Websites that focus on smaller businesses and startup companies can be very effective, both because of their ease in social sharing and their unique niche focuses which you can determine by knowing more about the business itself. Whether it’s your business, or one that you’re working for as a designer, there are a few goals that you should hit before you consider your work ready to deploy.
- Content is a good way to set your website apart from the competition. You may be surprised at just how many websites choose to launch with the bare minimum of content to offer to anyone who clicks their link. On the one hand, there’s a school of thought that it’s just best to hit the ground running with whatever’s available so that you don’t get bogged down in waiting and second guessing yourself, but on the other hand, a lack of content is usually not a good sign for the future when you’ve got consumers and other businesses considering you as a prospective partner in some form of transaction. Consider your website to be like a house; if it doesn’t have a lot of furniture and generally doesn’t look “lived in,” it’s a fair guess that you aren’t staying there in the long term.
- Compatible, but consistent. Search engines are increasingly hesitant to recommend mobile versions of websites, as opposed to those that offer a responsive design that can cater to desktop and mobile users. That’s why it’s good to start from the ground up with a responsive website. Responsive sites aren’t a cure-all for doing the actual footwork of seeing which parameters work best at which resolutions, and it definitely has its own potential mistakes that you need to avoid, but it’s a compatible, and consistent, presentation that shows that you’re ready to take on a series of challenges ahead.
- A message that matters, especially calls to action. It can be tempting to just create a “teaser” website and try to generate hype or attention, but you need to have something that users can interact with. A guiding post or block of text is a good way to get that process rolling, which is why your call to action can make or break the success of your startup website. Calls to action for smaller business websites need to be up front, visible, and easy to read. They don’t need to dominate the visual landscape by any means, but they do need to draw attention and make sure that users get the message that there’s more to the site than just text and images. It’s a portal to growing a business, after all.
Having a great content management system, or CMS, can go a long way toward managing content, working with advanced programming, and changing messages and calls to action when necessary, so start with the best tools for the job. If all goes well, you’ll get a living business card that will put any small company on the right track.