When considering a new website for your small business, you need to ask yourself a few basic questions:
- Who’s going to visit my website?
- What do I want to tell my site visitors?
- What should my website look like?
Mostly, your customers and prospects are going to visit your site. You should clearly present the most important information to them including:
- An overview of your business
- Information about the owners
- Location of your business
- Your business phone number
- Your business’ hours of operation
As for design, your website should be consistent with the nature of your business so if you’re a doctor, it does not make sense to have a website that looks like you are a small technology company. Site visitors pick up on this very quickly, and the way your site looks helps set the right context for your content.
Also, your site design does not have to be 100% original. It needs to serve a specific purpose, and that purpose is representing your business online. Marketing guru, Seth Godin, makes a great point about website design on his blog:
I’m going to go out on a limb and beg you not to create an original design. There are more than a billion pages on the web. Surely there’s one that you can start with?
Taking this approach will save you a lot of headache and will streamline the site launch process. Going back and forth with a designer on a completely custom design is time consuming and can be frustrating. You can easily simplify the design process by starting with an existing design and layout. With billions of websites out there already, there is one that will work for your business.
The most important thing if you don’t have a website is getting one launched that looks professional, is consistent with your business, and makes you want to send it to your customers and prospects. If you remember this when you’re ready to launch a website for your business, the process will run smoothly.