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Small Business Website Design: How to Know What You’re Buying

A topdown photo showing a laptop and board with the word "finance" on it.

There’s no shortage of web development and digital marketing experts who will throw jargon and acronyms at you until you lose sight of what you’re actually buying from them. Do your CTAs produce a decent CTR? Or maybe you need to enhance the onsite SEO within your CMS to boost that CR? But—wait—don’t even think about adjusting your PPC campaign until you’ve synthesized your CPC data with your current understanding of your typical CLV.

In the extremely competitive digital marketing field, some try to stand out by dishing out the alphabet soup and convincing you it’s delicious.

It’s possible to cut the crap, talk common sense with a small business owner, and build a website that attracts, converts, and satisfies customers. That’s what good small business website design is all about. Launch a new website with MLT Group, and you’ll understand what you’re buying and how it works.

Continue reading for a guide—including three essential questions—on how to know what you’re buying when you invest in custom web design. Consider it a resource for when you’re thinking of working with someone to develop a new small business website design. You will find no jargon, no acronyms, no bull below—we promise.

 




 

Does the developer understand you, your brand, and your audience?

Knowing is half the battle, as a great sage once said. Any small business website design worth its salt begins with a robust discovery process. That means you sit down with the design team who will ask and learn about your business, brand, and audiences. This conversation informs how the designers, programmers, and writers will approach your website.

A web development team that takes discovery seriously won’t just take this meeting and call it good. Discovery continues throughout the process as both the business owner and the development team think, work, and learn more about the project. Perhaps new research into likely site visitors will change the language used on the homepage. Maybe your business just won an award or earned some other recognition, and you’d like it emphasized on your website.

For this to work, open communication is vital! Both the development team and the business owner must be familiar with each other and maintain open communication. Good development teams will take the lead with progress updates, questions, and submissions for your review. They’ll prod you for feedback and explain their choices. Beware the jargon: if these conversations become bogged down in technical terms, you’ll begin to lose sight of where your money is going.

 

Will your site attract visitors?

Your money goes much further when your development team can build a site that attracts visitors who Google search for words related to your business. What’s the point of building build the most beautiful dream home if there are no roads to it?

How are these “roads” to your website built? Through detailed research into your audiences’ search patterns on the internet. Knowing how your audiences tend to use Google and other search engines should inform the design, building, and writing of your website. Once this research is completed, solid developers will send this research to you to ensure that it matches your business—and smart developers will ensure this research report is understandable. Without clear communication, misunderstandings early in the process will inevitably lead to delays in your new website’s time to market.

 

The header of the MLT Group's traffic and analytics report to clients, which reads "Digital Marketing Scorecard."

The header of the MLT Group “Digital Marketing Scorecard,” a quarterly report submitted to individual clients that clearly communicates their website’s performance, including traffic numbers, conversions, and recommendations. Clear communication makes a web development team more accountable for results.

 

Another related but distinct part of attracting visitors is the mobile design of your website. Your website simply must look good and be easy to use on mobile devices in 2019. Most people nowadays use their phones or tablets to search on the internet. Make sure you ask about your site’s mobile design. If you’re not getting a design specifically for mobile screens, run for the hills.

 

Does your website convert visitors to customers? 

Savvy designers will compose a beautiful website, and smart researchers, developers, and writers will build the roads to it. Once your website attracts visitors, it must convert them to satisfied customers.

By far, the best thing you can do to ensure your website converts visitors is to use a custom design and build. A custom design accomplishes several things for your small business.

  1. A custom design for your small business’s website will make your business appear more professional and credible.
  2. Custom work will also ensure your website suits your brand and audience perfectly.
  3. A custom website design makes your website easy to navigate for visitors. The navigation of your website—its menus, page arrangements, links, and so on—should be clear at a glance, and it should be tested to ensure ease of use.

 

Small Business Website Design: Coyote Creek Gun & Archery Desktop & Mobile Homepage

Above are the desktop and mobile designs for Coyote Creek Gun & Archery, located in Rochester, MN. Each carries the same branding, but each design also guides the visitor’s navigation in a way that suits the platform: for example, large images and space on the desktop, and large buttons and a “call” button on the mobile.

 

 

If you want to make sales and move money, you need something custom for the job. Don’t rely on a preset theme to carry your business online.

In addition to custom design, compelling writing on your website will engage your site’s visitors to think and act. The writing for your website should be informative, adding real substance about your products, services, and brand. The writing should also be persuasive. Returning to the discovery process, a good writer working on your website will know the right levers to pull to make your audiences convert from visitors to customers. Whether that means appealing to emotions, logic, or your company’s great reputation, a writer working a custom job for your site will ensure your website makes a great argument to visitors.

Small Business Website Design: Call to Action on 12 for Heath Homepage

Homepage for 12 for Health, a wellness program. The first text visible to a visitor is a strong call to action: “Go beyond traditional health programs.” A good web development team will write custom content for your site that includes strong language that speaks directly to your audience rather than simply saying how great your business is. (Though that’s important, too!)

 

Finally, a custom website will include the final steps your visitors need to become customers. That could be forms that they fill out (like “request a quote” or standard contact forms) and/or a cleanly designed eCommerce shop for them to purchase the product or service.

 

Know What You’re Buying

It’s easy to spend a lot of money on a small business website design and not really know what you’re getting. Digital marketing has plenty of jargon, acronyms, and snazzy terminology to hide behind. Digital marketing can be extremely powerful and grow your business, but you have to cut the crap when working with an outside development and marketing team. Remember and return to some of the fundamentals in this guide to ensure you really know what you’re buying when you’re spending money for small business website design.

 

If you want a small business website design partner that’s rabidly anti-jargon, practical, and results-oriented, learn more about MLT Group. Having built websites and implemented digital marketing plans for over two decades, we’ve seen trends come and go, acronyms rise and die, common sense terms turn to jargon. We keep up with the latest research and design trends, but we’re not going to pretend that showing off our expertise with jargon will help us or our clients succeed. We work for results.

 

Interested in a free audit and proposal? Contact us using the form below, and we’ll get back to you in two business days or less.




 

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