Your website is your businesses digital storefront and serves as the platform for you to understand your audience before you engage and convert them to becoming loyal target customers. Because of this, we have curated this guide on website design and development for local business to utilize all of the possible benefits of a perfectly-established website!
Website Design and Development for Local Business
Before performing various digital marketing campaigns for your local business, you need to design and develop an optimized, efficient and effective website.
The world is changing and part of this transformation is how local business owners like you can market your products and services without having a huge budget and brand name in the industry.
Gone are the days where the only marketing tactic that will help you sell your products and services is through television, radio, and print. These aren’t the only electronic devices anymore. Besides, there are computers, laptops, tablets, and especially, mobile phones that are mostly connected on the Internet.
If you haven’t noticed yet, the Internet has already become the most widely-used electronic network for consumers. It was estimated that there are almost 4.48 billion active internet users worldwide.
With this huge number, an estimated 1.8 billion of these people purchase goods online while the other 63% ‘s purchasing decision started on the network. This is a proof that the purchasing behavior of global consumers have already shifted from physical to digital. Hence, it is really safe to say that online is the only way to go for you to reach broader customers.
Even if you are an owner of a local business, you can still utilize the Internet for your marketing strategy. The best way to do this is by having a digital marketing strategy that will help you maximize your business presence online to reach your goal which is to increase your sales and revenue while improving your business reputation.
You can use various online marketing tactics for this strategy such as social media marketing, paid advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), and others. But this doesn’t mean that you won’t centralize your overall strategy. Instead, you should really have a platform solely for your business.
Yes, you should certainly use social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram but these networks are not yours. You are just using these platforms to widen your reach and engage with your target market. However, in terms of conversion, you should build a website.
Social media platforms are for lead generation while your website will serve as the place for converting your prospects into customers. Take social networks as a park and your website as your house.
The park is the best place to meet different people but if you really want to know more about someone, you will surely want to know how that person behaves at home, right?
This is also the same with digital marketing. You will be able to engage with your prospects on social media but if you really want them to know more about your business and then convert them into customers, then you should really take them into your main platform.
Remember that customers across the globe search for local businesses. They want to know more about the businesses around them because these are the nearest and easy to visit especially for emergencies. Besides, according to Google, the “near me” and “where to buy” queries have grown by over 200%.
After searching, it is evident that your target customers want to know more about your business. They will certainly want to know your address, opening and closing hours, and specific products and services. Hence, they will visit your website.
But what if you don’t have a website? Well, like the 46% of local businesses that doesn’t have one, your sales and reputation will really be affected.
Websites are not just used to give business details to your prospects and returning customers, these are also helpful in leading your business growth in terms of sales and reputation.
For this reason, we have written this guide on website design and development for local business owners like you to help you build an effective website for success!
Advantages of Website Design and Development for Local Business
Building an online presence for your local business requires a website because this serves as the core of your digital marketing strategies. Regardless of what marketing tactics you perform, you should have a platform where you store all of your progress.
Because of this, your website should be created accordingly. Plan your designs according to your branding and create a strategy on developing and maintaining your website. These steps are essential in making sure that you achieve your goals.
Hence, on this section, we broke down the top advantages of having a carefully-planned website design and development for local businesses.
Increase online visibility.
By having a website that leads you toward your success, the biggest advantage is certainly increasing your visibility online making you reach more audience. Even if people don’t know about your business, they will surely search online for businesses around them. This is where your website comes into play.
Since you have a perfectly-built website that has been managed to target local and international audiences, this will provide online searchers the impression that your local business is a reputable brand.
Even when they haven’t heard about your business before, they will begin clicking your link and start browsing what your website can offer.
Because of this, you will be able to retarget your past customers by incorporating your website with various digital marketing strategies such as blogging and advertising .
Then, you can also expand your local reach by using local SEO and making sure that your site has all the information that your prospects and customers will need to directly visit your physical store.
Lastly, you can use the Internet to break geographical barriers leading you to expand the name of your local business into the global market.
Set first impression.
They say, “first impression lasts,” and although it didn’t mean to stay for a long time, this will still leave a mark on your audience’s opinion.
When your prospects and customers first visit your website, whether you like it or not, they will certainly judge it. They will evaluate the colors, fonts, and other aspects of your website.
For instance, if you have a website for your local restaurant business, then you should make it as appetizing as possible. You should not use dull colors, instead use colors such as red and orange as this directly stirs up hunger from people.
Obviously, you can use different colors but the thing that you should bear in mind is the fact that the color, font, and other aspect of your website design should firmly symbolize what you really want to achieve.
Aside from that, if you have a website that takes a long time to load and is not responsive, your website visitors will surely be pissed. Instead of wanting to know what you can offer, they’ll just leave your site and check another website similar to yours. In order to prevent this from happening, make sure to use a responsive template and always do a monthly website check-up.
You should avoid all of the instances specified above. Leave an impression to your website visitors that will keep them from coming back into your website. Think of your website as your digital storefront and your audience and visitors as someone who walked passed your store.
Your goal is to let them feel welcome so they would check what you have to offer and the perfect way to do this is to make your website design clean and appealing for customers.
Your website should not just be about your products and services, this should also be a place where your prospects and customers learn from you online. This is not necessarily about your business because by just having your website, you are already providing them information about your brand.
Rather, build your reputation by giving them credible information and a spot for them to tell other consumers on why they should trust you.
The reviews about your business matter the most if you want to get the trust of your target market. Besides, according to a survey from BrightLocal that the average consumer reads 10 reviews before trusting a business.
Consider reviews as word-of-mouth in real life. Even if they don’t know these people, as long as their reviews help them know more about your business, they will take this as a positive attribute on how credible your brand is.
If you’re asking on how to get reviews, you can simply ask your customers or give them freebies if they leave one. Then, ask permission to highlight their reviews in your website. Some might say no but others will certainly be okay with it because they trust your business already.
Aside from getting reviews, you should most likely be creating content in your website. Your website should not just be a static page, rather, it should be a perfect place for your audience and your business interact.
Create content that demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. If you’re an owner of a local restaurant, then showcase how you perfectly plate a very delicate dish. You can also share content about your business achievements. You might have won as the best restaurant in town.
The key here is to tell your target market about the values of your business. Make an educational and engaging content. This way, you are letting your prospects and customers understand what your business is all about.
Remember, your goal as a local business is to be known and part of this process is to make your website credible and legitimate because these gives your business identity and proof that you exist both online and offline.
Improve audience relations.
Because your website acts as a digital storefront of your business, this should also be a platform used to provide service for your customers.
You will surely receive a lot of requests and questions from your customers and prospects and you must answer these directly and with manner. There is no excuse in not answering all of these. So, instead of being overwhelmed, you must provide a solution for your audience’s queries.
There are various online communication tools that you can use to solve this. You can utilize a chatbot that instantly answer queries while your audiences are still on your website. If you don’t have the resources to use this tool, you can provide an online for where your audience can send their queries through your email.
Then, you can incorporate social media plugins as well as add your mobile and landline numbers to provide an instant chat support for your customers and audience.
Bear in mind that your website is a digital space that lets your customers and audience talk to you. For this reason, you should provide a solution to their queries and concerns and if you cannot directly respond to it, provide another medium to communicate with you easily.
The Step-by-Step Process of Website Design and Development for Local Business
Website serves as the digital storefront of your business and it is an essential aspect of your online success. You can create other digital marketing strategies for your business but without a website that would act as the core of your strategies, these won’t be effective.
As a business owner, you need to make sure that you have a platform that will represent your local business as a brand and will be towards your goal. With this in mind, here’s a step-by-step process of website design and development for local businesses!
1. Determine the primary purpose of your website.
Generally, your website will serve as the place where your prospects and returning customers get information about your local business. Other than that, what you want to give to these individuals in order to maximize your marketing strategy? This is why you need to first determine what your website’s purpose will be.
If you’re having a hard time identifying your website’s purpose, then check your goals and target market.
Firstly, the goal of your business says a lot about what your website has to offer. Every business should have something to achieve within a period of time. As for a local business owner like you, getting known in your locality might be your main goal.
You might also have other goals for your business, so make sure that you determine all of these and relate it with your website. In doing so, just keep in mind that your goal should be specific, measurable, achievable, realizing, and timebound (SMART).
Then, because you already know your goal, the next questions are: how will you achieve this through your website? Do you want to make it as an e-commerce website? Do you want to publish blogs and other content on this platform? Do you want both of these tactics in your website? Clarify what you want your business website will be to give better service to your customers.
In relation to this, you also need to consider your audience. Whatever you want your website to be, you should keep your audience on top of your mind as they are the ones who will be using the platform. So, create a website based on what your target market is and what you think is most suited for their preferences.
This is where a buyer persona can help you create a strongly effective website. If you don’t know what a buyer persona is, these are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers that you have gathered through surveys, existing customer data and through market research.
For example, if you’re an owner of a local craft shop, then you should consider putting an e-commerce website where you present your arts and craft materials to people who love crafting and arts.
You could also inject a how-to or a do-it-yourself blogs for the said target audience and give them an idea how to create something out of your store’s materials. This way, you are both educating your target market and selling them the best materials for their next craft projects.
Identifying what your website will look like and what your prospects want is essential towards making it effective. The more you provide input, the more your build the name of your local business into a big brand. Hence, identify your goal and your buyer persona to determine the purpose of your website.
2. Choose a hosting service.
Web hosting is the next aspect of building your platform and essentially the thing that you should not skip.
To give you a clear idea, take your website as a folder where you contain all of your files. Because these are important files, you want to make all of these are secured in one place or a server. Hence, you need a hosting service to help you with this.
In doing so, you can either choose the dedicated, cloud, or shared hosting. With shared hosting, your website content are stored together with other website in the same server. However, if you want your own server, you can choose between cloud and dedicated hosting.
The difference between these two are the location where your website is stored. With cloud hosting, your website files are stored on a single virtual server whereas with dedicated hosting, these are stored in a physical hardware.
Regardless of what hosting service you choose, the key is for it to back up all of your website content. This way, you own your website, your content are seen by your target market, and these are safely stored in one place.
Still, there are factors in hosting services that you should look for which are uptime reliability, customer service, and speed.
Your website should always be up and running and your hosting service should provide you with a high uptime reliability percentage. You should also check if your host provides a network uptime guarantee.
This way, when your website does go down, you will be compensated with hosting credits. If you want to be given a report on your uptime percentage and reliability, you can use an uptime robot.
Another thing to consider is the speed of your website. Websites that load fast do rank high on search engines because page speed is one of its key metrics. This is also the reason why some businesses prefer cloud and detailed hosting because shared hosting means that your site is stored together with other websites.
Lastly, choose a hosting service with excellent customer service. If this is your first shot in website design and development for local business, then you will surely have a hard time in doing all of these processes. Hence, you need a top-notch service team that will support you all throughout.
There are a lot of hosting services on the Internet so make sure that you take into consideration what you like best so it will be easier for you to build a website for your local business.
3. Decide your domain name.
Your domain name is your website’s unique address. This serves as the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) link that you’ll be sharing with your prospects and customers. So, make sure that it strongly represents your business.
For local businesses like yours, you can have your business name as your domain name. However, if you want to be creative, you can add your business taglines and motto. Just keep in mind that your domain name should be short and relevant to your business so that you won’t give confusion to customers.
Also, you need to make sure that your domain name is yours alone. You might not have an idea that there are businesses online that have the same name as yours, so verify it first. You can simply search about your business name and if there is already a website with the same name, then you can talk to its owner regarding the matter.
You can also be creative with your domain name by adding a tagline together with your business name. This way, the website that you have planned for a long time won’t be copyrighted and be blocked on the Internet.
Other than that, you also need to decide what your top-level domain (TLD) will be. This is the suffix at the end of every website link or domain name such as .com and .net. There are also non-traditional TLD that you can use like .shop and .travel. The key here is to choose the best TLD for your business as to keep it simple and related to what you do.
After choosing a domain name for your business, you need to register it to a domain registrars. Some of the widely-used domain registrars are Namecheap and Name.com. However, if you choose website builders such as Wix, then you will already be provided with the appropriate domain name for your business.
Do keep in mind that your domain name is not free. There are two costs that you need to pay: the cost in buying a domain name and the cost in keeping it registered every year. Be sure to always have a reminder every year about your payment to make sure that your website is still up and running.
4. Choose a CMS provider.
Editing a content in your website becomes easier with a content management system (CMS). This is a software application or a set of programs that lets you create and manage all of your website’s content.
CMS significantly makes your website development easy. There are hundreds of different plugins that you can use in terms of search engine optimization, advertising, and other digital marketing strategies that you want to implement with your website.
Also, you won’t have to do the technical aspects such as coding and programming because these programs mainly focus on letting you manage and edit your website. This way, you can only focus on customizing your settings and layout and add new pages and posts. In other words, you can edit on the go.
Lastly, these software provide security and affordability. Website maintenance won’t be a major issue in managing your website anymore because you can instantly make changes. Most importantly, these avoid your website to be hacked.
With its various plugins and tools, these will protect your website and user information to be used by other means. Hence, you can be assured with your website’s security without having to pay more.
In choosing the best CMS software for your website, make sure to check factors such as your budget, technological capabilities, and support requirements.
You don’t have to go beyond your budget just to get these services. Besides, there are a lot of CMS providers that will help you in curating your website’s content without having to pay a huge amount of money. Also check if their customer support is excellent as you might need a lot of support in managing your website.
Just keep in mind that the perfect content management system for your website should help you in both design and development.
5. Select the perfect theme.
You have already created your website but you still need a perfect theme that will represent your local business. This way, you are giving them the idea of what it feels like to visit your physical store or purchase your products and services.
A theme is the overall look of your website. This acts as a design springboard of your local business wherein you put input about your branding. Hence, it is a direct representation of your business to give a direct impact to your target market.
There are tons of website theme on the Internet which you can use from free to paid. Most website building platform offers and lets you customize these. Regardless of what theme you choose, there are things to consider.
Firstly, you need to check if it has a predictable layout. Some website themes are optimized to all devices making it easier for users to navigate your website whether they are using their phones or laptops.
However, there are also other themes that are not responsive. This may be due to the fact that the themes are outdated or not perfectly designed for all devices. So, assess the responsiveness of your chosen theme because it certainly affects the impression of your prospects and customers.
After doing this, you might have already added the theme into your website but still, you need to customize it to perfectly represent your business.
Consider the branding color of your local business. The first question to ask is what color represents your local business. Have you been known for a minimalist-looking shop or a store filled with colorful interiors?
Answering this is essential because this creates consistency. This way your past customers will feel the same vibe in visiting your store and browsing your website. Also, this creates a perfect impression to your prospects on what to expect when visiting your physical store.
Then, add visuals that are purposive. Don’t add images and videos that don’t even have an effect on your website. Every picture that you put on your website should relate to the vibe you aim for your prospects and customers to feel. Also, these visuals should entice your audience perfectly as well as inform them.
For example, you have added a new dish in your menu. For sure, you want that to be highlighted on your website. So, you add a perfectly-looking image of it in your website. However, in cases like this, you should also provide information about that dish.
Is it an appetizer or part of the main course? What is its price? What are other details that you can provide about your new dish? Adding all of the necessary details in your visuals aren’t necessary but this gives a better impression and information to your target market.
Lastly, add readable fonts. Your prospects and customers will surely be roaming around your website, reading information from one page to another. So, make your details readable by using fonts that are neither too big or too small. It should as well be readable in devices such as laptops and cellphones.
Also, consider aligning it in your branding. There are fonts that are better used by local tattoo shop owners such as “The Razor Blade” and the “Ancient Sword” while milk tea shop owners better use content “Pink Lemonade” and “Rosefield.”
Hence, in choosing the theme for your website, select the theme that gives a perfect impression for your target market, as well as, not annoy them by providing an ease of use.
6. Build your pages.
If you aim to increase both of your reach and sales, then let your website function as a digital storefront rather than a static one by building various pages.
Your website should cater to what your local business offers through these pages. You might want to consider adding multiple pages to various aspects of your local business such as a blog about your company and industry updates or a catalog of your products and services.
Also, an about and contact page should be added as to provide a space for your prospects and customers to know more about your local business and to contact you easily.
Other than that, each page should also contain information that are both useful and accurate. Don’t annoy your prospects in making them visit your store on a Sunday, even if you are closed during that day. Instead, create an already proofread page content that provides accurate information about your business.
Also, if it is a content for your blogs and articles, make these content informative, accurate, and engaging. This way, you are sharing what you know about your industry. Hence, building credibility and creating a bond with your audience.
If you want to highlight more aspects of your company, you can add more pages. Just remember that in doing so, each page should include a clear call-to-action, have a clear purpose, and should support your goal in making your website.
7. Add plugins for additional functionality.
Other than your pages and content, there are other things that your website also need. In this case, plugins come in handy.
Plugins are pieces of software that acts as an add-on to a web browser to give extra functionality. These are necessary for your website as this gives you better ways to interact with your audience. Also, you can add free and paid plug-ins on your website whether you choose WordPress or Wix.
Some of the most used plugins include Yoast SEO for search engine optimization, Akismet Anti-Spam to avoid spam comments, Google Places Review to share your reviews on the platform into your website, and WP Google Maps to let your website visitors easily locate your local business.
There are yet other plugins for every functions that you want to add into your website. However, bear in mind that these should serve a purpose into your website. Other than that, make sure that this doesn’t affect your website’s responsiveness so that you will still be able to provide better service to your prospects and customers.
8. Test and publish.
Before publishing your website for the world to see, you must test it first. Check if it works perfectly on all browsers and electronic devices. Then, assess how each page load and if its visuals, content, and links show properly. This might take some time but you must make an effort in testing your website first in order to prevent complaints in the future.
Another important thing to remember is to incorporate it with an analytics tool such as Google Analytics and Kissmetrics before making it public. By setting this beforehand, you can easily catch issues and provide solutions in your website. This way, you can easily monitor your site’s progress in order to know if its a success or not.
9. Maintain your website.
As part of your overall digital marketing strategy, you must maintain your website. You should stay relevant in each of your audience’s mindset. You must upload relevant post about your products and services and updates about your business.
Besides, there might be some changes in your company that needs to be updated such as new team members or new location. By doing this, you are keeping them updated in a way that will let them keep coming back into your website.
Other than that, you should also monitor your website’s progress. Keep track of your website’s analytics on a regular basis and analyze key metrics such as website visitors and unique visitors, page views, impressions, bounce rate, and average time.
This is also the perfect time to update any errors in your website to prevent from being hacked. You can always check if your website loads slower or if there are links that are broken.
Also, check if there are plugins in your website that is outdated or if the developer of the plugin stopped updating it. This way, you can look for other plugins that will help in managing your website better and will keep your website’s information from harm.
Tips in Website Design and Development for Local Business
In managing your website, you need to ensure that it is still aligned with your goal and this will continue in providing you the best results. This must have an excellent usability and design in order for you to use it in creating content for your audience, generating qualified leads, and converting them into loyal customers.
Hence, we’ll be covering all of these tips and strategies on website design and development for local business to ensure that your website is both visually-appealing and effective.
Publish a legal agreement.
Firstly, your website acts as a service provider. Due to this, you must have a terms and conditions which tells your audience that they must agree on your regulations in using your website. Using this is necessary because this protects your website and all of the content within it.
Also, this, together with the disclaimer, limits your liability in case of errors provided in your content and lets you set the governing law which states the jurisdiction of your agreement.
This agreement is certainly necessary if you are collecting information about your website audience as it is required by law and third-party services that your website might be using.
Remember that you must provide all of this in your website because this is necessary to prevent your local business be in big trouble with the law.
Create custom navigation.
As part of your website’s design, you must provide an ease of use to your audience. They will surely be annoyed if they cannot easily browse and access all the information that they need from your website.
However, with a custom navigation, you are helping them while browsing your website. This way, they don’t have to bounce off of your website. Instead, they’ll be staying in your platform and roam around to see what they can get.
Place strategic call-to-actions.
One of the main goals of your website is to convert audience into customers and to achieve this, you must provide a strong and effective call-to-actions (CTAs). A perfect CTA must improve your conversion so it must be strategically placed and provide a direct link.
The best thing about CTAs is the fact that you can place these everywhere but this doesn’t mean that these can be placed wherever you want these to be. Rather, place them strategically.
Because people read from left to right, it is a perfect idea to put a CTA in the center or on the right side of the page. This way, when your audience read something that lets them take action, they will be able to do this right away.
However, this is not the end yet because a strategically-placed CTA must also have a useful link. Check your link if it is not broken and if it is not, assess the link that you have used. Make sure that the link does not go through one link to the other. This way, your audience can do the action directly. Hence, ensuring the best conversion.
Add social media integrations.
It is undeniable that social media is one of the biggest platforms on the Internet and for sure, your business already have an account on these platforms.
However, this doesn’t mean that you will only have a business account on these platforms and just disregard your website. Rather, you should integrate social media into your platform.
You can incorporate social networking links and plugins on your website and content. You can strategically place social media sharing options around every blogs and content in your website.
This way, your audience can easily share your content into their social media accounts. Also, you should also use this opportunity to reach and alert your prospects and customers about your content and updates.
Aside from that, you should also promote your social media accounts on your website. The best places to add these are on you website’s footer or on the ancillary bar (the top right corner of your site).
Publish blogs and other content.
Your website should not be a static and boring page. Make this a perfect platform to engage, interact, and convert your audience into customers with blogs and other types of content. But this doesn’t mean that you can easily do this. Add more factors into your website content such as quality and engagement.
Share content with credible information that you find valuable for your audience. Make the information that you want to offer easy to understand. Then, write it in a way that is clear, friendly, and motivational.
Also, add engaging visuals into it and a CTA that really prompts your audience to do something. Through this, you are already building your connection with them and the reputation of your business.
Link website to listing sites.
Even with your website, you still need to keep up with your SEO as this helps you increase the reach of your business online. With this, you need to link your website to listing sites.
If your website is still new and your business is not that popular in your locality, then grabbing the top spot of any search engines is really difficult. Also, not all customers know about your website yet.
However, they will surely search through various local listing sites or in search engines for businesses near them. For this reason, you must be able to list your businesses in listing platforms such as Google My Business and others.
Then, add your business details and most importantly, your website. This way, because your target market already know about what you have to offer, they won’t be searching again for they can just type your website link in the search bar and voila, your website’s already in.
Top Website Design and Development Tools for local business to Use
Building and maintaining a website takes time, effort, and resources. Even if you have all the time in the world as well as the necessary knowledge in creating a website, you need a tool that will help you make this easier.
This way you will be saving your money and efforts. With this in mind, we curated the top website design and development tools for local businesses to use!
Website Building Platforms
Curated below are the top platforms that are used in building and designing a website.
WordPress is an open source software that is used worldwide to create websites, blogs, and apps that are both effective and easy to use. This platform might not offer you a domain and web hosting but with its top-notch content management system, you can easily build a website for your local business that can be used to share your blogs or convert into an application.
Using this software, you will be able to manage all of your pages and its content with various free and paid plugins. Whether you choose to increase your search engine readability or start your ecommerce site, this platform offers a ton of tools that you can use.
Other than that, if you want to change some aspects of your site like its theme, then you can directly change it with the platform’s tons of professional-looking themes.
However, because this is unlike other website building platform on the Internet, you might have a hard time and a bit of a learning curve in customizing your layouts.
Still, WordPress is a widely-used tool so you can read a bunch of authoritative content on how to use this software. In terms of pricing, this software is free but you need to pay for your hosting service, domain, themes, plugins, and other features that you want to add in your website.
If you want a website that offers flexibility and a variety of design, then you should use Wix.
Wix is the easiest website building platform on the Internet. This platform is a drag-and-drop website builder that offers a ton of designs and applications that you can freely customize.
If you aim to add other practical functions (e.g. reservation and takeout app) to make your website easier to use, you can use its various applications. Also, you can utilize the designs that they offer and create a beautiful website and content for your target market. So, if you are searching for usability, customization, and design, you should surely go to Wix.
However, if you want your website to cater the widely-used plugins and e-commerce tools, then this platform might not work for you because this doesn’t offer these tools.
Still, if you want to consider this site, their prices starts at $4.50/month up to $35 dollars that are catered on both normal website owners and those who want a website for their business and ecommerce.
Aside from that, this platform also offers 24/7 customer support. So, if you’re new in creating and managing your website, then you should consider Wix to guide you whenever you need.
If you want to create a visually-appealing website, then Squarespace is best for you.
This platform is another drag-and-drop website builder that offers a ton of tools to help you in managing your website. Whether your site is for ecommerce or for blogging, you can easily create a website using this platform’s templates that are curated to offer quality over quantity.
Also, although, Squarespace have no app market, this provides a high quality inbuilt features and tools to support your online store or blog. You can utilize built-in functionalities that lets you accept credit cards, create gift cards, and much more. This platform also caters ecommerce plugins and tools that will help you in your inventory and other aspects of your online store.
However, learning how this website builder work might take up a bit of your time. It is not easy-to-use and requires a bit of a learning curve for its functions are sometimes hidden through tabs and sidebar menus.
Nevertheless, if you still want to utilize this platform, Squarespace doesn’t have a free plan but you can take their 14-day free trial on their paid plans ranging from $12 up to $40 per month.
For local business owners who want an affordable and easy to use website builder, Weebly is the best to use.
This platform might not have the best designs like Squarespace but this focus more on features. In fact, their themes are mostly aimed to be mobile-responsive to make it easier for your website visitors and audience to use.
They also have the biggest app store in the industry that ranges from free to paid plans that cover most industries. Also, Weebly offers a 24/7 customer service through live chat, phone, forum, and support center.
However, in terms of blogging capabilities, Weebly is not as impressive as other website builders. Aside from that, if you want to have more features for your ecommerce website, you have to pay more.
Still, if you want a basic but still impressive website without having to pay more, then you should go with Weebly. This platform offers a free plan but if you want to have more features, their paid plans starts at $5 up to $25 per month that are billed annually.
If you aim to use an inexpensive but user-friendly tool, then you should consider using GoDaddy.
Unlike most of the drag-and-drop website building platform on this list, GoDaddy is a menu-based website builder. Because of this, you can easily learn how to navigate this platform making it easier for you to quickly create a website without having to worry about the technical aspects.
However, GoDaddy offers limited customization features. It might be easy to use but if you aim to create a website that is visually-stunning and effective, then you certainly need to use another platform such as Squarespace that offers more visuals or Wix for more practical functions.
Nevertheless, if simplicity and ease of use it want you want, then use GoDaddy. This platform offers a one-month free trial and if you are impressed, this platform’s prices starts at $10 up to $25 per month.
Tools for Managing Website
Creating your website is not the end of your digital marketing strategy, you need to maintain it so that it will help you in accomplishing all of your campaigns that you are using in your platform. With this, we have curated the top tools that you will need to manage your website effectively.
For a local business owner, you surely want to showcase and sell your products and services on your website and in cases such as this, you need a WooCommerce.
In using WooCommerce, you don’t have to worry about your ecommerce website. This is one of the most popular ecommerce plugin that business website owners are using for their online store.
This tool mainly provides help in managing your sales, payments, and other common aspect in an online store. And if you also want to add more ecommerce features in your website, you can simply download and install relevant extensions into it.
Just keep in mind that this tool is free but the extensions that you want to add into it should be paid.
- Visually appealing content attracts more audience and for this reason, you need a tool like Canva to help you create images and videos that are specifically curated for your website.
- Canva is a graphics editing software. This tool offers free templates for you to work on where you can create images, charts, logos, and customized fonts using its design tools. Other than that, you can also use this tool to edit video presentations.
- With Canva, you can either use its free version or pay for more features. Nevertheless, whatever plan you choose, Canva will surely help you create content that are visually-appealing, mobile-optimized, and effective.
- Ensuring that your contents are SEO-ready is key so that you can establish the name of your local business online and you can achieve this through Yoast SEO.
- In using this tool, you will rank better on search engine platforms in terms of content and readability. After adding its plugins in your website, this will directly suggest some changes to your title and meta descriptions. Then, this will analyze all parts of your content to give you a report if you are stuffing too many keywords or not, have you added inbound and outbound links, and other important factors that your content should follow to improve its SEO.
- Aside from that, this tool will also provide you details if your content is easy to read or not, how many percentage of your sentences has more than twenty characters and other aspects in improving your content’s readability.
The speed of your website pages need to be checked constantly as this helps increase your SEO ranking.
In order to do this, you need Google PageSpeed Insights. This is a free web performance tool used to help website owners like you assess the performance of your overall website pages and identify ways to make your site load faster and become more mobile-responsive.
PageInsight analyze your site through scoring. You should aim to achieve scores that are above average of 90% and above because this only means that your website has no problem at all.
However, if it does go below it, then it only tells that you need some major or minor improvements. Regardless of what it is, you should directly resolve these problems so that this won’t affect more aspects of your business website.
- One of the best tools that you should use in tracking your website’s progress and analyzing its success is Google Analytics.
- This is a free search data tracking tool that lets you monitor and assess your website’s activities including popular pages, onsite engagement, referral sources, and resource of unique visitors.
- This will also let you discover more information about your website visitors, the sites that send traffic into your site, which part of your website your audience stays the most, and the actions that your visitors take on your platform.
- Hence, using this tool, you can get useful insights on how to improve your website, products and services, your content, and your local business in general.
Your marketing strategies should be centralized in one platform and this is where a website comes in. Local businesses are quite doubtful whether to create a website or not but the answer is, you should.
In digital marketing, your website acts as a platform where you connect and engage with your target market in order to convert them into loyal customers. Aside from that, this platform maximizes the visibility of your local business online while setting a good impression to your prospects and customers and building your credibility as a reputable brand.
Besides, this also serves as a place where you improve your customer service and audience relations.
But without a website, you will just continue on making all of your online marketing strategies without maximizing its benefits.
You see, your website is the core of all of your digital marketing strategies. All of your strategies are just part of generating better and qualified leads. However, all of these leads should be kept in one place, which in this case is your website, where you put all of your efforts in converting them into your most valued customers.
Still, you should seek for a website that offers quality and effectiveness. With millions of local business websites these days, you should rank ahead of these platforms. You must provide a place for your target market to know more about you without having to be annoyed with your website’s overall view and usage.
Hence, you should create a website that will lead you towards your goal and with this, you need a perfectly organized website design and development for local businesses.
Carefully plan its structure. Don’t settle for less. Instead, use tools and equipment that will help you achieve your goals in a long-term basis without having to hurt your resources. Also, don’t skip steps that you think is not suitable in making your website. Keep in mind that the steps written above are essential in website design and development for local business.
Then, consider that your website serves a lot of purposes and because of this, you must create this platform with the idea of its main goal. Make it a digitized version of your business by giving them the impression the same as how normal visitors feel when they walk into your physical store.
Add your business branding and the visuals that represents your products and services, and your business in general. Create pages with valuable, factual and engaging content that lets your audience know more about your business or your industry. Be reminded that your website is a digital storefront so it must provide the same feeling as your physical location.
Moreover, your website should always be maintained. Perform a monthly check-up. Assess your website’s loading time. Check if there is a content in your website that needs to be updated. Also, check the plugins and tools that you have added into it is still up-to-date. Regardless of your results, make sure that you put into action the needed improvements.
Other than that, you should analyze the metrics in your website. Check if your website visitors, page views, and impressions are better than your bounce rate. Then, carefully assess these metrics together with other key metrics of each of your content so that you know what to improve.
On top of this, bear in mind that your website represents a lot about your local business. With this, you must personalize your platform and all the contents inside it. This way you provide better service to your customers and prospects and in return, get better results.
Hence, these are all the details that you need to know about website design and development for local business. Keep in mind that a website serves a lot of purposes. This is why it is a must especially for local business owner like you.