No matter the size of your business, a website is a necessity.  With the increasing ease of website creation, the reasoning against building a website is becoming less significant, while the benefits are becoming more apparent:

  • Consumers are using the Internet to find information about local businesses
  • Potential employees and investors are using the web to look for employers and partners
  • Establishing your brand image on the fastest-growing advertising platform

Potential customers

The Internet is the first place most people look for products or services, and if potential customers can’t find your business on the web, they are sure to find your competitors.  Simply being listed in local searches isn’t enough for most businesses.  Potential customers want to get an idea for what kind of company you are, and a website is a great way to convey and manage your brand image.

Potential employees and investors

Potential customers aren’t the only reason to have a website.  Potential employees and investors are also less likely to look into a company without a website.  Having a website instantly conveys an image of credibility and professionalism that cannot be achieved through a Yellow Pages listing or print advertisement.  That image is what leads potential partners to invest and potential employees to apply.

Establishing an online presence and growing your brand

Brand loyalty is one of the key influencers on spending for many consumers and the initial brand impression is vital in establishing brand loyalty.  It’s unlikely, however, that new customers will be able to get familiar with your brand if you have no website conveying the personality of your company.

Three common website creation traps

If you are getting ready to build a new website or are updating an old website, keep the following common mistakes that small business owners make in mind.

Picking a bad domain name

One of the most vital steps in creating a website is choosing a good domain name. This seems obvious, but many businesses have domain names that are unrelated, too long or hard to remember.  Something to keep in mind when choosing a domain name is the overall theme of your online branding efforts and whether the name is in line with that theme.

For example, a car repair shop in Boston called Frank’s Auto Body would be well advised to choose a short, descriptive and relevant domain name like or  The business would want to avoid domain names like (too long and hard to type in) or (not descriptive or specific enough).

Focusing too much on the details

When creating a website it’s also important to keep everything in perspective.  Although design details may seem important to you, they won’t have much of an impact on the performance of your site.  A good example of this is the popular site Craigslist.  While it’s not pretty, it’s easy to use and has gained popularity because it offers customers what they are looking for.  Spending hours and hundreds of dollars changing your website’s corners from rounded to square is not going to give you a positive return on investment.

Losing sight of the goal

During the creation process you must remember the purpose of your website: to be found by prospects and collect their lead information with conversion points.  If you forget the original goal you are likely to end up with an underperforming website.  Understanding what will affect your website’s performance and ranking in search engines like Google is a great way to ensure a strong, lead-generating site and making sure your website is built to collect leads is the key to turning visitors into prospects.

Websites are a key part of smart small businesses’ marketing efforts, so if you are building your first website or redesigning the one you have, keep focused on the end goal of any business website: increasing revenue and making more sales.

Further reading: Ezine