Even if you sell the best product in your niche, you should find the way to tell people about yourself. But how to do so? Right, create a website your business deserves. If your website is a face of your brand, let it be a Hollywood movie star.
In this article, I’ve tried to explain the complex and labyrinthine process of creating the best-in-your-niche small business website step-by-step. It will help you to understand why a good website matters, why your small business needs it, and how to create the best web design for small business.
Let us start from the very beginning. The small business website focuses on the very specific set of info or products that clients are looking for. When it comes to the best-in-niche smb website, it means that it can provide your small business with significant boost on new clients and, therefore, consistent earnings with little effort. It transmits your business values clearly and properly. It is eye-catching and modern.
Simply put, it lifts the small business or brand to the new, global level. Even if your small business looks like this:
it does not mean that you do not need the best website. The catch is that the small business should not necessarily be small - it simply means it occupies some particular niche. In this article, I have outlined key elements of building a website that will help your small business to grow big. Are you in?
Where Should You Start?
First things first, take a break and reflect on who you are. In what way is your brand unique and what is your key advantage over the competitors in your niche? Why do your customers like you?
If the answers seem not so evident, it is time to go and meet your customers. That would be your second step. Also, if you do not simply know why you are so cool, the interview with the regular customers or clients also works. So, ask them and compare two lists: the first one where you wrote down your own understanding of your small business and the second one with your findings after talking to your clients. It may happen that your vision of your brand does not coincide with your customers’: while you could think that your restaurant has the best menu in the whole city, people visit your establishment because it is the only place in the district with a parking. It will help you to correct the accents and focus on what is really important for your customers.
The third step is to set clear goals for you future best-in-niche website, both measurable and unmeasurable. Specify what will happen after your new website launch and think about how the best-case scenario could look like.
The fourth step is to define your competitors and take a closer look to them. If you are not attempting to launch the small business from scratch, you probably know your main competitors. Compose a short list of the best websites in your niche, including those from A+ category. It is also highly recommended to have a look at other companies who are either far more successful than you or are not competing with you directly. Sources such as awwwards.com, cssdesignawards.com, and thefwa.com may be useful. You could also see how the best websites in their small niche should look like.
Additionally, we’ve composed some articles about the coolest examples of best-in-niche websites which can help you to find exactly what you need:
- 12 examples of the best restaurant websites
- Top 10 Best Real Estate Property Rental Business
- Top 10 B2B Websites 2016
- 3 Bank Website Design Analysis
- Top 10 Luxury Hotel Websites 2016
- Top 10 US Clinics Websites Analysis
Devil Is in Details: Key Compounds of Your Future Website
After you defined your real and indirect competitors, play with the gathered data paying attention to these five key compounds
Concept. Look at the website and ask yourself “Is that something in it that makes it more than just a nice picture?” A good small business website website concept can be based on gamification, storytelling, or humor. Often it may take a week or two of brainstorming to come up with a good story or website mechanics.
Creative concept is an idea behind a website, just like a screenplay. It helps define the very core of the key business messages, reinforces the content, and encapsulates the messages transmitted to your audience in order to build close relationships with the customers. It also helps evoke an emotive response in your customers and engage them in your game.
Design. Of course, web design is not about a lovely picture - it is about solving clients’ problems and about lovely picture. However, the design of your website is actually the face of your business.
Regardless of what product you sell or services you provide, the clients and investors want to be sure that each compound of your business corresponds to the declared level, from a facility to safety standards to competency of your staff. People tend to translate the quality of your small business website design onto the company’s goods and services, and they will never believe that your business is of a world-class if your website is ugly.
Content. When roaming through the websites from your list, ask yourself is the content just stuffed or it is crucially important for the clients and do the first things go first.
Of course, it is easy to publish a garbage: hire a goop who will be happy to fill your website with middling texts and visuals in a moment and for a little money. But you should know - it is not going to work. Content is an integral part of your website, and if you want it becomes the best one in your niche, the content has to be not just good but valuable and eye-catching.
Unreadable? Uninteresting? Useless? Send it to the trash bin.
Structure and navigation. Keep in mind that a good structure and navigation always allow you to find what you need intuitively and allow you to do it easily and quickly.
Could you always answer the question “Where am I?” in a twinkling of an eye and understand your next step. In short, it should be just like the real-world navigation. The most common and annoying web design mistakes you can find here.
Emotions. Do you enjoy the website? And if yes, what do you like the most? Of course, it is a very subjection thing, but who said that your customers are objective?
After analyzing all the websites on your list, you will see that not all of them are as great as it seemed at first glance. Throw them away - if you really want to be the best in your niche, you need to jump over the heads of the very best of your competitors. In order to do this, we recommend you to apply decomposition method: if you split the task into subtasks, you will see where you should move.
Finally, we’ve got to the fifth step. It is time to structure your findings and highlight your vision of each criterion described above - concept, design, content, structure\navigation, and emotional factor. They have to be scrupulously worked out and be better, higher, and stronger.
Done? And now reconsider them. Think critically. Are they 100% focused on providing your customers with the world’s best services? Do they help you establish strong and tight relationships with your clients? Reiterate it again and again until you could answer positively all these questions.
The bulk of the work is done and, finally, you can start to searching for a like-minded web designer. It is not easy, but we can tell you where to find the right web studio for your small business website. Once you have your vision and goals of your future best-in-your-niche website defined, you can transmit them to the designer. Read more about this in our next articles.
Do Not Be Shy - Shine
There is no better instrument to pick up your business at the global level than a world-class website. And we, at Vintage, understand it like no other. That is why, when developing a website for Sergey Makhno, a Ukrainian interior designer and architect, we settled the goal to place his small business among the top Interior Design & Architecture studios in the world outshining the top competitors’ websites on the market.
As a result, Sergey has got an award-winning website, clients from over 20 countries, tens of invitations to major interior design & architecture events, and more than 100,000 award-driven visitors by the end of the year. It became possible due to the fact that we have been rigorously working out each of the compounds described above and trying to make the website both cooler and completely different from the competitors.
At Vintage, we create only custom-tailored websites of world-class level because our clients absolutely deserve it. We enjoy working closely with entrepreneurs and visionaries who think big and work hard. If you consider yourself one of those people, we are tarred with the same brush. So why don’t we meet each other?