that significantly reduce profits.

An e-commerce website also provides a seamless shopping experience, with features like:

  • Product catalogs with beautiful product photos
  • New customer onboarding
  • Compatibility with mobile phones
  • Shopping carts
  • Secure payment gateways
  • Customer accounts tailored to their preferences.

While social media platforms increasingly integrate shopping features, they are still not as robust or flexible as a dedicated e-commerce website. Moreover, having an independent online store puts a small business on a level playing field with larger brick-and-mortar competitors.

Potential changes or disruptions in social media e-commerce capabilities do not affect online businesses as frequently.

7 – A Dedicated Page Means Effective Content Marketing and Blogging

Content marketing is a powerful strategy for attracting and engaging customers. A dedicated website provides a platform for businesses to publish blog posts, articles, videos, and other types of content that can drive traffic and build authority in their industry. Regularly updated content can also improve SEO, helping the website rank higher in search results.

Social media platforms are not ideal for long-form content and detailed articles. While they are good for sharing links and snippets, a dedicated small business website offers a better format for comprehensive content marketing efforts. It also allows businesses to archive and organize content in a way that is easily accessible to users.

8 – Building an Email List to Encourage Repeat Site Visitors (and Purchases)

An email list is a valuable asset for any business. A dedicated website can feature sign-up forms and lead magnets to encourage visitors to subscribe to the business’s newsletter. Building an email list allows businesses to communicate directly with their audience, share updates, promote products, and nurture customer relationships.

Relying solely on social media for customer communication can be risky, as algorithm changes or platform policies can reduce the reach of posts. Email marketing provides a direct route to sell online to customers, ensuring that your small business site converts repeatedly.

9 – Your Small Business Website Gives You Control of Security and Privacy

With increasing concerns about data security and privacy, having a dedicated website allows businesses to implement robust security measures to protect customer information. This includes SSL certificates, secure payment gateways, and compliance with data protection regulations like GDPR.

Numerous security breaches and privacy scandals have plagued social media platforms, undermining customer trust. By managing their small business websites, site owners can assure page visitors that their data is handled with the utmost care and security.

10 – Customer Support and Interaction Built into the Website Design

A dedicated website can offer various customer support options, such as live chat, contact forms, and FAQ sections. These features provide a direct and efficient way for customers to contact the business, ask questions, and resolve issues.

While social media platforms offer messaging features, they may not be as efficient or professional as dedicated customer support on your small business website. A centralized customer interaction platform can improve response times and overall customer satisfaction.

11 – A Small Business Website Can Adapt Quickly to Changing Trends

The digital landscape constantly evolves, with new trends and technologies emerging regularly. A dedicated website provides the flexibility to adapt to these changes and integrate new features and functionalities. This can include integrating new digital marketing tools, adopting new design trends, or incorporating new technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning.

We saw a great example when many businesses had to shut down a physical location during the 2020 lockdowns. Those who survived and thrived were the ones who adapted their web pages to allow visitors to order goods for pickup and check in from mobile devices when they arrived at the location.

Relying solely on social media platforms limits a business’s ability to adapt to changes quickly. Platforms may be slow to adopt new features or impose restrictions limiting innovation. A website ensures businesses can stay ahead of the curve and continuously improve their online presence.

Why WordPress Is the Among the Favorite Website Builders

Small business website examples (WordPress)

WordPress is the premier choice for millions of users globally. Thanks to its versatility, ease of use, and extensive customization options, small business owners love it. As of 2024, WordPress powers approximately 43.2% of all websites on the internet, which translates to over 835 million websites​ (SearchLogistics)​​ (Popupsmart)​.

While WordPress has a free website and also a free domain option, it limits your bandwidth. The free products they offer also don’t have any “uptime” guarantee…and nothing frustrates your audience more than a website that appears to be broken. Also, the free domain is not truly yours – it’s a sub-domain that lacks credibility.

However, a paid WordPress website is altogether different. You need a reliable host and URL, and you can use their website builder features within minutes.

Need Small Business Web Design? We Can Help

While social media is an important component of a small business’s digital marketing strategy, it should not be the only way of connecting with your target audience. A dedicated website offers numerous benefits that social media platforms cannot match. For some entrepreneurs, a website builder product will not suit their busy schedules.

How We Create Designs and Deliver User-Friendly Small Business Websites

Web Design Process for a Small Business Website

Building a small business website involves a structured process that ensures all business needs are met, the design is visually appealing, and the site is functional and user-friendly. If a small business owner hires you to create their website, the process typically involves the following steps: Call or text our web development team at 252.862.2029 for immediate help.

1. Free Business Consultation and Discovery

The first step is understanding the client’s needs, goals, and expectations. This involves:

  • Meeting with the client in a free small business, target audience, and competitors. We need to understand your company’s mission and culture. Are you selling products or a service? Do you need to collect online payments or send paper invoices? We can also share small business website examples, FAQ answers, and alleviate any other concerns.
  • Defining the project scope by identifying the required pages, features, and functionalities. Some people want a one page landing page. However, others want multiple product pages for an online stores with a drop-down menu that includes multiple product categories.
  • Establish the project budget and timeline based on the design examples we share. Your project is fully customizable.

2. Research and Planning

Based on the initial consultation, the next step is to conduct thorough research and plan the website’s structure.

  • Market Research: Analyze competitors’ websites and industry trends to identify what works well.
  • Site Architecture: Create a sitemap outlining the main pages and subpages of the website.
  • Content Strategy: Plan the type of content needed, including text, images, videos, and any other multimedia.

3.. Small Business Website Design

This phase involves creating the visual design of the website.

  • Graphic Design: In this phase, we use sophisticated design tools to stay true to your color schemes, typography, and other design elements. We ensure this brand identity remains consistent throughout all the visual elements, from the homepage design to all the pages on your small business website. Finally, we ensure sufficient white space for the site to look clean and modern.
  • Client Feedback: Present the site design proposal to the client for feedback and make necessary revisions.

4. Content Creation Than Aligns with Brand Image

Develop the content that will populate the website.

  • Writing: Create or refine text content for each page, ensuring it is SEO-friendly and aligned with the brand voice. We use one of the top copywriters in the nation (who happens to be based right here in Bertie County.
  • Media: Source or create high-quality photos, a hero image, videos, and multimedia elements, per client needs. These might also include a page with customer testimonials.

4. Development

Once the design and content are approved, the development phase begins.

  • Front-End Development: Code the visual aspects of the business website using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  • Back-End Development: Implement the necessary functionality using server-side programming languages and databases.
  • Content Management System (CMS): Integrate the website with a CMS like WordPress, allowing the client to manage content easily.

6. Testing the Small Business Website

Thorough testing ensures the website functions correctly and is free of issues.

  • Functionality Testing: Verify that all features on the small business website work as intended.
  • Usability Testing: Ensure the website has intuitive navigation and is user-friendly.
  • Performance Testing: Test the website’s load time and responsiveness.
  • Cross-Browser Testing: Ensure compatibility with different web browsers and devices.

7. Review and Approval

Present the completed website to the client for final review. This phase is when we will take your feedback, make any requested revisions, and tweak everything until you are happy..

  • Client Review: Allow the client to explore the website and provide feedback.
  • Revisions: Make any necessary changes based on the client’s feedback.

8. Launch

Once the website is approved, it is prepared for launch.

  • Final Checks: Conduct a final round of testing to ensure everything is in order before we hard launch.
  • Deployment: Upload the website to the live server and configure the domain and hosting settings.
  • Announcement: Notify the client and their audience about the new website.

Small Businesses Can Claim a One Page Listing for Free Today

If business websites are out of your reach for right now, it’s still essential that you have a page where visitors can learn to do business with you. The Bertie-Hertford Business Hub offers you small business websites that take only a few moments to set up.

While it’s technically a directory listing, you can still enter all your information into the form. We’ve done the small business website design already – when you complete the form, you’ll have an attractive, easy to read page. You can use your listing URL to make a shortcode to share with clients.

While it’s not a full-service small business website design, it’s still a step in the right direction. We have done the web design and SEO work for you, so your listing appears fantastic in the search engine results pages.

Planning for Small Business Website Design Is Fundamental to Your Success

The pitfalls of relying too heavily on social media platforms are many. As our examples showed, having control of your website, from the rollout and web design phase through to making sales, offers you the chance to rise above your local competitors and run with the big dogs in your industry.

Leaving your small business to the whims of big tech giants is a mistake that most entrepreneurs cannot afford to make.

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