14 Feb DIY Small Business Website Design Tips to Inspire Organic Search Love
With the rise of do-it-yourself website builders like Wix, Squarespace, GoDaddy and Weebly, the options available to build your own small business website have become more plentiful than ever before. Many small businesses decided to try a DIY website builder to create an online presence for their company. At New Colony Digital, I love building websites and crafting the perfect copy in your brand voice, but also realize many businesses don’t have the budget to hire a professional website developer. I want to see your online colony thrive in cyberspace and am here to provide helpful tips for building your own website.
Advantages to Building Your Own Website
In 2019, every business needs an effective web presence in order to get found online and connect with potential customers in the digital world. Affordable website builders like Wix and Squarespace make it easy for the less-than-technically inclined small business owners to create a website by using “user-friendly” templates that require no coding skills. You can also build a free website using WordPress, which I recommend for SEO and performance. The advantages of building your own website are simple — it’s affordable. Depending on the website builder you choose, the content management system (CMS) may be intuitive and you can drag-and-drop each element into place with ease.
Factors to Consider When You Build Your Own Small Business Website
Is it really that simple? Drag, drop and you’re done? Maybe, but building your own website depends on a lot of factors — your technical ability, the time to sit down and build the site and then what about other digital marketing elements? In order to draw searchers from Google to your website and climb the rankings, you must consider the words on your website and search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. You can design a beautiful website, but without the right words, it’s likely you may never be found.
The Right Words
You may have heard the saying over the past several years that, “content is king” and that statement continues to ring true in the current digital marketing climate. The words on your website have a big impact on your marketing efforts and the potential customers that could find your website online. Writing the right words for your website can be a struggle for many business owners opting to build their own website. You know your business better than anyone, but do you know how to convey your value in a way that draws in users through organic search?
My advice for building your own website — don’t skimp on copywriting. Writing can be a daunting task for business owners who don’t consider themselves a writer, but with a few helpful tips, you can write great copy for your website that draws in potential customers.
- Write from the heart, convey your passion on the page. Sometimes writing in a stream of consciousness and then going back to edit leads to the best copy.
- Integrate the keywords you’d like to rank for naturally. If it sounds like a robot injected your copy with keywords, a user will notice immediately and could be turned off of your brand.
- Break up the copy into digestible sections with subheads (including the keyword in at least one subhead helps your SEO).
- Try to have around 300 words of copy on each page that you want to rank (specific service pages and the home page, for example. You want some copy on the Contact page, but 300 may be a bit tough to hit).
Hiring a freelance SEO copywriter to write your content helps your website performance and can lead to more visits from users who find you through organic search. SEO copywriting incorporates the keywords users search to find businesses like yours in search engines like Google and Bing. An experienced SEO copywriter seamlessly weaves keyword phrases throughout your website copy in order to sound natural, not robotic.
SEO copywriting and SEO optimization make a big difference in website traffic. For example, I redesigned the website for a local tattoo studio that always wins “Best Place to Get a Tattoo” in the weekly newspaper’s annual poll. With SEO copywriting and optimization, their website traffic increased dramatically and continues to thrive. This screenshot shows their website traffic over the last three years. You can see the jump that happened after we launched the website design with SEO copywriting — from barely measurable to thousands of visitors a month.
Get Found in Cyberspace with Website SEO
Beyond copywriting, have you thought about how people find your site and the elements behind the scenes that come into play? SEO goes beyond keywords and makes a big difference in how your business looks in web browsers and in search engine results. Digging into DIY builders, it can sometimes be difficult to find their SEO elements. Users often don’t know where to look and therefore don’t include the SEO elements that help them get found. I’m working on a website redesign right now that simply says, “mysite” in the browser tab. The missing title tag means Google doesn’t know what the website is about or how to display it in search results. Other SEO items to consider include:
- Title Tags
- Meta Descriptions
- URL Slugs
- SEO Copywriting
When building an SEO-optimized website for a small business, I use a popular plugin for WordPress called Yoast, which helps me optimize each page for specific keywords. Optimizing each page gives businesses the best opportunities to rank for the keywords potential customers are using to find services, products or companies like yours. A working understanding of SEO best practices can help you if you opt to build your own website. I partner with a digital marketing strategist who offers helpful DIY SEO content on her blog that can assist you in building your own website.
Image optimization goes further than choosing stock photos or hiring a photographer to create stunning photos to showcase your brand. If you decide to build your own website, be sure to consider the size of the image files you upload. I often find when visiting websites built on DIY website design platforms that images weight down the site and decrease page load speed. A website that doesn’t load quickly will likely have a high bounce rate – meaning people leave immediately — sometimes before the page even loads.
Image optimization rises as one of the most important factors in website development because the visual elements spark intrigue, but can also cause people to leave without seeing them due to large file sizes. If you opt to build your own website, be sure to check the documentation provided by the CMS for optimal file sizes and photo dimensions. You don’t want to upload the original file a photographer provided you, as these huge file sizes don’t load quickly, especially on mobile devices.
Your Guide to Navigating Cyberspace
Hiring a website designer to build an online presence for your business offers many advantages from SEO optimization to a stunning design that adds professionalism and value to your business. At New Colony Digital, if you decided you don’t want to build your own website, allow me to be your guide in navigating cyberspace. I can help you work through the technical hiccups you may encounter when attempting to build your own website on Squarespace and launch your website presence to great heights with the help of SEO copywriting. Beyond the website itself, hiring a website developer like myself means you’ll have a knowledgable guide to help you with:
- Website Hosting Setup
- Email Account Creation and Setup on Mobile Devices
- Domain Selection for Optimal Performance
- WordPress Installation and Theme Selection
- Booking Software Integrations
- Plugin Recommendations
- Digital Marketing Consulting
Will you be building your own website in 2019? Or will you hire a freelance website designer to assist in the process? Each option offers business owners advantages. At New Colony Digital, I want to help small businesses establish new colonies in cyberspace, be it through full WordPress website design, SEO copywriting or blogging to drive engagement and organic search traffic. If you do choose to build your own website, consider hiring an SEO copywriter to optimize your copywriting.
Have you started building your own website on WordPress, Wix, Squarespace or Weebly? What do you feel like is holding you back from finishing the build? What questions do you have? I would love to be of assistance in helping you get your site live. If you don’t have the time or energy to build your own website, let’s chat. Focus on doing what you love and let me focus on doing what I love — building rad SEO websites for small businesses in a variety of industries.