Logo for Aberdeen based website designer Tags & Elements

7 Tips for Starting a Small Business Website

Creating a website is a crucial step for any business owner looking to scale.
But designing and building an effective site from scratch isn’t easy, especially if you don’t have a big budget, time or tech expertise. After designing dozens of sites for emerging and established brands, I’ve learned some key best practices for getting your website off the ground. Follow this comprehensive
advice to ensure your new site is positioned for success.

Choose the Right Platform

Your website platform, or content management system (CMS),
is the foundation for the entire site. It impacts everything from design
capabilities to performance to your ability to edit and update content
down the line. I recommend user-friendly CMS platforms like:

WordPress – The world’s most popular CMS used by over 40% of sites globally.
WordPress is open source, has a wide array of themes and plugins, and gives
you full control to customize your site.

Shopify – A fast, flexible ecommerce platform made for selling products and
services online. Shopify handles secured checkout and simplifies inventory and
order management.

Squarespace – A user-friendly option with beautiful templates. Limited flexibility
but very easy for anyone to update content.

Wix – Drag and drop builder that is also easy to use. Drawbacks are a lack of
design control and slow page speeds.

Avoid overly restrictive website builders locking you into rigid templates.
As a startup, you want a platform that will grow as your business does.

Local independent shop owner checking their website on a laptop

Pick a Mobile-Friendly Theme

Google now prioritizes mobile-friendly, responsive sites in search results. So it’s crucial to pick a theme that automatically adapts to fit desktops, tablets, and smartphones. Stay away from flashy, image-heavy themes that will slow down your site speed on mobile. Test out demos to ensure responsiveness before purchasing any theme.

Provide Value

Keep visitors on your site longer while positioning your brand as an authority by providing value beyond just product/service information.

For example, create a FAQ page addressing common customer pain points or industry questions relevant to your target audience. Add resources like ebooks, whitepapers, and other downloadable content.

A blog sharing tips, how-tos, or other education also engages visitors. Promote this value-added content across your site.

Optimise for SEO

Mockup content concept, iPad on a table with scenic background AI generated content

You want customers to be able to find your new site through search engines like Google. So it’s crucial to optimise your pages for keywords related to your products, services, and location.

Ways to optimise include using target keywords in your page titles, headers, URLs, content, image names, etc. This helps search bots understand your
business and content to drive better rankings. I always research target search terms that potential customers are using to uncover the best optimisation opportunities. Contact me if you need help with your SEO strategy.

Highlight Your Uniqueness

Don’t just create generic web copy listing your services or products like every other business. Leverage design and content to communicate your competitive advantage and what makes you stand out. Showcase your values, expertise, and customer service. For example, if you offer exceptionally fast shipping times, highlight this through website copy and visuals to reinforce that differentiator.

Engage Visitors

You don’t want your new site to be purely informational – it also needs clear ways for visitors to engage further with your business. Include visible calls-to-action across pages prompting visitors to:

Contact you for a quote or consultation
Sign up for your email list
Purchase products
Book appointments

CTAs should stand out visually. Simplify the process for visitors to convert into customers.

The Bottom Line

By taking this tailored startup advice and best practices to heart from day one, you’ll be on the pathway to launching a small business website positioned for visibility, leads, and sales. But I know transforming your vision into a reality isn’t easy. That’s why I’m here! Get in touch and let’s chat about bringing your website goals to life through a customized digital strategy made just for your brand.