4 Simple Steps To Start A Business Website

Jeff Herbert | Project Manager

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Before starting any small business website design it’s important for any business to organise these 4 simple steps into an easy website design checklist:

  • Identify Your Business Online Goals
  • Have Your Business’ Style Guide Ready
  • Determine Who Your Web Customers Are
  • Sort Out Your Website Content

Identifying these foundational points and presenting them to a website developer will make your web design flow smoother, quicker and achieve the best results.

Let’s learn more about the small business website design simple steps.

Identify Your Online Goals

What do you want your business website to achieve online?

It’s a good question and not as obvious as you may think.

Of course some businesses will want to ‘boost sales online’ or ‘get more customers online’ however some small businesses simply need a platform to make their business look professional online and keep up with the competition.

Here are two well thought out common small business goals:

Business Online Credibility

Having a professional website that’s well built and looks trustworthy will automatically buy your business online credibility with customers. Online audiences are quick to determine if they trust a website based upon a range of web design factors - it’s something we all do subconsciously. 

But that’s not entirely what ‘online credibility’ means in the context of business online goals. 

The best way to look at this small business online goal is to ‘legitimise the business’ with a professional online presence.

Some small businesses simply need a website to direct potential clients to learn more about their services, see case studies of past work and prove there’s a value in their business and provide a strong impression that they’re a credible business.

Generate Leads Online

More obviously, many small businesses want to increase business online by attracting new leads and new customers.

If a small business wants to boost sales online or reach new customers online then building a website with these goals in mind is a great way to start. Any good web designer will be able to implement tailored user flows, engaging call to actions and other on-page elements to bump up conversion rates.

You’ll also want your business to get found on Google so make sure your web developer implements optimised website SEO.

Have Your Business Style Guide Ready

Simply put, a style guide outlines and comprises everything that makes your businesses brand (including logos, fonts, colours and more) and provides instructions on how to use each visual element in different scenarios.

If your business doesn’t have a full style guide there are great branding and design experts around who can provide comprehensive business branding, logos, identity and style guides.

Otherwise, start by providing your web designers the following:

High Resolution Logos

If you have an existing business logos then you’ll certainly want your web designers to use them in your new business website.

Website designers love having logos delivered in one (or all) of the following formats:

  • PNG

  • JPEG

  • .ESP

  • .PDF

Bonus Tip: Send the web designers everything you have and let them pick out the best.

Primary and Secondary Colours and Fonts

Consistency is the underlying principle in a businesses brand and the main objective of a style guide.

Whether your customer is browsing your website, seeing your marketing/advertising or reading one of your printed documents, the colours, fonts and styles must be the same.

You’ll need to tell your web developer what fonts and colours you’ve been using in your businesses communications and material.

Think of it this way, if your favourite football teams website wasn’t the same colour as their brand it would be extremely off-putting. So let’s make yours consistent.  

Determine Who Your Web Customers Are

Knowing your audience is critical in any business, so identifying who your online customers are will point your web designers in the right direction to create the best website design for your business.

Start looking at your current customers and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who are they

  • Why do they want/need your products/services

  • How often do they require your product/ service

  • Where are they located?

Once you cover the basics, dig a bit deeper into their motivations and actions:

  • What are they putting typing into Google to find your business?

  • Why would they pick your business website instead of a competitors website to click on?

If you come to a website developer with this information in hand their web design team will have your personalised website designs ready much quicker. Even better, the website designs will be specifically optimised for your target audience enhancing the potential for website conversions.

Sort Out Your Website Content

Website content is generally seen as the textural or visual elements to a website which takes shape as text, images, sounds, videos and animations.

Most websites stick to text and images and until you scope otherwise with your website developer that’s all you’ll need, especially for initial phases of planning a website.

Before typing up your website content, set yourself the task of understanding what your business values are and what makes you better than the competition.

After this, condense them into short, scannable and straight to the point sentences with an active voice.

Photography is another key element to any website.

Having professional photography of your business/products/projects is the gold standard when it comes to web development and delivers ideal first impressions and influences online audiences to secure your services.

Need a small business website example?

Let’s look at Tolo Painting.

Tolo Painting are professional Melbourne painters and decorators, both commercial and residential.

They came to Four Pi Web and App Developers with:

  • An understanding of who they are as a business

  • Knowledge of their client demographics

  • The catchment area of their business

  • Pre-written descriptions of their services

  • An idea of what they wanted their image to portray

With the above information in hand it was easy for the Four Pi Web Designers to make an attractive small business website which was the perfect fit for Tolo Painting.

One final thing about website development...

If you have concerns about any of the above then don’t worry, any good web design team should be able to help you (Bonus Tip - check out their work to ensure they know their craft)

Good luck!

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