A small business website is your salesperson that never sleeps and it is crucial in taking your business to the next level. So why do small, local businesses always skimp or put up a placeholder “coming soon” website to represent their brand online? The answer lies in constraints. Small business owners tend to not have the time or budget to do everything they need to do to launch their business and it’s always the website that suffers. In this case study I’ll tell you where to best spend your time and money to launch your small business website and kick off your local business digital strategy.

A Small Business Website Case Study

We, Hammerhead, tend not to do small business websites. Frankly speaking, this niche is plagued by bad actors and offshored businesses slapping together quick websites to the detriment of the client. As a development team, it’s typically not fulfilling work, the competition is exceptionally high and the profit margins are non-existent.

So why write this case study? First and foremost, we wrote this for you. The entrepreneur that is going to work their butt off for the next 5 years to force this thing to work, simply because you do not want to fail. Secondly, we tend to get clients that have been burned by a few digital agencies before someone turns them onto us. Those are our clients. The ones that are passionate and have made their business work – despite the lack of support along the way. If this sounds like you, and you’re not quite ready to hire a digital agency, here are a few tips to help you get started.

Bentley’s Fishing Adventures: a Local Business Website

Bentley’s Fishing Adventures is a small local fishing guiding business that runs out of the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. At it’s helm is Matt Bentley. Matt is a passionate angler and casting instructor who cares deeply about the sport and art form of spey fishing. His dedication to his client’s experience and conservation is second to none. He is a steward of the land and great representation of what an angler should be. We helped him create his local business website simply because we like him and what he is about.

Bentley's Fishing Adventures Local Business Website

What are the Key Elements of a Small Business Digital Strategy

A small business website provides a digital presence for your business and converts website visitors into customers. You digital strategy is essentially your online sales funnel. At the top of that funnel are the advertising platforms and strategies you use to drive traffic to your website. At the bottom of the funnel in your conversion-point. A good digital strategy drives a good number of users to your small business website and reduces losses along the path to conversion.

A Conversion Optimized Website for a Small Business

Simplicity and speed are the foundations for a conversion-optimized website. You have the right user on the website, show them where to go and direct them to which actions to take. These actions are known as “conversions” or the action a user takes to convert into a customer. For most small business websites, these are often a phone call click (a button or text a user clicks to call your business) or a contact form submission (when a user contacts you via a form on your website). A conversion-optimized website tells users who you are, quickly sells your business and converts your user into a customer.

Google Analytics for your Small Business

Your analytics insight should provide you with information on who is visiting your local business website and if that user type is converting. Cross-reference your customer list with this data to ensure you are driving the right users to your website. If you are not, there is a flaw with your inbound digital strategy. You might have to revise your marketing audiences or or advertising to attract the right users to your website. This reduces wasted ad spend and improves your conversion rates. If organic traffic is coming to your website that doesn’t convert there might be an issue with your SEO strategy.

Keyword Research & SEO for your Small Business Website

Keyword research is simply the process of matching the terms you use on your website (in URLS, headings and content) to common search queries your target audiences are using. There are numerous free trials of tools you can use to help you gather this information. If you are planning on using Google Ads, for simplicity sake use their free keyword research tool. This provides insight into search volumes and keyword competition. Try to find the high-volume, low-competition keywords your target audience uses to drive free traffic to your small business website.

An Inbound Digital Strategy for a Small Business Website

So you have created your business website, now you have to show it to people! Free advertising is typically a long term strategy that requires sometime to pull off. Paid advertising drives traffic immediately. Here are a few tactics you should know about.

Small business website features

Local Lists & Backlinking

“Backlinking” is an important part of your SEO strategy. Almost anytime someone provides a link to your website from their website it’s a signal that your content has value. The more important the linking website the higher the value of the link. This is in regards to the traffic it drives to your website and in something known as “authority”. Search engines see links to your website as an indication that you are an authority on the linking term(s) and relevant keywords. Getting links from most websites helps, getting links from important websites helps more. These tactics will elevate the SEO value of your website, but it takes time.

Your Social Strategy

Most of us at Hammerhead truly dislike social networks, however, there is no denying their value to your business. Setting up business profiles on social networks where your potential clients frequent is a no brainer. These social networks allow you to establish a direct connection with your target audience.

Google Local Service Ads

Google Local Service Ads are a great tool for local businesses that are non-technical and want to manage their own advertisements. This suggestion comes with a bit of a caveat though: not all industries are supported by this service, further, some marketers are limited to even fewer industries. To check if Local Service Ads are available for your business

Google Ads

If Local Service Ads are not available for you, the default is to use Google Ads. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, take time to figure out how Google Ads works. It is not as simple as you would like it to be. If your audience targeting is off, or if you do not have conversion tracking properly set up, you will be wasting ad spend. If you are unsure about any of this, hire a reputable agency to help you out.

Meta Ads or Facebook Ads

If your audiences are on Facebook or Instagram, you might consider setting up advertising on Meta. It is not as simple as you would like it to be. If your audience targeting is off, or if you do not have conversion tracking properly set up, you will be wasting ad spend. If you are unsure about any of this, hire a reputable agency to help you out.

Small Business Website Performance

For big or small businesses, website performance matters! Never neglect performance as it pertains to accessibility, user experience, or page speed. A poor performance score hurts your search ranking and conversion rates. A Good performance score elevates you above your competition!

Performance Report for a Small Business Website

Small Business Website Design FAQs

Is WordPress Good for a Small Business Website?

Absolutely! WordPress is a content management system that serves the needs of every small business owner. Further, the system is flexible enough to grow with you as new features are required. Just use WordPress and save yourself the hassle down the line!

Is it better to use WordPress or Wix?

Is WordPress Cheaper than Wix?

Is it better to use WordPress or Squarespace?

How Much Should I Pay for my Small Business Website?

What is the Minimum Required in Launching a Small Business Website?

How Much Do Digital Marketing Programs Cost?

Images from our Strong WordPress Small Business Website

Final Thoughts

If you want to go fishing with Matt, check out his website here! In doing so you’ll be supporting an indigenous-owned business and you will have an absolute blast. If you have questions or you want to build a website together, contact us today! We are always happy to help or at least point you in the right direction.