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I'm a brand strategist and your go-to designer

I'm obsessed with helping small business owners use the power of their personality, values, and skills to stand out and attract their ideal clients. If you’re ready to look like the professional you are, I’d love to work with you! 

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Creating a Website for a Small Business? Here Are Some “Must Haves” From a Website Designer

March 28, 2024

I’ve been having more and more conversations online lately where people are asking: with social media being as powerful as it is, do you still need a website? I know I may be biased as a Showit website designer but my answer is abso-freaking-lutely yes. In fact, as markets get more and more saturated (and consumers get more and more skeptical), I would say a website is more important than ever. But the real head-scratcher is, where do you kick things off? Having been through the trenches myself, I’m here to walk you through a few things I think you NEED when creating a website for a small business. Let’s dive in!

And hey, if you’re on the hunt for a brand or website designer, look no further. I’m here to take the reins and transform your vision into a stunning digital reality. I’d be over the moon to throw my hat in the ring and collaborate with you. Learn more about ways we can work together here.

brand and website designer ellie brown  discusses website essentials for small businesses

Choosing the Right Website Platform: Why Showit Stands Out

When considering website platforms, it’s important to choose one that offers flexibility, ease of use, and design freedom. In my opinion, that’s where Showit shines.

Here are just a few reasons why I chose to specialize in Showit (as a website designer who is always creating a website for a small business)

  • Design Freedom: Showit offers you complete design freedom—no coding knowledge required. Thanks to its intuitive drag-and-drop interface, we can create anything.
  • SEO-Friendly: Despite the common misconception that visually driven websites struggle with SEO, Showit websites have the SEO capabilities to rank well.
  • Mobile Optimization: As much as we all love to see the desktop version of our websites, most people are looking on mobile. Showit prioritizes mobile optimization, ensuring your website’s aesthetic and functionality are preserved across all devices.

If you are not on Showit yet, I’ve got a deal for you! Follow this link to Showit and use code EBB for a free month to try it out firsthand!

Website Policies

Listen, this isn’t the most exciting part about a new website for a small business to me either! But the truth is, having “terms and conditions”, a privacy policy or even an earnings disclaimer can be important for protecting your small business online. It’s worth including these from the start!

I recommend Termageddon to all my clients and with code EBB, you’ll get 10% off your first year. Visit Termageddon to learn more.

Ellie brown branding talks about website essentials for small businesses

Get Yourself a Great Website Template

Once you’ve decided on your website platform, you need to decide between custom website design or customizing a template (I can help you with either!). With a template though, I would caution that not all website templates are created equal. Having a HIGH-QUALITY template will make your life a million times easier, both during the initial setup and down the line when you want to add new products or services.

Personally, I love Elizabeth McCravy’s Showit website templates (use code EBB for 10% off!). As a designer, I appreciate how strategically designed they are for conversion (whether that means “buy now” or “contact now”). Plus, most of her templates have “extra” sections that we can use to give your website a custom look, even though we started with a template.

Professional Branding Photos

Did this one surprise you? Branding photos are the secret sauce that can transform your website from good to absolutely magnetic. High-quality, professionally taken branding photos give your website a polished, cohesive look that instantly elevates the user experience. Whether it’s showcasing your products, team, or the lifestyle associated with your brand, these images play a pivotal role in making your site visually appealing and engaging. People want to buy from people they know-like-trust. Professional branding photos are the first step in getting your website visitors to feel like they know you and like you (and professional photos show them that you invest in your brand, which helps them trust you too!).


A Contact Form That Connects to Your CRM (I Use Dubsado)

Running a small business often feels like a high-wire act, balancing all of the responsibilities that can be both exhilarating and overwhelming. One of the biggest challenges is wearing all the hats – from marketing guru to customer service representative to service provider. When I’m creating a new website for a small business, I know how busy they are which is why I always recommend integrating your CRM with your website contact form. If you don’t have a CRM yet, I personally recommend Dubsado. It’s not just about saving time; it’s about responding to potential clients promptly and professionally, ensuring that no opportunity slips through the cracks.

To get you started with Dubsado, I’ve arranged for 20% off your first month or year. Just use code EBB when signing up at Dubsado. Curious why it’s my favorite? Head here where I break down why it’s the best CRM for brand and website designers (but a lot of it applies to any service provider!)

Lastly, Don‘t Forget to Solidify Your Brand Before Creating a Website

Lastly, solidifying your brand identity is one of the MOST important steps before diving into website creation. Having a clear selection of fonts, colors, logos, and patterns that you absolutely adore (and that sends the right message to your ideal clients!) is crucial. This foundational work ensures that every aspect of your online presence, from the landing page to the contact form, feels unified and cohesive.

I know I may be biased as a brand and website designer, but when you love your brand elements, it shines through in the professional appearance of your website, making it resonate more deeply with your ideal clients. A well-thought-out brand identity helps you stand out in a crowded market, providing a memorable experience that attracts and retains your target audience. Plus, it will subconsciously validate those higher prices you want to charge too!

Ellie Brown works on a brand design at her desk

Website Essentials for Small Businesses

Establishing and growing your online presence is a journey, one that requires the right tools and strategies to ensure success. From choosing a platform like Showit that offers both design freedom and technical robustness, to selecting design templates from Elizabeth McCravy that elevate your brand, and integrating Dubsado’s contact forms for seamless client engagement, these essentials form the cornerstone of a powerful online presence for any small business.

Remember, the goal isn’t just to create a website but to build an online ecosystem that reflects your brand’s values, meets your business needs, and grows with you. The offers and tools I’ve shared today are chosen not just for their immediate benefits but for their ability to support your business’s long-term digital success.

Lastly, if you’re in search of a brand or website designer capable of blending imaginative design with strategic insight to forge an unforgettable presence for your business, look no further—I’m merely a click away! Let’s unite our efforts to ensure your brand doesn’t just get noticed; it resonates deeply and leaves a lasting impression. Connect with me today, and let’s start this transformative journey together.

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