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What Makes a Good Website for Small Businesses & Trades?

11 July 2024
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If you are considering a website for your small business or trade, you are on the right track! This step brings you closer to enhancing your visibility and unlocking your business’s full potential. A well-designed website is not just a digital presence; it is a powerful tool that can contribute to increased leads, revenue, and conversions. However, it is important to note that building a good website is not a simple task. You can’t click a few buttons, close your eyes and wave a magic wand in the hopes that something will happen.

Creating a website for small businesses and trades is a process that demands time, effort, planning, and research, but the rewards are worth it. If you are feeling unsure about where to start or what to do, don’t worry! We are here to guide you every step of the way. In this article, we will provide you with some valuable pointers on what to include and what makes a good business website.

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Creating An Exceptional Website for Small Businesses & Trades

But why would you want to stop at just a good website? If you are going to stand out from the crowd, a website for small businesses or trades should be more than good – it should be exceptional. There are many subtle nuances to creating an exceptional business website. We better not waste any more of your time, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty:

Relevant Domain Name

Before you embark on your website creation journey, it is crucial to secure a domain name. This is the part of the URL that comes before ‘.com’ or ‘.co.uk’. For instance, our domain name is ‘webdesignandseocompany.’

When choosing your domain name, it is essential to ensure it mirrors your business and the services you provide. A clear indication of your offerings can help potential customers understand what you do. If you operate locally, consider including your location to enhance your visibility in local searches.

Additionally, you should avoid hyphens and numbers, in addition to acronyms and abbreviations. Acronyms and abbreviations are often unclear, and while you know your business like the back of your hand, not everyone will understand what they mean. Moreover, make sure your domain name is easy to spell. Can you imagine someone searching for ‘supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ and expecting them to spell it right the first time?

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Optimal Security

A website with secure hosting is of the utmost importance for small businesses and trades. Your website should run securely under ‘https’ (the padlock). Security is essential to protect against malware and viruses that could potentially hack into your system or your potential clients’ computers or mobile phones.

You should also include GDPR pages, such as cookies, privacy policies, website terms of use, and a Consent Management Platform that allows your web visitors to choose which non-essential cookies they will let you collect. 

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Choose a Website Builder

Whether you choose WordPress, Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, or Webflow, numerous website builders are available. Each has its own pros and cons, depending on the type of website you require.

Webflow

Webflow is user-friendly, allows you to visualise your website as it grows and doesn’t require plugins. However, it comes with limitations if you want to customise it through coding, and it isn’t the best option for e-commerce.

Wix

On the other hand, Wix has a built-in SEO tool that is incredibly easy to use and is available with hundreds of App integrations. Unfortunately, once your business website is live, you can’t change the template, and you will have limited storage space on the cheaper plans.

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Shopify

For those with an e-commerce business, Shopify is an excellent choice for drop-shipping, its ease of use and choice of themes. However, it can be costly, doesn’t offer email hosting (which is a must for your business!), and can be tricky to leave if you want to transfer your website onto another platform.

Squarespace

Additionally, Squarespace is another website builder that is a great option for e-commerce. You can access it through a mobile app. There is a wide variety of themes and templates to choose from, and your website size can be limitless. Conversely, it can quickly become costly, is trickier to customise, and may be harder to navigate within limited plugins. 

WordPress

WordPress is an excellent value-for-money website builder. It offers thousands of plugins and themes and can create virtually any type of website. However, you might be overwhelmed by having too much to choose from. It requires frequent updates for security and functionality, and optimising your site speed can be challenging at times.

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Clear Calls to Action

From the get-go, when creating a website for small businesses and trades, it is important to have clear calls to action (CTAs) to prompt visitors to take action. For example, buttons like ‘Book A Call’ or ‘Get a Quote’ can turn visitors into potential customers.

Ideally, you want your visitors to spend less time browsing and to act quickly on these CTAs. Make sure these calls to action and your contact information are prominently placed at the top of your website, known as “above the fold.”

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Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is essential for trades and small business websites. Optimising your website with Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) in mind will help it appear higher on Google, Yahoo, or Bing results pages. In turn, this leads to more impressions, clicks and revenue through organic traffic. (Which is completely free!) Without SEO, your website will just get lost in the abyss of the World Wide Web.

However, there are many complexities to SEO, and various aspects must be considered when optimising your business website for search engines. Keyword research is an integral part of SEO. This involves using tools like Google Keyword Planner or Ahrefs to determine what keyphrase or keyword people are searching for and the search volume.

From there, you can optimise your website to incorporate these relevant keywords throughout written content, meta/SEO titles, meta/SEO descriptions, and alt text for images. SEO has many aspects, including off-site, on-site, and technical, but everything you do to enhance your website will help. All your written content, images, and web coding must be optimised.

Engaging and Informative Content

Creating compelling and high-quality content on your website for small businesses or trades is crucial. By doing so, you can keep your readers interested and informed about the services you provide. While optimising your content for search engines using specific keywords or phrases to improve your ranking on Search Engine Results Pages is important, you should prioritise your readers and potential clients first.

Keeping your content regularly updated will also help you stay relevant. Additionally, writing unique content is essential, as search engines will penalise your website for duplicate content or “scraping” content from other websites.

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Simple Yet Effective Design

Your website should have a simple yet effective design and consistent use of colours throughout to showcase your branding and image. Don’t forget to include white space, as a cluttered website can be overwhelming and diminish the impact of your website. (Less is more!)

Ensure your website for your small business or trade is well-organised with intuitive site navigation, such as an easy-to-use menu and clear indications of your products, landing pages, or service pages to enhance the user experience.

Most importantly, your website should be designed to be mobile-friendly and optimised for mobile phones. Since more people now use their mobiles instead of desktops, Google has introduced mobile-first indexing, prioritising indexing mobile formats over desktop ones. However, your website should be designed to work well on all devices.

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Fast Loading Speed

Last but not least, your small business website’s loading speed is a critical factor for creating a positive user experience. Ensuring that your website loads quickly to cater to your prospective clients is essential. A slow-loading website could potentially cause visitors to become frustrated and look elsewhere for alternative options.

Additionally, having responsive, interactive buttons and scrolling features will allow for smooth navigation. A lagging website can hinder the user experience, making it challenging for readers to explore your content.

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Need Help with a Website for Your Small Business or Trade?

Who knew so much was involved in creating websites for small businesses or trades? We certainly did! At the Web Design and SEO Company, we specialise in New Websites for small businesses and tradespeople,  as well as SEO.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us for a free quote or to request a callback at your convenience. You can also reach out to us via email. We will be delighted to assist you with your professional website and SEO requirements. Additionally, we provide payment plans for new websites.