You see, we’ve been in this web design game since 1996.
We've lost count of how many small businesses we've helped along the way.
And I don’t mean that in a design-and-leg-it-type way.
We stay with them.
Some of the small businesses we help have been with us since those very early days.
We’ve kept their websites competitive, evolving and successful.
Many of them aren’t so ‘small business’ any more.
Some of them have started second businesses and use our expertise for that venture too.
I’ll let you in on the secret to our success with small companies…
(We’ve included experience in with expertise.)
First up, our 2 account/project manager-type bods.
One’s called Mat, the other’s called Matt.
I kid you not.
Just phone, ask for a Mat(t) and you’ll be fine.
They know their stuff.
No flannel, no corporate marketing lingo, they’ve been around since the early days.
They know the difference between a worthwhile side-step and making a mistake that’ll come back to bite you on your digital derriere.
They can answer all your initial queries and offer advice.
If you’re an Oxford small business, we’re right on your doorstep, so a Mat(t) can easily meet up with you - it’s often reassuring and more productive to initially meet face-to-face.
They can then guide you perfectly across those stepping stones that suit you and your specific small business.
Then there’s our in-house team of experts - from design and user experience to development and secure hosting.
We handle it all for you with no third parties getting in the way of a transparent process.
And, just to highlight that we care about Oxford small businesses and start-ups, we’ve created a new service option especially for you.
Traditionally, we bespoke-build each website from scratch (with Umbraco as the backend CMS).
But this can sometimes price small businesses and start-ups out of the market.
So, we’ve recently built a template option that’s ready for you to use now.
It includes modules for everything you’d need, including:
Google Maps integration
Newsletter sign up
It just needs your content and branding.
It's a lot cheaper than a bespoke-built website and still comes with the brilliant Umbraco CMS.
This rather lovely template option starts at just £2,500 + VAT.
Take a look at our portfolio – you’ll see the wide range of sectors we’ve worked in.
There are small business web designs in there too.
At the other end of the scale, we also create websites for well-known companies like Hoover, Elsevier and MAN Truck and Bus, along with a very famous, large financial institution that we’re not allowed to name due to confidentiality.
Tell you what, you might find it useful to see a quick brain dump of just some of the things to bear in mind for your small business website.
Don’t worry if it looks like a lot.
But, remember - we’ve been doing web design and development for Oxford small businesses since 1996.
We’re used to it.
Your website is or will be, one of the most essential elements of your business.
So, let’s get your website ticking as many boxes as possible.
Here’s that quick brain dump, in no particular order:
Sell the sizzle, not the steak. Don’t drone on about the features of your product or service, sell the benefits. How will it help your customer? How are you different from your competitors?
Testimonials. Especially key if you’re a new business. Testimonials or reviews build trust - shoppers like hearing from real people.
Easy to update. Use a secure CMS (Content Management System). For example, we’re an Umbraco CMS Certified Partner. Umbraco CMS is used by the likes of Microsoft, Carlsberg, Mercedes-Benz and Amnesty International. It’s simple and intuitive to use. You’ll love it.
Keep content fresh and well-written. This keeps your users intrigued and coming back for more. It’s great for SEO too. Blogs or News pages are a good way of keeping your content fresh.
Keep your content easy to scan read. Your user will slow down to read in more detail if they’re hooked in. So, use short paragraphs, headings, bullet points, highlighted words and phrases. We’ve even kept every sentence on a separate line in this article (except for this list). Makes it dead-easy to read, doesn’t it?
Simplicity. Don’t over complicate your website or make it too busy – it puts users off.
Simple web address. Your web address is like your brand. Avoid numbers and dashes, these cause confusion.
Obvious and easy user journey optimised to convert users to leads and sales.
Easy-to-find contact information – e.g. top right corner on the homepage works well. Also, put it in the footer of every page.
SEO basics. Use the correct keywords, internal links, page titles and URLs.
Secure hosting. Your site and any data you hold needs to be safe. Plus, you need a host you can trust to sort out your domain, server, databases and SSL certificate. Our expert in-house infrastructure team manages our servers and hosting. No third parties. Our servers are in London Telehouse Docklands with back up facilities in High Wycombe.
GDPR. How will you store and process any customer data you receive?
About Us page. People care about the company and its people, not just the product. Users nearly always click on an About Us link, so an inspiring page about you and your business is vital.
You get the idea…
We could go on, but who wants to read a big ol’ list like that?
Suffice to say, we’ll help you with all the above.
Hopefully, you can see, we really do understand the needs of Oxford's small businesses.
P.S. Don’t forget about our new template option. Drop us a line and we’ll send you a link to some example designs.
P.P.S. Here are 3 other articles you'll find useful if you’re an Oxford small business:
P.P.P.S. We also have 3 Toms and 3 Chrises. Weird.