Fish looking at hook with lightbulb attached

If your business has a website, you face a monumental challenge. When a new customer visits your site, you have less than a minute to convince that customer to stay. Fifty-five percent of those visitors will leave less than 15 seconds after arriving. This puts the burden on your business to convince those customers to stick around.

“With attention spans seeming to get shorter every year, site design has to be more compelling than ever,” says Tomas Gorny, CEO of business communications provider Nextiva. “If you aren’t designing your websites to captivate potential customers, your competition probably is.”

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Website Text Vector

For your small business, your website plays an important role in establishing credibility and enticing people to become consumers. It is a primary method of verification among the public, and people don’t take website appearance lightly. If you’re an established business, your website is expected to reflect your level of professionalism and legitimacy. In fact, according to the Vistaprint Digital Impact Report on Online Identity,

“45% of people are unlikely to buy from a business with a poorly designed website.”

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Web design vector

For small businesses, websites play an integral part in building brand image, awareness and credibility in the marketplace. Crafting a thoughtfully-designed website demonstrates to your audience that you care about your business image as well as conveys a level of integrity that is consistent with a reputable brand. There are certain best practices for small business websites and we’ve gathered them here for your convenience.

Use these six tips as a checklist when you’re building your new website or modifying an existing site.

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World and Blog Icons

We’ve talked a lot about web design and best practices for setting up a professional business website, but once that’s complete, what do you do next? Generating traffic to your beautifully crafted website is the next hurdle to overcome. This is where backlinks come into play. Simply put, backlinks are inbound hyperlinks from one website to another website.

You may be thinking, “How is this relevant to my business?” Well, every backlink to your website increases your site’s popularity and pushes it higher in SEO rankings for your industry or niche; they improve your credibility and authority within the marketplace.

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Assuming you have a valuable proposition, there’s only one thing that can stop your users from converting: trust. If a user trusts your brand, they’ll gladly partake in an exchange with you. However, building that trust is no easy feat—it takes consistently good service across multiple recurring transactions and exchanges, sometimes spanning months or years, before a user intrinsically trusts your brand.

The Time Problem

This doesn’t do you much good considering most users entering your website will form a lasting first impression of your brand based on their first eight seconds of activity. Provided you get lucky enough to win a first-timer’s business, you can build trust with your level of service, but how can you build trust from the very first interaction, with no prior user knowledge of your brand or product?

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Small Business - MyCase Infographic Cover Image

You know just how important websites are to your small business. But did you know that a third of small business owners maintain their websites themselves?

When creating your own website it is important to stay away from costly websites mistakes outlined in the infographic from MyCase below.

  • 41% of small business owners who plan to improve their websites, say design and aesthetics are the top choices of action.
  • 25% of business owners say the cost of maintaining the site is a big hurdle.
  • 60% do not have mobile websites or know if their websites are mobile-capable.
  • 26% of small business sites cannot be found in online searches.

Luckily, you are least likely to commit these unforgivable mistakes with sophisticated DIY website builders like Webs. Webs offers many themes for pleasing aesthetics, a budget-friendly plan structure, a mobile website option, and a local listings tool available to be found in hundreds of directories online including Google and Yelp.

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Web Design Vector

When starting to build your small business website, all of the pieces that go into properly executing your business online can be quite overwhelming.

From vision, to fonts, to imagery, we consulted our in-house web design expert, Justin, to bring you the five factors to focus on when designing your small business website:

1. Come with a GOAL in mind
It’s always a good idea to know what you want for your website before you start designing.

Is the goal of your site to sell something, generate leads, show off your portfolio, or just display your business hours? Once you establish this goal, you can start crafting the content of the site around it. If you’re an artist showing your work, focus on your art and include nice imagery. If you’re advertising a store front, have your contact information and hours of operation front and center.

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Web Design Infographic Header

Sometimes it’s fun to take a trip down memory lane. Whether it’s reminiscing about at the early days of the internet, as in BMW’s Super Bowl commercial, or looking back at the history of web design.

If you’re in the mood to do the latter, you’re in luck! Today we’re sharing a fantastic infographic from Spark Pay (formerly AmeriCommerce) that takes a detailed look at how things have changed – from design to browsers to screens – from 1990 to today.

So put on your biggest baggy jeans, grab your giant mobile phone, and hop in your time machine as we go back…to 1990.

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SEO-Optimized Website

Building a website might be on the 2015 agenda for your business. If you’re like most business owners, you want to give your company as much exposure as possible. That’s why you decided to build a website in the first place, after all. The key to creating a successful web presence is making sure customers can find you. Search is the top way users find sites online.

We want to help you accomplish everything you set out to do this year. With that in mind, let us show you how to build a website that’s easy to discover in search engines.

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How Google Works Screenshot Infographic QuickSprout

In October 2014, Google improved their search experience with less spam and more procured content in their algorithm updates named Panda and Penguin.

While most of us like to pretend we know exactly what these algorithms do and how they affect us, the formula that runs behind the scenes on Google can truly be complex and confusing.

For small business owners and entrepreneurs, Google is important for website discovery with local listings and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts. But to excel in these areas, it is essential to take the time to learn how Google works.

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