The Secret to Affordable Small Business Website Design

Secret to Affordable Small Business Website Design

The LinkNow Media Way

Here at LinkNow Media, we’re small business marketing specialists. We’ve worked with over 20,000 small business owners to create and promote websites for their companies. This experience has given us insight into the unique struggles faced by small business owners when they promote their businesses online, and we’ve come up with a winning formula.

Website Design for Small Business

The simple truth is that web design isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. We can all agree that any business operating today needs to have a website, but goals for different types of businesses are radically different.

One size fits all is a myth

A digital marketing plan for Bob's Plumbing isn't going to work for Coca Cola, and vice versa.

Large, multinational brands, like McDonald’s or Toyota have websites with a primary function of brand management and customer loyalty. After all, they don’t need to use their websites to help new people discover their companies – everyone already knows who they are.

On the other end of the spectrum are professionals who maintain a website as a portfolio or keep a blog. They know they won’t be able to compete in search with companies that are spending thousands on SEO, so they just link to their websites from their social media and leave it at that.

Small businesses, especially those that operate in a relatively small geographical area, are different. Online marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways for local businesses to reach new potential customers – estimates are that online marketing is as much as three times more cost effective than traditional advertising.

As a result, small business websites need to be heavily focused on discovery (i.e. how easy it is for new customers to find you) and conversion (i.e. getting the people who land on your site to buy what you’re selling). This kind of online marketing can be expensive, but here at LinkNow Media we’ve found a way to keep small business web design affordable.

Affordable Website Design: How We Do It

Don't waste your money

Don't throw your money away on marketing designed for a business with 10x your budget.

LinkNow Media has designed nearly 9,000 websites for small businesses in dozens of different industries. With all this experience, we’ve learned a lot about how to create websites that help small businesses succeed online. But even more importantly, we’ve developed methods of creating great web sites that can help small businesses earn new customers that don’t cost an arm and a leg.

1.      Research

Just like how the website needs of a major international brand are different from the needs of a small business, small businesses in different industries have different requirements. For example, a tattoo artist needs a photo gallery to show off their work, while a caterer needs an online menu, and a massage therapist needs an online reservation system.

We start off by doing research to find the common elements of the most successful websites in any given industry – the things that help those companies meet the needs of their customers better than their competitors.

2.      Build the framework

Our designers take what we learned in step 1 and use it to create the basic framework of a website. This framework includes all the coding necessary to create the features we want as a part of the finished website. This framework is designed from the ground up to be flexible, so that it’s easy to add or remove features later on.

At the same time, our professional writers are researching and creating content for the website. This content is industry-specific and will help the website rank well for common search terms. For example, our pest control framework has content about bed bugs, so that people searching Google to try to learn how to identify and get rid of bed bugs will find the site.

Once all this is put together, the majority of the work is completed and we’re ready for our customers.

3.      Customization

When a client signs up with us, we go to work customizing the framework. We add their photos and business information, and encourage them to change the content to better reflect their businesses and improve their SEO (either by writing new content themselves or by purchasing custom content from us).

These frameworks are flexible enough that our designers can make any changes our customers require and get their sites up and running in a tiny fraction of the time it would take to build the website from scratch. In no time we have a website that's highly discoverable and able to convert customers at a high rate.

This has two great benefits. First, because we save so much time with the web design by doing the bulk of it ahead of time, we’re able to provide service for a much greater number of clients than we’d otherwise be able to. Second, because we can design websites so quickly and easily, we’re able to charge much less than design work of this quality would usually cost. This is how we’ve managed to keep web design so affordable.

Marketing Tools for Small Businesses

But our work doesn’t stop at web design. We also offer a full suite of SEO and marketing tools designed to get these websites climbing up the search rankings once we build them. Our traffic packages come at four different tiers, guaranteeing we have a marketing plan for every business and every budget.

Our business is based on the fact that small business owners need professional website design, but aren’t willing to pay the exorbitant costs that are usually associated with web design and digital marketing. By managing to keep costs down and web design affordable, LinkNow Media has become the fastest growing marketing company in Canada.

Lauchlin MacDonald

Author: Lauchlin MacDonald

About Lauchlin MacDonald

Lauchlin is part of the content and marketing team at LinkNow Media. He has nearly a decade of experience in copywriting and editing, and spends way too much time on the Internet. He can be reached at lmacdonald@linknowmedia.com and @Lauchlin on Twitter.