Small Business Web Design - What You Should Know

Saturday, November 17, 2012

If you've used the Internet for any length of time you should already know the value of having a website as a small business. Have you ever heard about a business or drove by a business on your way to work and you wanted to know more about it?

So you go online and search for the business and probably find one of two things. You either get a result showing a map of the location from Google and maybe a few reviews of the business, or you find a website, or maybe both. Now, both of these results are valuable as a customer. A review or several reviews can often be more telling than a website in terms of quality, but the website is going to give you solid facts, like pricing, a menu, or business hours.

Based on what you find you can instantly get a feeling for the quality of the business, and it only takes a few minutes to tell if you're actually going to go check out the physical store. Those first few seconds are very important because the Internet is nothing like reading a book. Customers will make judgments quickly simply based on the look of the site and how quickly they can find the information they are looking for. A professional looking site gives you confidence in the quality of the product or service the business offers, while a web site that looks like it was made 15 years ago makes you wonder how up to date the business is or how seriously they take their business.

Similarly, when you click that Google map link and get reviews, if there are a large number of reviews that are mostly positive then that gives you confidence that the business is visited often. If the review page is a barren wasteland then you have no idea what people think of the business, do you take the chance and go check it out? What if you were searching for a local dentist? Isn't it important to know how people are treated there and how their overall experience is?

Now, How do you get those reviews? Well that is another aspect of web design called Search Engine Optimization. SEO can do incredible things for a small business. Most people think, "The Internet is so huge, I can't compete with these national or global brands. It's not worth the time or money". I don't think that can be further from the truth. You see, when people are searching for a generic service they might put something like "Dentist, Detroit, MI". I'm sure you've done a search like that yourself, and it makes sense, because if you just type in "dentist" then you see results like 1-800 dentist or the Wikipedia page for the word dentist, not actual dentist offices in your area.

While you might not be seen at the top of the search for dentist, you will see far less competition from national brands when you search for dentist, Detroit, MI. Now that is something we can target with SEO and have a good chance at getting your website to the top of the search. Why is it so important to be at the top? Because most people click the first link in a search, just think about your searching habits. Now lets do some math on this; Currently there are 880 searches per month for "dentist Detroit mi", if you are at the top of that search and even bring in a modest 10 or 15 new customers per month (less than 2%), what is that worth to you?

SEO will get visitors to the page, but then the job is to convert those visitors into sales. A professional looking website will help in this area significantly. The goal here is to entice visitors to be interested in your product and get them to the information they are looking for quickly. This isn't just the graphic look of the site, but also content and link placement. You can see there is a lot of work that goes into a small business web design.

So the truth is that you already know how important small business web design is, because you use these features of the Internet constantly, maybe without even giving them a second thought. Good design is important in your customer's eyes and I am happy to provide it.