Web Design

Web Design Tips to Help Your Site Small Business Visibility

Running a rural business? This guide covers key web design strategies to help you succeed online. Learn how to choose ...

Running a rural business? This guide covers key web design strategies to help you succeed online. Learn how to choose the right domain, optimize for mobile, add CTAs, structure your site, tailor SEO, and more. With the right local-focused website, your small town biz can compete in the digital marketplace. Let's boost your online presence!

Web Design Tips For Bold Rural and Small Town Business

Section Topics:
  • Choosing a domain name
  • Mobile friendly design
  • A strong call-to-action
  • Use good structure
  • Understanding your niche SEO
  • Insights

Websites in Montana are an important part of rural and small town business today, whether you're selling products online or providing services. A well designed site will give visitors a positive experience that encourages them to return for future visits both on and off-line.

Being such a large landscape it's better to have a good tool that does more with less effort and has the capabilities to scale with you. Web Design deserves a Swiss Army Knife kind of tool. People ARE looking for you and your goods/services. How you serve them up is how far you'll reach!

Choose a Domain Name That Makes Sense for YOU

It should make sense when people type it into their browser. If you choose a domain name that makes no sense or too close to someone else, visitors will probably click away before they even see what your site has to offer.

In the vast landscape of the web, it is not uncommon to face the disappointment of not finding the exact domain name you desire. It can be frustrating, but it is definitely something worth considering. With millions of websites already in existence, it is possible that someone else has already registered the domain name you have in mind. However, this should not discourage you from finding a domain name that is relevant and meaningful for your business.

Consider incorporating elements that are specific to your location, such as an area code, county, or town, along with your business name or niche. This combination will not only make your domain name more unique but also help in attracting local customers. Remember, relevance is key when it comes to choosing a domain name. If it does not make sense or is too similar to another domain, visitors may click away before even exploring your site.

Furthermore, it is important to avoid choosing a domain name that is excessively long. Each sub-page of your website will come after the domain name, and the longer it gets, the less SEO-friendly it becomes. However, it is worth noting that blogs tend to be somewhat of an exception to this rule.

So, while it may be disheartening to not find the exact domain name you want, take the time to choose a relevant and concise one that will resonate with your target audience. It may require some creativity, but the effort will be well worth it in the long run.

Sometimes an area code, county, or a town mixed with your business name or niche. Bottom line, if it's not relevant you'll have a hard time keeping the traffic.

Avoid crazy length domains too, each sub-page will come after that. And the longer it gets the less SEO-friendly it gets (i should mention blogs tend to be somewhat of an exception).

Mobile Friendly or Mobile First Design

It really only makes sense, and yeah I'm sorry if I keep repeating this. But believe it or not many new sites still are not. Montana is a big state, and we are not afraid to travel 40+ miles for a good steak or burger, let alone drive 100 for great sales. Be visible online can fill the gaps.

Mobile devices are becoming more popular than desktop computers, so it's important to make sure your website is optimized for both. To do this, follow these five easy steps:

  1. Make Sure Your Site Is Responsive - If you're with us every site out of the box is mobile friendly, but if you opted for WordPress, Joomla, or something else make sure you find a GOOD template. Or you'll just be buying another one and wasting time.
  2. Add a Map - Not all maps are created equal! It's important to make sure you're on that map, by way of Google or Bing. Even more-so that your websites map offers turn by turn directions.
  3. Include a Responsive Navigation Bar - This ones a no brainer but worth noting, a "sticky" menu is great, and culling links for mobile can help with the clutter.
  4. Optimize all your Images - All your photos and graphics should be sized appropriately. If not, they may cause load time lag.
  5. Test Your Page Speed - Google Page Speed is good free tool available for everyone.

A Strong CTA (Call-to-Action)

Having that immediate point of contact is powerful, and making sure it's visible, accessible, and user-friendly will make a world of difference. For some it's a floating phone icon in the corner, and others collect email inquiries using headers or footer links.

No matter what page, or where you're at on that page, you should be able to easily get to it and interact. The longer it takes them to make that contact the less likely they will be to commit to the interaction.

But every website should have that point of contact, visible for each each display. That mid paragraph service line might have been exactly what they were looking to hear. Without that they may have to go to another page, or go looking for it. Which kind of puts off a bad vibe.

For agencies a contact form on the top pages help direct those specific inquiries where they need to go. Aha, the power of automation.

Keep it simple - Or at least use a good structure

It goes without saying, simple sites need simple solutions. But the bigger the site gets the more it becomes a strategy. Obviously you didn't make all those pages for nothing, so interlinking using buttons, text links, and other elements help the customer journey go smooth.

A "mega menu", as it's called, is great way to structure the top level pages. Giving your visitors the ability to navigate direct to the service they need. Better yet, having that page gives you insight as to how in-demand that particular service is. If most people visit that page, that's likely a strong area to market. And can be used to leverage your other offerings.

Same goes for your eCommerce. Structure it well, don't be afraid to do A/B testing and ask your customers. They'll not only appreciate being part of your growth, but you'll get the best insight money CAN'T buy. Use good item descriptions and be REAL.

Understand the SEO for your Niche or Industry

Rural businesses often face unique challenges when it comes to marketing. From limited resources to less access to technology, there are many reasons why rural businesses struggle to compete with larger companies. But that doesn’t mean they should give up on marketing entirely. In fact, there are several strategies that can help small businesses succeed online.

Do you want to rank in your town, county, state, or maybe country? This should be part of your SEO strategy. Leave this out and people won't find you.

One of the biggest mistakes that rural businesses make is not optimizing their websites for search engines. If you aren’t ranking well in Google, Bing, and Yahoo!, then you won’t see much traffic coming through your website.

Everything from your business details to your services need to be displayed cohesively everywhere. For example, I'm a web designer; All my profiles everywhere should show the same email, contact info, business details, and the fact that I'm a web designer.

When google crawls the same data over and over again you get "Authority".

Our Opinion & Conclusion for Rural & Local Web Design?

Small businesses in rural areas face unique challenges that require special attention to web design. By creating a great website for your rural business you'll give yourself a competitive edge over other local businesses. And with a little bit more effort, you can turn your website into a powerful marketing tool.

Having an awesome site just isn't enough sometimes however, but that's actually where us mid-western folk excel. Customer support and journey! when your strategies align and you keep to your roots you'll be in good hands.

As a Web Design & Marketing Agency in Montana we'd like to hear from you when you're ready to get online. We have a multitude of great options and experienced insight. And believe it or not we actually give a damn, we actually live in a small town.

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