Want to find a good website builder for your small business?

In this day and age, almost every small business can benefit from a web presence. There are lots of services out there that you can use to build a website for your small business, and it can be hard to figure out which one of those services is best.

Robert Mening test-drove 10 website builders and has written a comprehensive review of each one, complete with pros and cons and recommendations.

From the review:

I don’t make any money from recommending these website builders.

My goal instead is to provide an unbiased review, by actually going through each product in detail, to help you make the best decision.

Check it out – making your small business’ website might be easier than you think!


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Three website tweaks you can make right now

We’ve talked before about tips for making your small business website as effective as possible. We wanted to keep that theme going and share with you three easy website tweaks you can make right now to increase the strength of this very important marketing tool.

1) Do a quick and basic website functionality check

Are all email links going to live addresses? Do your contact forms work? You can have the world’s most engaging content and an award-winning design, but if your customers can’t get in touch with you, there’s no point.

2) Make it easy for customers to find you

On the internet, time is a precious commodity. Make sure your site has your small business’ name and all the contact info that applies: hours, location, phone number, and/or email address. And put all this info on a page that makes sense and is easily found, either on your home page or on your Contact page. Your customers want to find you – don’t make them click around forever or you could lose their interest.

3) Add calls to action

A call to action is as it sounds – it’s a prompt for website visitors to perform the action you want them to, whether that’s phoning you, filling out a form, or downloading more information. You can do this on each page, and it can take the form of a “Get a quote now” link that leads to your contact form, or a beautifully-designed button that viewers can click to start a download. This way, your website will do a lot of the work for you in making sales or generating leads.

See? No sweat! Your website is one of your most important marketing tools, so make sure it’s working for you, and not against you.

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Advice from entrepreneurs: good small business websites

We asked experienced entrepreneurs to offer their best pieces of advice for effective small business websites. Here’s what they had to say:

  • Once you have your contact information easily accessible for customers — respond promptly when they contact you.
  • Design your website to be search engine friendly — if you don’t know how to do this, get help.
  • Keep your web pages up to date. Going to a website just to see that the information hasn’t been changed since 2012 can deter potential customers.
  • Prepare for high traffic times — be sure that your website can handle traffic loads.
  • Set a maximum size for each page, and make sure that you keep content within these guidelines.
  • If you’re going to offer online payments or transactions, make sure to choose your provider carefully to avoid customer service and security issues.
  • Also, if you’re having your webpage designed by someone, take your time choosing a company or person. Take a look at their past work and determine whether or not they’ll be able to provide what you’re looking for.
  • If the website is important to your company, don’t bother with free services that create web pages for you. It’s important to have your own domain name.
  • Test your site! Make sure the links work, the pages load, the text is legible, the colours match, and it’s easy to get around.
  • Make sure the website is well-integrated with your business — consistent with your company image and updated frequently.
  • Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) develops strategies, guidelines, and resources to help make the web accessible to people with disabilities — make sure your website meets WAI’s accessibility standards.

Get more tips for effective small business websites here!

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Tips for an effective small business website

A website for your small business can be an incredible marketing tool. These days, when someone wants to know something about a company, their first move is often to search for it online. Your small business’ website provides a nearly real-time snapshot of your company, its goals, its products and services and – most importantly – how your customers can find you.

So, how do you create an effective website for your small business? We’ve got a few things to keep in mind.

Keep your small business’ website user-friendly

You don’t have to make your small business’ website look like everyone else’s, but there are a few things that are generally recognized as best practices. For example:

  • Keep your text and background colours calm and easy to look at. Blue text on a black background does nobody’s eyes any favours.
  • Ensure your website’s navigation is concise and makes sense. Avoid having 15 pages crammed into three menus, all of which are in different locations on the page.
  • Get your website content in order. Readers should be able to find exactly what they’re looking for without wading through pages of text.
  • Make sure your website loads quickly and doesn’t make readers jump through hoops to get to what they’re looking for – avoid intro pages or autoplay music.
Keep your website relevant

Think of your small business’ website like an online brochure – include relevant information that you think customers might be looking for, and resist the urge to over-write. Don’t forget to use your creativity. Consider adding unique applications not only for newsworthy business articles, but to attract customers and provide more convenience.

Keep your website in line with your branding

Your website should remain consistent with your small business’ image and reputation that your other marketing efforts produce. Once you’ve developed a visual identity for your company, design the website with your colours, logos, taglines and general design schemes in mind.

Keep your website responsive

It’s one thing to create a gorgeous website for your small business, but it’s a whole other thing to keep it working for you. Install a well-rounded analytics program such as Google Analytics, and keep an eye on what it reports. What are your customers searching for? When are they searching, and from where? How can that information be used to improve your website and your business? The beauty of websites is that they don’t have to be static. Update your site to respond to what your customers are looking for.

Do you have any tips for creating an effective small business website? Let us know!


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