As a small business owner, you know your industry in and out. And customers know they’re getting a true professional when they come to you. Today, with the meteoric rise of ecommerce website design, a professional-grade small business website keeps up customer engagement and draws in potential new visitors.
In fact, surveys have shown that 80% of customer engagement occurs online, with 75% reporting that they’ve judged a business based solely on its web design. Yet, as a small business owner, finding the time to make a website is a challenging prospect. And even if you had the hours, where would you start with creating a business website if you’re not a web developer?
That’s where the website builder for business owners comes in.
With Constant Contact, go from zero online presence to a full-stack website in just an hour with the small business website builder. And guess what? All it takes is seven quick steps:
- Choose your custom domain name
- Generate a website layout and customize it with a plan
- Choose your logo from the logo maker
- Write content for your pages with tons of customization options
- Tag your pages
- Put out an email newsletter
- View your performance statistics
Ready to expand your small business into the internet? Great. Let’s get started.
Small business website design with Constant Contact
Once you know how to write a website business plan, you’re ready to start designing. Feel free to read through all seven steps and then begin, or follow along with the guide while you build it using the web designer. Before long, you’ll have everything you need to create a small business website.
1. Choose Your Domain Name
Your domain name is the turnkey into your online world, and it sets the tone for your visitor’s experience. It’s what people are going to type into the URL and what’s going to be displayed when they’re searching for you.
Tip: A simple but professional name will build your business’ credibility from the get-go.
To that end, a strong domain name is:
- Memorable, concise, and simple to spell
- Close to your business’ name
- The same name that you use on social media platforms
- Free of numbers, because they can make your domain name harder to spell
It can be helpful to specify your business’ location in your domain name, so visitors know that they’ve come to the right website. If you own a pizzeria called Tony’s, for example, consider specifying your city, neighborhood, or street in the domain:
Through Constant Contact, view the yearly prices for different domain names — whether you use .com, .net, .biz, or a more obscure extension. Usually, .coms are the best extensions for professional websites, but a .net or .biz could also be a viable choice. Above all, pick a domain that feels suited to your brand and your customer base.
2. Generate a website layout and customize it
Once you’ve purchased your domain name, start building your site through Constant Contact’s A.I.-powered website builder tools.
Start by simply entering in your type of business. From there, the site builder will guide you toward a series of professional templates to choose from. Pick one that makes your business shine and highlights the text and images that you plan to use. Input a bit of text that describes your business, and watch your homepage begin to appear.
Next, select a photo to use as your site’s ‘header image.’ Your image could be scoured from the thousands of images in Constant Contact’s archives or uploaded from your own computer. No matter where you source it, choose a picture that shows the appeal of your business.
Spend some time customizing your layout’s fonts and color schemes. For this, here are a few tips:
- Font: Make sure your font is easy to read and avoid using more than two fonts on the same website (it helps with clarity). Adjusting your font’s size, italicizing, and bolding text can help you to differentiate headers and titles from the body below.
- Color Scheme: Pick a scheme that complements the colors in your header image, and make it stand out. Contrasting colors often work well together.
3. Choose your logo from the logo maker
A punchy graphic draws people in and builds your credibility as a brand. All you need to do is type your business’ name and motto into Constant Contact’s AI-generated logo maker, and it will generate tons of eye-catching logos.
Just pick the option that you want, and then customize its colors and fonts. Once you’ve finessed your logo, download and use it on your social media platforms, signs, wrapping materials, and business cards. Your logo is yours to use and enjoy.
4. Write content for your pages
Once you’ve chosen the colors, templates, photos, and fonts, the blueprint for your website is complete. Now, it’s time to start filling the pages with content. Most websites include a few pages that answer visitors’ most common questions. Depending on the nature of your business, common pages include:
- Home page
- About page
- List of Services/Menu
- Contact page
Below, we’ll give you a few guidelines for creating each of these.
The Home page is your customers’ first impression of your business. It should be professional, concise, well-designed, and show off the uniqueness of your product.
Design and functionality are paramount: Think about how to best set up the navigation of your pages to appeal to users, and consider how your layout might appear on a mobile phone.
To keep your website adaptable for both phone and web scrollers, follow one of these tips:
- Text-free speaks volumes – Limit your Home page’s text to your business’ title and motto to draw your readers’ eyes to the header image and navigation panel. Then visitors can click to discover more.
- A bit of compelling and necessary text – If your business has a special feature that you want visitors to learn about in their first impression, add a bit of text to your homepage. Keep your blurb under 100 words to maximize the chance that people will read it, and insert text in a place where visitors will not have to scroll to view it.
An About page can foster trust among visitors by telling the story of your business in your own voice. Hit the “+” button to add a new page to your website, and introduce what you do in a few paragraphs.
You want to include:
- How and when did your business start?
- Why are you passionate about what you do?
- What are your specific areas of expertise?
- What are your beliefs with regard to your service?
- What makes your business unique?
A well-constructed About page should answer these questions in a conversational tone and frame it as a story. This page will teach people about your business’ values and build a relationship with potential customers.
List of Services or Menu page:
For service-oriented businesses like restaurants, hair salons, and after-school centers, create a List of Services page to detail what options your business offers. To do this, just select the “+” button, add a new page, scroll through the layout options, and select “Menu.”
Then, type in the services you offer and pair them with descriptions of what makes each option unique. Your descriptions can help set the voice of your business and pitch the special features of each listing.
Customize how you want your menu page to appear and consider linking your contact information to give customers an easy, fast way to make purchases.
If you’re an artist, stylist, or designer, create a Portfolio page on your website. Show visitors examples of your work to give them a sense of your talents and range. Keep your portfolio updated and sort projects by theme, topic, or date to keep it organized.
Here’s how to create a Portfolio page:
- Add a page to your site with the “+” button.
- In the list of categories, select “Gallery.”
- Customize the way you’d like your portfolio to look.
- Select each photo in the gallery template and click the landscape icon. Select “Add Images,” then drag and drop the photos that you’d like to upload.
- Change how each photo appears using Zoom functions.
Streamline the ability for customers to get in touch.
On your Contact page, add links to social media, embed a form that links directly to your email, or include your email address, physical address, and phone number.
Contact options can make customer service fast and efficient, and keep you in a conversation with your customer base. After these steps, you’re well on your way to creating something great for your business’s website.
5. Tag your pages
As you build a website, turn your focus outward and tag your pages. By tagging your pages, you’ll maximize your website’s impact and draw in new customers surfing the web.
A pizzeria’s website might tag their pages with phrases like “mozzarella” and “pizza NYC.” In doing so, they increase the likelihood that customers will find their page when Googling those terms.
Tagging pages is a quick and effective way to continue drawing new customers into your sphere. In marketing, tagging posts with key terms is referred to as “search engine optimization.” Search engine optimization (or SEO) just means that you’re maximizing the chance that your business will appear on top in the Google search engine results. See our guide to SEO Tips for Beginners for more information.
You don’t need to be an SEO expert to reap the reward of keyword tags. Through Constant Contact, it’s easy to use SEO even if you know nothing about it.
To tag a page:
- Select the “preferences” button on the side of your page.
- Select “SEO” in “Settings.”
- On each page, write a short description that details your business’s name and any offerings that visitors might search for.
- In each page’s description, detail the location of your business.
- Select “Google search results preview” and review the copy
6. Put out an email newsletter
Don’t forget to keep in touch with your subscribers and previous customers. Through a weekly or monthly email newsletter, it’s easy to send updates on what’s new with your business, and keep your customer base engaged. Send notifications about deals and promotions and offer birthday deals to strengthen your customer loyalty.
An email newsletter also lets you announce changes to your business (like new locations, new products, sales, seasonal changes, and updated hours). Set up your email newsletter through Constant Contact at the same time as your website, then recruit new subscribers by including a “Subscribe” option — through either a pop-up or a button on your website — through which visitors can opt-in.
It’s easy to sync your email list to your new website with Constant Contact. If your email list is through a different platform, manually import your contacts into Constant Contact’s subscriber list, merging them.
7. View your performance statistics
As you edit your site, you’ll be able to see engagement statistics in the corner of your screen — this way, you’re able to keep track of your visitors in real-time. You’ll also receive daily email updates on who your site is drawing in, whether they’re new or returning customers, where they’re clicking for more information, and where they’re exiting out.
Your performance statistics will show you which groups of people like what content more, and allow you to build targeted lists for your e-Newsletter to better advertise products.
Then, update your offerings based on the trends you’ve identified, and save valuable time and money for your business.
Where to Begin?
Now that you know how to create a website for a small business, you’re ready to get started creating your website, all you have to do is:
- Begin with Constant Contact’s business website builder
- Search for potential domain names and purchase the one that fits you best
- Start writing out a list of your accomplishments and gathering photos that showcase your business’ unique qualities
- Start filling out the pages one by one
Learn more about Constant Contact and the average cost of a website design for a small business today. Have fun surfing the web, and watching new customers land on your shores! Additionally, if you are one of the many small business owners looking to sell products online, see our guide to How to Start an Online Store.