3 Tips to Make a Small-Business Website a Winner
Befitting the democratic nature of the Internet, there are plenty of small companies and organizations in the running alongside heavy-hitters such as Google, proving that you don't need a massive budget or in-house creative team to make a big impression.
|Making a small business website work takes a little bit of humor and some bonuses for customers.|
Why do the Webbys matter? A well-designed website isn't just about impressing the digital creative pros. It is a small business's virtual front door, telling potential customers and partners what they need to know about the company's brand, mission and attitude. As the best of the best, Webby-nominated websites can serve as inspiration for others to follow.
With that in mind, here are three different strategies that brought small companies into the Internet's big leagues. Could one of them work for your website?
1. A Clearly-Defined, Appealing Identity
Weekend Sherpa produces an e-newsletter and Web publication that celebrates outdoor adventures, California-style. Each week, subscribers receive recommendations for active weekend outings, tried out personally by Weekend Sherpa's staff, and tailored to either Northern or Southern California.
The company's website reinforces its mission and brand, from the worn travel journal on the homepage to the photos that look like they've been pasted in a scrapbook. "When someone visits our website or opens one of our weekly emails, we want them to feel like they just got out of the car in the mountains and are taking that first breath," says founder and publisher Brad Day. "It feels good, right? We wanted to bring that to an online experience."
Another key to the website's success is its accessible yet authoritative tone: after all, travel recommendations only work if they come from a reliable source. "We put a big emphasis on providing trustworthy content written in a fun, entertaining way," Day says. "But it's not just about being a resource of information; we want to inspire and interest our readers so even if they don't go do an adventure, they still have fun reading about it."
2. A Value-Added Extra
Running her one-woman freelance business, copywriter Lisa Taylor was looking for a way to set herself apart from the pack. Her bright idea? The Cover Letter Customizer , an interactive site that allows users to input personal information and the specifics of their job hunt, then translates those details into polished prose. "I wanted to do something that would showcase my love of this medium, and geeky things like user experience, in my own voice," Taylor says. "Like everyone, I've written my fair share of regular old cover letters. As they are the underdogs of self-promotion, I thought it would be great to give them some time in the sun."